ERIC Number: EJ1169618
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Linguistic Multi-Competence of Fiji School Students and Their Conversational Partners
Hopf, Suzanne C.; McLeod, Sharynne; McDonagh, Sarah H.
International Journal of Multilingualism, v15 n1 p72-91 2018
This study explored linguistic multi-competence in Fiji students and their conversational partners through a description of linguistic diversity in one school community. Students' caregivers (n = 75), teachers (n = 25) and year 4 students (n = 40) in an urban school of Fiji completed paper-based questionnaires regarding: 75 students, 75 mothers, 75 fathers, 25 child-minders, and 25 teachers (N = 275). Participants spoke an average of three languages, ranging between one and six languages including: English (99.2%), Standard Fijian (86.4%), a Fijian dialect (76.8%), Fiji Hindi (66.1%), and additional languages (41.7%, e.g. Standard Hindi, Rotuman, Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Bislama, and Japanese). The common main languages spoken by participants were Standard Fijian, Fiji Hindi, or English. The students typically spoke the main language of both or one of their parents (92%). Consistent with teacher, parental, and student report, English was the main language spoken by the students at school. In the community, the students' language use was influenced by ethnicity of the communication partner and languages within the students' repertoire. The students were more likely to code-switch with their father, mother, or siblings than their grandparents. This study demonstrates linguistic multi-competence and emphasises the importance of considering the individuals' and communities' total linguistic repertoire and competence.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Elementary School Students, Bilingual Students, Multilingualism, Linguistic Competence, Urban Schools, Language Usage, Malayo Polynesian Languages, Indo European Languages, English, Ethnicity, Code Switching (Language), Questionnaires, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Fiji
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A