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The influence of exposure, parents, and linguistic distance on young European learners' foreign language comprehension
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
University of Barcelona.
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Multilingualism, ISSN 1479-0718, E-ISSN 1747-7530, Vol. 10, no 1, 105-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The project Early Language Learning in Europe (ELLiE) has studied the longitudinal effects of an early foreign language (FL) start in seven European contexts. This article presents a sub-study of ELLiE that investigates the impact of out-of-school factors on learners' listening and reading skills in year four of formal FL instruction. More specifically, we include Parents' educational level, parents' use of the FL professionally, exposure, interaction and cognate linguistic distance. Data were collected by means of listening and reading tests and a parents' questionnaire. Results of the statistical analyses show that cognate linguistic distance was the strongest predictor of both listening and reading scores, followed closely by exposure, and parents' FL use at work and international interaction at some distance. Parents' educational levels only impacted on reading scores, and domestic interaction did not have any effect on listening or reading. Furthermore, the results confirm previous research on young learners’ incidental FL acquisition through watching subtitled films, as watching films was the most powerful exposure type for both listening and reading. Parents' use of FL at work correlated significantly with exposure, indicating that the influence of parents would have an effect on the opportunities for their children's FL exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013. Vol. 10, no 1, 105-129 p.
Keyword [en]
beginning learners, foreign language acquisition, linguistic landscape
National Category
Languages and Literature Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-55126DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2012.679275OAI: diva2:525676
Available from: 2012-05-08 Created: 2012-05-08 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Eva
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