Acculturative Experiences of the English-Speaking Immigrants and Repatriates in Israel

Orly Kayam, Tijana Hirsch

Abstract


This study focused on the attitudes, motivations, and experiences of the immigrants and repatriates from English speaking countries in Israel (n=232). Based on the welcoming national policy of ingathering of repatriates and the high regard for English language in Israel we predicted high motivational intensity in Hebrew language knowledge, English language maintenance and transmission to future generations, low anxiety levels in Hebrew language use, positive attitudes toward Israel and Israelis, and overall positive attitudes toward life in Israel. Our study supported these predictions and is based on the Acculturation Model and Interactive Acculturation Model (Berry, 1980, 1990, 1991, 1997; Bourhis et al., 1997), Common Ingroup Identity Model (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000), Similarity-Attraction Hypotesis (Byrne, 1971). Our findings point to a possible link between linguistic appreciation and healthier acculturation climate for both groups involved: the host and the immigrant. Educating the host community about the language of the immigrant may foster more inviting attitudes in the host community and in return support the integrative acculturative process of the incomers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/iss.v2i1.4560

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