Language attitudes, practices, and concerns of bi-/multilingual families raising infants and toddlers
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Description: The early years are a critically important period in language acquisition. Infants’ and toddlers’ language exposure and interactions, which predominantly occur in the family context at this age, are foundational to successful development. However, in families who use two or more languages, children’s language environments and their acquisition achievements are highly variable and complex. Many parents have questions and concerns about how to best support their bi-/multilingual infants and toddlers, but unfortunately science has so far provided few empirically-supported answers. This project investigates Quebec-based parents’ attitudes and ideologies regarding childhood multilingualism, their concerns, their linguistic behaviours to support their children’s multilingual development, and their use of resources in order to do so. Our focus is on Quebec-based families across a full range of bi- and multilingual language configurations: English-French, English-Other, French-Other, and English-French- Other. In Stage 1 of the project, we conducted small-scale focus groups and interviews to identify key themes, using open-ended questions and discussions. Stage 2 now focuses on quantitative as well as qualitative data elicited from a much larger sample by means of a questionnaire (based on the focus group and interview findings).
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