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Three Languages in Early Childhood
Sabina Kramer, 2019, master's thesis

Abstract: Moving all over the world can result in mixed marriages and households. Parents with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds are faced with the dilemma of how raising their children in a multilingual environment. The aim of this work is to provide the reader with insight into a complex situation of multilingual upbringing. This paper deals with the development of children’s trilingualism, specifically with the children growing up with two languages from birth and one additional language soon afterwards. The results of the family case study show that raising children with three languages requires organisation and consistency. Moreover, the children's language proficiency in all three languages is connected to the amount of exposure to each language. The English linguistic competence is lower in comparison to Slovene and Spanish; this is attributed to the fact that the children had smaller exposure to English language. Furthermore, all three research subjects have been codeswitching; the oldest research subject did not codeswitch in the earlier language production but after being exposed to three languages for a longer period of time. On the other hand, the younger research subjects who were exposed to English at a much earlier age, codeswitched more in the earlier English language production. The children codeswitched in all three languages; however, at present, most codeswitches are in Slovenian and English.
Keywords: bilingualism, family bilingualism, trilingualism, multilingual upbringing
Published: 28.10.2019; Views: 340; Downloads: 0

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