Young children's perception and experiences regarding their native language development
Muniz, Nilsa M.
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This case study examined the perception, experiences and additional factors that influence the development of young children's native language as they learn English as a second language. The study also examined the participants' perception of the status of both, English and Spanish, in relation to the maintenance and/or loss of the native language, Spanish. Data were collected on Hispanic children, ages seven to ten, through interviews and observations. The research found that children perceive that their parents and teachers have positive attitudes toward developing a bilingual identity, and therefore they invest in becoming bilingual students even when powerful external and internal societal pressures, such as language status, exposure to the majority language, need to assimilate to the majority culture, and need to master the second language, may present challenges to doing so.