BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Why do so many bi- and multilinguals feel different when switching languages?

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2016) Why do so many bi- and multilinguals feel different when switching languages? International Journal of Multilingualism 13 (1), pp. 92-105. ISSN 1479-0718.

    12282.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (520kB) | Preview


    Is the feeling of difference experienced by many bi- and multilinguals linked to a later age of onset (AoA) and a lower level of proficiency in the foreign language (LX)? This empirical study, based on the qualitative and quantitative data from 1005 bi- and multilinguals, suggests AoA is unrelated to feelings of difference. While several participants mentioned the fact that limited proficiency in the LX made them feel different, no statistically significant relationship emerged between the amount of difference experienced when shifting languages and self-reported proficiency in speaking the LX, nor in frequency of use of the LX. The only independent variables to be linked to feeling different were education level, age and anxiety in speaking with colleagues and speaking on the phone in the second language and third language, with higher levels of the latter being linked to a stronger feeling of difference. Some participants presented unique explanations, linking feelings of difference to conscious or unconscious shifts in behaviour and to unique contexts of language use. Several participants also reported these feelings of difference


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: "This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Multilingualism on May 26th 2015, available online:"
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): feeling different, age of onset, proficiency, foreign language anxiety, age, education
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 08:30
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:36


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item