This is the first large-scale, quantitative study of the evaluative dimensions and potential predictors of Quebec-based parents’ attitudes towards childhood multilingualism. Such attitudes are assumed to constitute a determinant of parental language choices, and thereby influence children’s multilingual development. The newly-developed Attitudes towards Childhood Multilingualism Questionnaire was used to gather data from 826 participants raising an infant/toddler aged 0-4 years with multiple languages in the home. The results reveal three separate dimensions: status and solidarity (the same dimensions found in attitudes towards individual languages) as well as cognitive development (not previously attested as a separate dimension). Participants’ approach to promoting multilingualism (and specifically, whether they used the one-person-one-language-approach) and the combination of languages transmitted (and specifically, whether this included a heritage language) correlated significantly with parental attitudes towards childhood multilingualism. Parents’ linguistic background and location within Quebec were not significant predictors of attitudes. The paper discusses directions for further research.
|Journal||Journal of Language and Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2022|
- language attitudes
- multilingual development
- intergenerational language transmission
- heritage languages
- family language policy