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The Impact of Mother Tongue Instruction on the Development of Biliteracy: Evidence from Somali-Swedish Bilinguals
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0444-2207
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
2017 (English)In: Applied Linguistics, ISSN 0142-6001, E-ISSN 1477-450XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study investigates if participation in mother tongue instruction (henceforth MTI) impacts the biliteracy proficiency of young bilinguals, drawing on examples from Somali–Swedish bilinguals and Somali MTI in a Swedish school context. In the study, biliteracy was operationalized as reading proficiency and vocabulary knowledge in two languages, which was tested with measures of word decoding, reading comprehension, and vocabulary breadth and depth. The study was designed to allow for cross-sectional, longitudinal, and cross-linguistic analyses of data. Overall, the results showed that participation in MTI contributed positively to participants’ results on Somali reading comprehension, beyond the influence of chronological age, age of arrival, and reported home language and literacy use. Furthermore, higher results in Somali were associated with higher results on the same measures in Swedish, in particular for the reading measures. In sum, the results indicate that MTI has an impact on some aspects of literacy proficiency in the mother tongue, despite the restricted time allocated for it (<1 h/week). They also indicate that MTI, albeit indirectly, may benefit the stated proficiencies in the language of schooling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
mother tongue instruction, literacy, bilingualism, Somali, Swedish
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Educational Sciences
Research subject
Bilingualism
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-143935DOI: 10.1093/applin/amx010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-143935DiVA: diva2:1105756
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721-2012-4275
Available from: 2017-06-05 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2017-06-08

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Ganuza, NataliaHedman, Christina
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Centre for Research on BilingualismDepartment of Language Education
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf