Cherishing the heritage language: Predictors of parental heritage language maintenance efforts
Aims: Multilingual families are often challenged with the transmission of their heritage language (HL) to future generations. Departing from this observation, this study aims to investigate which factors correlate with multilingual families' HL maintenance efforts. The variables taken into account are the families' language policy (FLP), advice from both Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) professionals and other (informal) sources, the parents' linguistic and educational resources, as well as their migration generation. Methodology: Exclusively quantitative in nature, the data for this study involve 776 multilingual families in the Flemish community of Belgium. Analysis: These data have subsequentially been subjected to two inferential analyses: a bivariate correlational analysis followed by a logistic regression for a more detailed understanding of the relations at play. Findings: The results indicate a positive correlation between families' policies and their HL maintenance efforts, in addition to confirming the independence of FLP's three components (beliefs, practices, and management). Furthermore, contrary to advice from ECCE professionals, advice from other sources is positively and significantly associated with HL maintenance efforts. Finally, families comprised of parents with access to higher linguistic and educational resources are less likely to try and pass on the HL to their children, probably favouring the acquisition of the institutional language (IL). Originality: This paper quantitatively explores factors that correlate with parental HL maintenance efforts using a large and language-diverse sample. This quantitative approach facilitates generalizations for future (qualitative) research and advice-giving bodies to build on. Significance: Our findings bring about greater insights into the motivation of parents concerning HL maintenance and could contribute to the advice given to multilingual families.
Source (journal)
International journal of bilingualism. - Place of publication unknown
London : 2022
(2022) , 17 p.
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Web of Science
Creation 09.10.2023
Last edited 10.10.2023
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