Intergenerational differences in family language policy of Turkish families in the Netherlands

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By using a quantitative approach, we examined the family language policy of Turkish parents in the Netherlands. Based on our earlier ethnographic work with 20 Turkish families and interviews with 35 parents, we designed and conducted a large-scale survey among 116 first-generation and 184 second-generation parents. The findings reveal that both first- and second-generation parents have bilingual language ideologies. Although second-generation parents are more positive about Dutch-oriented language practices of family members, both groups believe that Turkish should be a part of family life. Because parents establish a link between Turkish identity and culture, parents from both generations show strong attachment to Turkish language. Regarding language practices, both generations’ language preferences shift towards bilingualism although the first-generation choose to speak Turkish more. Second-generation parents and their third-generation children are more dominant in Dutch but they all report a preference for Turkish in the domestic domain. Regarding language management in the family, different generations of parents show different engagement strategies. With respect to the host society orientations to heritage language maintenance, the informants report unfavourable conditions in the Dutch media, politics and public institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-906
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022


  • Children
  • Dutch
  • Dutch Policy
  • Home
  • deologies
  • Knowledge
  • Turkish Immigrants
  • Family Language Policy
  • Heritage Language
  • Intergenerational Differences
  • Language Maintenance


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