This study examines the role of family
structure in the development of different levels of bilinguality. Students from
five different public and private universities responded to an extensive survey
on various aspects of bilinguality. Participants were divided into three
groups: monolinguals, non-fluent bilinguals and fluent bilinguals. In line with
the initial hypothesis, higher levels of bilinguality correlated with having more
bilingual family members. Also further evidence was found for the importance of
the mother, father and sisters in becoming bilingual. Additionally, the
presence of bilingual step-parents and grandparents on acquisition and
maintenance of a second language was examined and fund to be much less influential
than the role of the parents. Finally, the influence of socio-economic status
(SES) on development of bilinguality was measured with no clear effect being
found. The unique contribution of this study is that it attempts to connect the
influence of specific family members to different levels of bilinguality.
Cite this paper
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