Israel's English Speaking Immigrant Parents' Family Language Policy Management: Language in the Education Domain

Orly Kayam, Tijana Hirsch

Abstract


This study investigated family language policy (FLP) in the education domain by the English speaking immigrant community in Israel. In this study 232 parents completed the questionnaire on the availability of bilingual and/or English speaking preschools and/or kindergartens to them, their choice of linguistic environment for their children, and motives behind these choices, their attitudes toward bilingualism and toward English and Hebrew presence in their lives. About half of the parents reported not having bilingual and English only early education options for their children. Although most participants chose Hebrew early education settings, majority of those who reported having a choice, did select an alternative option for their child/children. Attitudes of parents in our sample were largely positive toward bilingualism and immersion programs. We found that, regardless of their attitude toward the amount of Hebrew and English in their lives, most parents' motivation in selection of early education settings was not emotionally driven, but rather logical and perhaps instrumental. Our findings point to complex motivational and attitudinal approaches of parents in selection of early education's linguistic environment for their children and the need for more bilingual and English early education settings in different parts of Israel to cater to this community.

 


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i1.2680

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