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ERIC Number: EJ748096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
The Effect of Majority Language Exposure on Minority Language Skills: The Case of Inuktitut
Allen, Shanley E. M.; Crago, Martha; Pesco, Diane
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v9 n5 p578-596 2006
Children who are native speakers of minority languages often experience stagnation or decline in that language when exposed to a majority language in a school or community situation. This paper examines such a situation among the Inuit of arctic Quebec. All 18 participants in the study were native speakers of Inuktitut, living in home environments that were functionally monolingual in Inuktitut. Half lived in communities with relatively high exposure to the majority language (English), while the other half lived in communities with low exposure. One third of each group were in Grade 3 (first year of school exposure to majority language), one third in Grade 8/9 (sixth year of school exposure) and one third were adults. Each participant narrated a 24-page wordless picture book (Frog Story) in Inuktitut. Narrations were analysed for story length, lexical diversity, grammatical complexity and narrative structure--all measures that are expected to increase or show improvement with increased language ability. Results are inconclusive; some suggest that higher exposure to English leads to stagnation in Inuktitut, while others do not. Methodological issues are discussed, and suggestions for further research are provided.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 8; Grade 9
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada