Chapter published in:Integration, Identity and Language Maintenance in Young Immigrants: Russian Germans or German Russians
Edited by Ludmila Isurin and Claudia Maria Riehl
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 44] 2017
► pp. 197–224
Chapter 7. Language attitudes and linguistic skills in young heritage speakers of Russian in Germany
Abstract The present study analyzes attitudes of young second generation migrants towards Russian as their first language and considers the correlation between attitudes and linguistic skills in Russian. First, attitudinal factors obtained from a questionnaire are analyzed according to the three-component model of attitudes. One main finding is that a loyal and emotional relationship towards Russian was exhibited by the 44 adolescent participants. Second, subjective and objective data for language skills (self assessments and test data) in Russian are presented. Finally, the interplay between the attitudinal factors and language skills is analyzed using Principal Component Analysis. Two main factors are identified: Firstly, the appreciation of Russian as a cultural value and secondly, the importance of Russian as a means of communication between peers. While self-assessments of competence in Russian are correlated to the first and speech rate to the second factor, morphological competence is correlated to both factors.
Keywords: heritage language, language attitudes, language maintenance, linguistic skills
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