Effect of Learning a New Language on Children's Willingness to Communicate
Huub van den Bergh |
Department of Modern Languages, Utrecht University, Institute for Teacher Education (ILO), University of Amsterdam,
The present study was set up to evaluate to what extent multilingual study groups can be considered homogeneous. A series of interviews were conducted to investigate the metacommunicative awareness of 101 children. We compared children who had learned an additional language in a formal context (abbreviated LLE, i.e. Language Learning Experience) to those who had not (abbreviated nLLE, i.e. without a Language Learning Experience). The primary outcome measure consisted of the reactions to an imaginary situation of communication. The results of the current study suggest that LLE children were more inclined to carry out the exchange than the nLLE children. Studying the same outcome measure, no such difference was identified when comparing monolingual to multilingual children. These findings indicate that with regard to the present tasks, the presence or absence of LLE may be a more relevant factor than mono- or multilingualism.
Article language: Dutch