Attitudinal aspects of immigrants’ choice of home language

Beverly A. Lewin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the relationship between language- related attitudes of English speaking immigrants in Israel and their choice of LI or L2 (Hebrew) for communication with their Israeli-born children. A sample of 20 parents was interviewed. An unexpected finding was that lack of proficiency in L2 just as often encouraged a parent to choose L2 as LI. Among the other motivating factors, child-based reasons, including the estimated effects of bilingualism, were more significant overall than socially-based sentiments. Measures of traditionalism and nationalism and of prejudice for or against each language group did not discriminate between the two kinds of parents. However, attitudes toward the language per se were in the direction of language choice. Each group attributed more positive characteristics to its own choice then to the other language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-378
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987


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