Home and school language practices and their effects on heritage language acquisition: a view from heritage italians in Germany

  • This paper intends to provide some speculative remarks on how consistency and continuity in language use practices within and across contexts inform heritage language acquisition outcomes. We intend “consistency” as maintenance of similar patterns of home language use over the years. “Continuity” refers to the possibility for heritage language speakers to be exposed to formal education in the heritage language. By means of a questionnaire study, we analyze to what extent Italian heritage families in Germany are consistent in their use of the heritage language with their children. Furthermore, by analyzing the educational offer related to Italian as a heritage language across different areas in Germany, we reflect on children’s opportunities to experience continuity between home and school language practices. Finally, we interpret the results of previous studies on Italian heritage language acquisition through the lens of consistency and continuity of language experience. In particular, we show that under the appropriate language experience conditions (involving consistency and continuity), heritage speakers may be successful even in the acquisition of linguistic phenomena that have been shown to be acquired late in first language acquisition.
Author:Irene Caloi, Jacopo Torregrossa
Parent Title (English):Languages
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/17
Date of first Publication:2021/03/17
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/05/26
Tag:L1-timing of acquisition; consistency; continuity; education in a heritage language; heritage Italian; home language use; input; parental strategies
Issue:1, art. 50
Page Number:20
First Page:1
Last Page:20
Institutes:Neuere Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Neuere Philologien
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0