This paper addresses the long-term effects of being exposed to a language early in life for a limited period of time, as is the case in international adoptees. Recent findings are divided as to whether such a situation will lead to sequential monolingualism or whether speakers do remain bilingual to some extent, although they cannot readily access their vestigial first language (L1) knowledge. Similarly, it has been debated whether a complete switch in language use will provide a qualitative advantage for second language (L2) learning. The present paper investigates L1 and L2 proficiency among German Jews who escaped from Germany at ages 9-15 years either on a Kindertransport, to be placed in English speaking foster families, or in the company of their family. The results suggest that age plays a more important role than context in both L1 retention and L2 development.
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Cited by 15 other publications
Baladzhaeva, Liubov & Batia Laufer
2018. Is first language attrition possible without second language knowledge?. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 56:2 ► pp. 103 ff.
Bylund, Emanuel, Niclas Abrahamsson, Kenneth Hyltenstam & Gunnar Norrman
2019. Revisiting the bilingual lexical deficit: The impact of age of acquisition. Cognition 182 ► pp. 45 ff.
Caldwell-Harris, Catherine L. & Brian MacWhinney
2023. Age effects in second language acquisition: Expanding the emergentist account. Brain and Language 241 ► pp. 105269 ff.
2019. The Late(r) Bird Gets the Verb? Effects of Age of Acquisition of English on Adult Heritage Speakers’ Knowledge of Subjunctive Mood in Spanish. Languages 4:3 ► pp. 69 ff.
Karayayla, Tuğba & Monika S. Schmid
2019. First Language Attrition as a Function of Age at Onset of Bilingualism: First Language Attainment of Turkish-English Bilinguals in the United Kingdom. Language Learning 69:1 ► pp. 106 ff.
2020. Stability and attrition in American Norwegian nominals: a view from predicate nouns. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 23:1 ► pp. 3 ff.
Kootstra, Gerrit Jan, Ton Dijkstra & Marianne Starren
2015. Second Language Acquisition. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, ► pp. 349 ff.
Lahmann, Cornelia, Rasmus Steinkrauss & Monika S. Schmid
2016. Factors Affecting Grammatical and Lexical Complexity of Long-Term L2 Speakers’ Oral Proficiency. Language Learning 66:2 ► pp. 354 ff.
Lahmann, Cornelia, Rasmus Steinkrauss & Monika S. Schmid
2019. Measuring linguistic complexity in long‐term L2 speakers of English and L1 attriters of German. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 29:2 ► pp. 173 ff.
2018. Perceived effectiveness of language acquisition in the process of multilingual upbringing by parents of different nationalities. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21:6 ► pp. 647 ff.
Ramonaitė, Jogilė Teresa & Meilutė Ramonienė
2021. How, when and why can the mother-tongue language be forgotten? The case of international adoption. Taikomoji kalbotyra 16 ► pp. 1 ff.
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