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Journal Articles International Journal of Bilingualism Year : 2023

Parental language practices and children’s use of the minority language: The mediating role of children’s language attitudes

Pratiques linguistiques parentales et utilisation de la langue minoritaire par les enfants : Le rôle médiateur des attitudes linguistiques des enfants

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the mediating role of children’s language attitudes in the relationship between parental language practices and children’s use of the minority language. Methodology: This cross-sectional study uses questionnaires filled out by children individually, focusing on their and their parents’ language attitudes and practices. Data and analysis: The study was conducted with 135 children ( M age = 10.76 years) living in a bilingual family in France. We tested our hypotheses using regression analyses (logistic and linear) and a mediation analysis. Findings: Our findings indicate that (1) parents’ use of the minority language significantly predicts children’s; (2) children’s attitudes towards their minority language significantly predict its use; and (3) children’s language attitudes mediate a more important part of the relationship between their own and their parents’ use of the minority language when both parents use the majority language and only one uses the minority language. Implications: Reinforcing children’s positive attitudes towards their minority language can foster its use. Children have a role in the development of their bilingualism. When the child’s bilingual development is not supported by active language use by both parents at home, the children’s attitudes are crucial and decisive. Originality: This study focuses on the role of 10-year-old children’s perceptions of their bilingual development. This study provides interesting new insights into children’s agency in minority languages maintenance.
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Dates and versions

hal-04457215 , version 1 (21-02-2024)

Identifiers

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Camille Humeau, Philippe Guimard, Isabelle Nocus, Jean-Michel Galharret. Parental language practices and children’s use of the minority language: The mediating role of children’s language attitudes. International Journal of Bilingualism, 2023, 0, pp.1-17. ⟨10.1177/13670069231207326⟩. ⟨hal-04457215⟩
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