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ERIC Number: EJ874570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Age of Onset of Bilingualism, Language Use, and the Volitional Subjunctive in Heritage Learners of Spanish
Mikulski, Ariana M.
Heritage Language Journal, v7 n1 p28-46 Win 2010
The present study investigates heritage learners' recognition of native-like and non-native-like mood selection in Spanish volitional constructions along two dimensions: age of onset of bilingualism in English (operationalized as age of arrival) and language use. Thirty-two heritage learners completed a grammaticality judgment (GJ) and an editing task, along with a background questionnaire about family language use, time abroad, and formal Spanish instruction. Participants born in the U.S. or who immigrated before age 6 were defined as early childhood bilinguals; the late childhood bilinguals had arrived in the U.S. between the ages of 6 and 12. No significant differences in ability to recognize Spanish volitional constructions were found between the early and late bilingual groups, but significant relationships were found between performance and several aspects of language use, including predominant home use of Spanish in the past and multiple trips abroad to hispanophone countries. Results suggest that age of arrival may be an inadequate proxy for age of onset of bilingualism and that language use may be an equally or more important determinant of language abilities. (Contains 5 tables, 1 figure, and 5 notes.)
National Heritage Language Resource Center and UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. 1333 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1411. Tel: 310-825-1138; Fax: 310-206-5183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A