The Multilingual Home Literacy Environment: A questionnaire study into the literacy behaviour of adolescents within multilingual families

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2022-08-08
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en
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Language background appears to play an important role in the Dutch reading proficiency of adolescents within the Netherlands, which has been decreasing significantly between 2015 and 2018 (Gubbels, Van Langen, Maassen & Meelissen, 2019). Therefore, this thesis aimed to find out whether results from studies into the effects of socio-economic status (SES) on the Home Literacy Environment (HLE) of (younger) monolingual populations are replicable for (adolescent) multilingual populations, by comparing the HLE of multilingual families with different socio-economic backgrounds. A number of 17 adolescents of various language backgrounds aged 11 to 19 years old participated in the study. It was found that a higher average educational background of both parents in Dutch was associated with more print exposure for the child in the HL as reported by the parents. Moreover, a higher average educational background of both parents in Dutch was associated with a lower frequency of child literacy habits in Dutch as reported by the parents. Lastly, a better HL proficiency by the adolescent was associated with less Dutch use in the home as reported by both parents and adolescents. The implications of these results will be discussed in regard to the reviewed literature.
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