Long term bilingual immigrants often report that they perceive first language attrition after years of living in a second language surrounding. This paper focuses on the individual’s own perception concerning first language attrition and identity. It deals with questions such as: To what extent does living in another country and speaking another language influence one’s mother tongue? If individuals experience first language attrition, do they really ‘suffer’ from it? Is there any objective evidence for their supposed decline of language skills? Data from a study of attrition in German migrants in the Netherlands will be discussed, showing the close relation between language (decline) and identity as a result of interacting factors over the lifespan.
Burn, J.A., I. Crezee, K. Hastwell, E. Brugh & R. Harison
2014. ‘I study long, long time in my language, so I never forget it’: reading and first language maintenance. Intercultural Education 25:5 ► pp. 377 ff.
2012. Vocabulary Loss in the First Language. In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics,
2013. Investigating the impact of attitude on first language attrition and second language acquisition from a Dynamic Systems Theory perspective. International Journal of Bilingualism 17:6 ► pp. 716 ff.
2018. A Small-Scale Study on the Relationship between First Language Attrition and Language Attitudes in Polish Speakers in Sweden. Scando-Slavica 64:2 ► pp. 283 ff.
2019. The Linguistic Continuity of Ontario's Minority Francophone Population: Examining the Relationship between Culture and Linguistic Practices. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie 56:4 ► pp. 472 ff.
2016. Scientific justification of social policies: concepts of language and immigrant integration. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42:12 ► pp. 2049 ff.
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