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ERIC Number: EJ884493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Exploring the Relationship between Family Language Policy and Heritage Language Knowledge among Second Generation Russian-Jewish Immigrants in Israel
Schwartz, Mila
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v29 n5 p400-418 2008
The family unit and home domain have been and remain important in heritage language maintenance efforts. There are complex relationships between parental language attitudes, their application in everyday language management activities and the children's knowledge of home language vocabulary. The present large-scale study examined the family policy factors affecting first language (L1) maintenance among second generation Russian-Jewish immigrants in Israel in light of Spolsky's (2004) model of language policy. Participants in the study were 70 Russian-Hebrew-speaking children with a mean age of 7,2 (years, months). After investigating the factors that influence Russian vocabulary knowledge, I constructed a composite measure of Russian lexical knowledge. In addition, structured questionnaires for parents and children were developed to collect data on language policy at home. The results attest to the crucial role of teaching literate L1 in both family and non-formal educational settings and to the children's positive approach toward home language acquisition. A range of non-linguistic factors (demographic, social and cultural) creates a favourable background for the survival of the heritage language among emigrants. At the same time, the data reveal inconsistencies in language policy at home and a tendency toward the co-existence of the first and second languages. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel