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ERIC Number: EJ1415912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
EISSN: EISSN-1613-3684
Stability and Change in Young Children's Linguistic Experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insight from a Citizen-Science Sample in the United States
Federica Bulgarelli; Christine E. Potter
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v43 n2 p191-212 2024
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive lockdowns interrupted daily routines, including childcare. We asked whether these interruptions, and the inevitable changes in the people with whom children spent their waking hours, caused changes in the languages that children heard. We retrospectively queried parents of young children (0-4 years) in the US about childcare arrangements and exposure to English and non-English languages at four timepoints from February 2020 to September 2021. Despite discontinuity in childcare arrangements, we found that children's exposure to English versus other languages remained relatively stable. We also identified demographic variables (child age at pandemic onset, parental proficiency in a non-English language) that consistently predicted exposure to non-English languages. Thus, multilingually-exposed children in this population did not appear to significantly gain or lose the opportunity to hear non-English languages overall. These results provide insight into the experiences of this unique cohort and inform our understanding of how language development can be shaped by complex environmental systems.
De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: F32HD101216