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The influence of social factors on minority language engagement amongst young people: an investigation of Welsh-English bilinguals in North Wales

Morris, Jonathan 2014. The influence of social factors on minority language engagement amongst young people: an investigation of Welsh-English bilinguals in North Wales. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2014 (230) , pp. 65-89. 10.1515/ijsl-2014-0027

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Abstract

The majority of young Welsh speakers now come from English-speaking homes and reside in communities where English is the dominant language (Jones 2008: 550; Jones 2012: 6). Previous studies have shown, however, that these speakers use Welsh less than those from Welsh-speaking homes in Welsh-dominant communities (Jones 2008: 553). This article examines the correlation between speakers' backgrounds and their language attitudes, self-confidence in their language skills and use of Welsh. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 27 participants from two cohorts of Welsh-medium Sixth Form units in a Welsh-dominant area of North West Wales and an English-dominant area of North East Wales. While attitudes towards Welsh were generally positive, those from English-speaking homes feel less confident in their Welsh in both areas. The use of Welsh amongst those from English-speaking homes is also relatively low regardless of the dominant language of the community. Amongst those from Welsh-speaking homes, use is significantly lower amongst those who reside in the North East. It is suggested that these results are attributable to peer-group dynamics in the two areas: in the North West, language-specific peer groups were found whereas English was the language of all peer groups in the North East.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Welsh
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welsh-medium education; Welsh-English bilingualism; language attitudes; language planning; immersion education
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISSN: 1613-3668
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:52
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/65672

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