Anxiety, language use and linguistic competence in an immigrant context

A vicious circle?

Yesim Sevinc, Albert Backus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

By exploring two novel concepts, heritage language anxiety (HLA) and majority language anxiety (MLA), this study draws attention to the hitherto neglected topic of language anxiety in immigrant and minority contexts. Based on semi-structured interviews with three generations of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands (n = 30), we investigate why members of an immigrant community experience language anxiety and how it affects them. Findings suggest that language anxiety in the immigrant context, in both its HLA and MLA manifestations, can be attributed to linguistic and socioemotional causes. These linguistic and socioemotional causes, however, are occasionally difficult to isolate and they often interact in bringing about a number of negative consequences. Immigrants may ultimately avoid using the language about which they feel anxious, which will in turn cause further problems in terms of conflicted identities and reduced proficiency in the language concerned. We thus propose that there is a vicious circle that connects bilinguals’ language knowledge, language use and language anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbern3 (20170719)
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of bilingual education and bilingualism
Volumen3 (20170719)
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017

Fingerprint

linguistic competence
immigrant
anxiety
language
cause
Anxiety
Language Anxiety
Language Use
Linguistic Competence
Immigrants
linguistics
Netherlands

Keywords

  • Language anxiety
  • immigrant context
  • majority language anxiety (MLA)
  • heritage language anxiety (HLA)
  • causes and effects
  • Turkish immigrants

Cite this

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title = "Anxiety, language use and linguistic competence in an immigrant context: A vicious circle?",
abstract = "By exploring two novel concepts, heritage language anxiety (HLA) and majority language anxiety (MLA), this study draws attention to the hitherto neglected topic of language anxiety in immigrant and minority contexts. Based on semi-structured interviews with three generations of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands (n = 30), we investigate why members of an immigrant community experience language anxiety and how it affects them. Findings suggest that language anxiety in the immigrant context, in both its HLA and MLA manifestations, can be attributed to linguistic and socioemotional causes. These linguistic and socioemotional causes, however, are occasionally difficult to isolate and they often interact in bringing about a number of negative consequences. Immigrants may ultimately avoid using the language about which they feel anxious, which will in turn cause further problems in terms of conflicted identities and reduced proficiency in the language concerned. We thus propose that there is a vicious circle that connects bilinguals’ language knowledge, language use and language anxiety.",
keywords = "Language anxiety , immigrant context, majority language anxiety (MLA), heritage language anxiety (HLA) , causes and effects, Turkish immigrants",
author = "Yesim Sevinc and Albert Backus",
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language = "English",
volume = "n3 (20170719)",
journal = "International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism",
issn = "1367-0050",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

Anxiety, language use and linguistic competence in an immigrant context : A vicious circle? / Sevinc, Yesim; Backus, Albert.

In: International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism, Vol. n3 (20170719), n3 (20170719), 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Anxiety, language use and linguistic competence in an immigrant context

T2 - A vicious circle?

AU - Sevinc, Yesim

AU - Backus, Albert

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - By exploring two novel concepts, heritage language anxiety (HLA) and majority language anxiety (MLA), this study draws attention to the hitherto neglected topic of language anxiety in immigrant and minority contexts. Based on semi-structured interviews with three generations of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands (n = 30), we investigate why members of an immigrant community experience language anxiety and how it affects them. Findings suggest that language anxiety in the immigrant context, in both its HLA and MLA manifestations, can be attributed to linguistic and socioemotional causes. These linguistic and socioemotional causes, however, are occasionally difficult to isolate and they often interact in bringing about a number of negative consequences. Immigrants may ultimately avoid using the language about which they feel anxious, which will in turn cause further problems in terms of conflicted identities and reduced proficiency in the language concerned. We thus propose that there is a vicious circle that connects bilinguals’ language knowledge, language use and language anxiety.

AB - By exploring two novel concepts, heritage language anxiety (HLA) and majority language anxiety (MLA), this study draws attention to the hitherto neglected topic of language anxiety in immigrant and minority contexts. Based on semi-structured interviews with three generations of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands (n = 30), we investigate why members of an immigrant community experience language anxiety and how it affects them. Findings suggest that language anxiety in the immigrant context, in both its HLA and MLA manifestations, can be attributed to linguistic and socioemotional causes. These linguistic and socioemotional causes, however, are occasionally difficult to isolate and they often interact in bringing about a number of negative consequences. Immigrants may ultimately avoid using the language about which they feel anxious, which will in turn cause further problems in terms of conflicted identities and reduced proficiency in the language concerned. We thus propose that there is a vicious circle that connects bilinguals’ language knowledge, language use and language anxiety.

KW - Language anxiety

KW - immigrant context

KW - majority language anxiety (MLA)

KW - heritage language anxiety (HLA)

KW - causes and effects

KW - Turkish immigrants

U2 - 10.1080/13670050.2017.1306021

DO - 10.1080/13670050.2017.1306021

M3 - Article

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