Languages in Portland Public Schools

The following charts compare the speech sounds of the top 10 languages spoken in the Portland Public School (PPS) system to Standard American English. The intended use for this chart is to aid Speech-Language Pathologists in determining whether a person's speech sound errors are due to a speech disorder or difference.  For example, if an individual does not produce a Standard American English phoneme during evaluation, the professional can reference the below charts to determine if the target sound is present in that person's language. 

Languages Spoken in PPS:

Data from 2011-2012 school year

Language spoken at home 

Number of students 

Percentage of total PPS enrollment

English

37,432

79.9

Spanish

4,120

8.8

Vietnamese

1,170

2.5

Cantonese

418

0.9

Somali

326

0.7

Russian

295

0.6

Mandarin

121

0.3

Japanese

116

0.2

Arabic

104

0.2

Maay-Maay

92

0.2

Hmong

82

0.2

Ukrainian

75

0.2

Oromo

72

0.2

Chuukese

58

0.1

German

58

0.1

Chinese, Hakka

53

0.1

Lao

52

0.1

Swahili

46

0.1

Cambodian

45

0.1

Romanian

40

0.1

Tagalog

40

0.1

Korean

39

0.1

Amharic

38

0.1

Thai

37

0.1

Hindi

36

0.1

Karen

35

0.1

Burmese

34

0.1

French

34

0.1

Nepali

27

0.1

Tigrinya

25

0.1

Tonga

23

0

Mayan

22

0

Tibetan

20

0

Kirundi

17

0

Italian

16

0

Albanian

15

0

Dutch

13

0

Farsi

13

0

Kurdish

13

0

Urdu

13

0

American Sign Language

12

0

Bosnian

12

0

Swedish

12

0

Creole

11

0

Gujarati

11

0

Danish

10

0

Estonian

9

0

Guatemalan

8

0

Hebrew

8

0

Pohnpeian

8

0

Portuguese

8

0

Turkish

7

0

Hungarian

6

0

Mien

6

0

Palauan

6

0

Greek

5

0

Panjabi, Eastern

5

0

Bengali

4

0

Finnish

4

0

Igbo

4

0

Persian

4

0

Afrikaans

3

0

Czech

3

0

Mandingo

3

0

Serbian

3

0

Serbo-Croatian

3

0

Telugu

3

0

Cebuano

2

0

Filipino

2

0

Indonesian

2

0

Khmer

2

0

Lingala

2

0

Panjabi, Western

2

0

Polish

2

0

Rohingya

2

0

Slovak

2

0

Akan

1

0

Armenian

1

0

Bulgarian

1

0

Cree

1

0

Dinka

1

0

Indian

1

0

Kannada

1

0

Lithuanian

1

0

Malay

1

0

Marshallese

1

0

Navajo

1

0

Occitan

1

0

Pashto - Northern

1

0

Pashto - Southern

1

0

Tamil

1

0

Trukese

1

0

Xhosa

1

0

None specified

1,231

2.6

Other

107

0.2

Total

 46,836

 94

 

 

 

 

 

Languages spoken in the Portland Public School System


From ASHA:
"A speaker of any language or dialect may exhibit a language disorder unrelated to his or her use of the native dialect. An essential step toward making accurate assessments of communication disorders is to distinguish between those aspects of linguistic variation that represent regular patterns in the speaker's dialect and those that represent true disorders in speech and language."
If the target speech sound is not present in the person's native language (L1) then, the error may be attributed to speech sound differences between the L1 and Standard American English. In order to ensure this, a conversational speech sample should be obtained in both languages and used to determine the speaker's phonetic inventory and analyzed for consistency of errors.

References and Resources