Quebec-Based Parents’ Concerns Regarding Their Children’s Multilingual Development

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Quebec-Based Parents’ Concerns Regarding Their Children’s Multilingual Development
The authors note that many parents express concerns for their children’s multilingual development, yet little is known about the nature and strength of these concerns – especially among parents in multilingual societies. Their pre-registered, questionnaire-based study addresses this gap by examining the concerns of 821 Quebec-based parents raising infants and toddlers aged 0–4 years with multiple languages in the home. The authors found that factor analysis of parents’ Likert-scale responses revealed that parents had (1) concerns regarding the effect of children’s multilingualism on their cognition, and (2) concerns regarding children’s exposure to and attainment of fluency in their languages. Concern strength was moderate to weak, and cognition concerns were weaker than exposure-fluency concerns. Transmission of a heritage language, transmission of three or more languages, presence of developmental issues, and less positive parental attitudes towards childhood multilingualism were associated with stronger concerns. The authors’ conclude that their findings have both theoretical and practical implications: they advance our understanding of parental concerns and facilitate the development of support for multilingual families.
International Journal of Multilingualism
Published online 16 March 2023
Quirk, Erin, Melanie Brouillard, Alexa Ahooja, Susan Ballinger, and Linda Polka. “Quebec-Based Parents’ Concerns Regarding Their Children’s Multilingual Development.” International Journal of Multilingualism (March 16, 2023).
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