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    How childhood languages shape future language knowledge, language use, anxiety and cultural orientation

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Heredia, R. and Cieslicka, A. (2020) How childhood languages shape future language knowledge, language use, anxiety and cultural orientation. Multicultural Education Review 12 (2), pp. 117-135. ISSN 2377-0031.

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    In this paper we investigate the effect that parents’ language use (English, Spanish-English or Spanish) had on self-perceived proficiency, frequency of use, language anxiety, code-switching and cultural orientation of 206 Spanish-English bilinguals and multilinguals (174 females, 32 males) who were students at Texas A&M International University. English is the dominant language in Texas, with a strong presence of Spanish, the minority language. Our results showed that languages that parents had used with their children had a privileged status: bilinguals and multilinguals reported higher levels of proficiency, more frequent use, less anxiety (except for English) and a stronger cultural orientation. The effect was strongest for parents with Spanish-speaking parents. The scores of the simultaneous bilinguals were generally situated between the scores of the sequential Spanish-English and English-Spanish bilinguals from monolingual families. Referring to the butterfly effect in Chaos theory, we conclude that relatively more or less use of a particular language in a family home will lead to significant differences in the grown-up children’s future language use and cultural orientation.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication (to 2020)
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 09:29
    Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 01:10


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