There Are More Than 74 Languages Spoken By Boston Public School Students

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We know that Boston is a multicultural city and that is no more apparent than in the Boston Public School system. There are more than 56,000 students in BPS and they speak more than 74 languages.

English is the most commonly spoken language with more than 30,000 students using it as their primary language at home. Followed by Spanish with more than 15,000, then Cape Verdean, Vietnamese and Haitian with 1,700 to 1,900 students. Thirteen students primarily speak American Sign Language at home.

Some of the less common languages spoken include:

  • Berber, which is a language from Northern Africa
  • Bambara, the national language of Mali
  • Hmong, a dialect continuum the Hmongic languages spoken by the Hmong of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizho, Guangxi, northern Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, according to wikipedia
  • Telugu, a South-central Dravidian language native to India

There are actually more than 74 languages because 143 students were denoted as "other" for the language they primarily speak at home. Demographically the Boston Public Schools are 42% Hispanic, 34% Black, 14% White, 9% Asian, 1% other/multiracial and 45% of students' first language is not English.

Here is the list of all the languages spoken in the Boston Public Schools. The information was gathered from when parents fill out information about their children when registering for schools.

Language Count of Student No
Aboriginal 4
Afrikaans 4
Albanian 104
Amer. Sign Language 13
Amharic 65
Arabic 484
Bahasa Indonesian 6
Bambara 1
Bengali 107
Berber 1
Bulgarian 4
Burmese 6
Cambodian 26
Cantonese 898
Cape Verdean 1879
Chinese 64
CHINESE (other) 1
Creole (Haitian) 149
Crioulo 1
Czech 1
Dari Persian 2
Dinka 2
Dutch 4
English 30244
Farsi 2
French 224
French Patois 3
French/AfricanPatois 4
Fula 1
German 6
Greek 64
Gujarati 4
Haitian 1785
Hakka Dialect 1
Hausa 1
Hebrew 5
Hindi 10
H'Mong 1
Ibo 8
Indian 6
Italian 45
Jamaican Creole 6
Japanese 16
Khmer 2
Khmer/Khmai 3
Kinyarwandu 1
Korean 20
Krahn 1
Krio 6
Kurdish 22
Latvian 3
Luganda 8
Macedonian 1
Malay 1
Mandarin 331
Mandarin Chinese 33
Mandigo 6
Nahuatl 1
Nepali 19
Niger-Congo 1
Norwegian 1
Other 143
Patois 6
Persian 1
Pidgin English 2
Pilipino 16
Polish 24
Portuguese 579
Pushtu 1
Pushtu/Pashtu 12
Romanian 1
Russian 63
Serbo-Croatian 4
Slovene 1
Somali 459
Spanish 15489
Swahili 20
Swedish 2
Tagalog 17
Taiwan 1
Telugu 3
Thai 13
Tibetan 2
Tigre 2
Tigrinya 29
Toishanese 491
Tongan 1
Turkish 13
Twi 4
Ukranian 3
Urdu 13
Vietnamese 1801
Yoruba 17
(blank) 72
Grand Total 56027
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