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ERIC Number: EJ1107119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Bilingual Mothers' Language Choice in Child-Directed Speech: Continuity and Change
De Houwer, Annick; Bornstein, Marc H.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v37 n7 p680-693 2016
An important aspect of Family Language Policy in bilingual families is parental language choice. Little is known about the continuity in parental language choice and the factors affecting it. This longitudinal study explores maternal language choice over time. Thirty-one bilingual mothers provided reports of what language(s) they spoke with their children. Mother-child interactions were videotaped when children were pre-verbal (5M), producing words in two languages (20M), and fluent speakers (53M). All children had heard two languages from birth in the home. Most mothers reported addressing children in the same single language. Observational data confirmed mothers' use of mainly a single language in interactions with their children, but also showed the occasional use of the other language in over half the sample when children were 20 months. Once children were 53 months mothers again used only the same language they reported speaking to children. These findings reveal a possible effect of children's overall level of language development and demonstrate the difficulty of adhering to a strict "one person, one language" policy. The fact that there was longitudinal continuity in the language most mothers mainly spoke with children provided children with cumulative language input learning opportunities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: 263MD005126; 263MD104775