The influence of family, school, and community on bilingual preference: Results from a Louisiana/Quebec case study

The influence of family, school, and community on bilingual preference: Results from a Louisiana/Quebec case study

The influence of family, school, and community on bilingual preference: Results from a Louisiana/Quebec case study

The influence of family, school, and community on bilingual preference: Results from a Louisiana/Quebec case studys

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Référence bibliographique [6370]

Caldas, Stephen J. et Caron-Caldas, Suzanne. 2000. «The influence of family, school, and community on bilingual preference: Results from a Louisiana/Quebec case study ». Applied Psycholinguistics, vol. 21, no 3, p. 365-381.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« The current study attempts to extend our understanding of how the environnemental context is associated with a bilingual’s choice of language. » (p. 365)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
« The researchers-a mother and father- collected longitudinal data on their three children, who were reared to be French/English bilinguals from birth. [...] (p. 366) « The current study uses data gathered over the period from December 1994 throught December 1997. In December 1997, the son (John) was aged 12;7, and the identical twin daugthers (Valérie and Stéphanie) were aged 10;7. During the three-year period, the children spent the scholastic school years in Louisiana (approximately 9 to 91/2 months) and summers in Quebec (approximately 2 to 21/2 months). » (p. 369)

Instruments :
« We create a measure called the bilingual preference ratio (BPR) in order to track longitudinally a bilingual’s preference for speaking a given language, in shifting community contexts, within the relaxed setting of a bilingual family which has the choice language. »

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


« This case study examines the shifting bilingual preference of three French/English bilingual children over a three-year period. It also clarifies the distinction between the many often misleading terms used to refer to bilingual preference (i.e., a bilingual’s language choice). The children’s fluctuating bilingual preference is accounted for in terms of three contextual domains : home, school, and community. The home domain was predominantly French-speaking, while the community domain shifted between predominantly English-speaking Louisiana and French-speaking Quebec. The 10-year-old identical twin girls were in a French immersion program in Louisiana during the entire three-year period; their 12-year-old brother was not. A new, domain-sensitive longitudinal measure - the bilingual preference ratio (BPR)- was created and applied for each child using 36 months of weekly tape recordings of mealtime conversations. BPR fluctuations indicate that the greatest effect on the children’s language preference was community immersion in the target language. However, the twins’ markedly greater preference for speaking French at home in Louisiana is attributed to the influence of French immersion at school. » (p. 365)