ERIC Number: EJ797359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Changing Bilingual Self-Perceptions from Early Adolescence to Early Adulthood: Empirical Evidence from a Mixed-Methods Case Study
Caldas, Stephen J.
Applied Linguistics, v29 n2 p290-311 Jun 2008
In the emerging tradition of language socialization research, this study examines the changing bilingual self-perceptions of three children, identical twin girls and their older brother, from early adolescence through early adulthood. The children were reared in a predominantly French-speaking home in south Louisiana by French/English bilingual parents, but spent summers in French-speaking Quebec. When the children were aged 12;10 and 10;10 respectively, they completed two author-constructed instruments: one which allowed self-reporting of various dimensions of their French-proficiency, and the other designed to gauge their perceptions of their bilingualism and biculturalism. At two subsequent intervals, approximately five years and eight years later, respectively, the subjects completed the same two instruments. The children's responses at Time1, Time2 and Time3 were compared and analyzed to gauge how their perceptions of their proficiency in French had changed over the course of their adolescence. Both paired-sampled t-tests and correlations were generated between and among the children at Time1, Time2, and Time3. The author's ethnographic field notes, interviews with the children, and a quantitative measure of French preference are used to help interpret the results. In general, the children valued their bilingualism and biculturalism much more as older adolescents and young adults than as younger adolescents. This seems to be at least partly the result of the greater exertion of peer pressure in early adolescence, which in the US venue in particular did not place high value on bilingualism. The children also exhibit greater bilingual self-confidence and diminished self-consciousness as older adolescents, as they moved toward identity-achievement.
Descriptors: Early Adolescents, Young Adults, Adolescents, Biculturalism, Peer Influence, French, Self Concept, Twins, Siblings, Bilingualism, Age Differences, Language Proficiency, Attitude Measures, Language Usage, Ethnicity, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States