The Importance of Maintaining a Heritage Language for the Acquisition of French (L3)

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: The Importance of Maintaining a Heritage Language for the Acquisition of French (L3)
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Marina Ruthmann, University of Wuppertal, Germany


Nowadays, the domains of multilingualism and heritage language education play an important role in the sphere of applied linguistics in Europe and especially in Germany. In this presentation, the major advantages of Greek and Italian heritage language knowledge of Greek-German and Italian-German bilingual learners for the acquisition of French will be displayed. The data of the conducted cross-sectional study were collected from January to July 2019 at seven high schools and seven heritage language education centers in the western part of Germany. In total, 50 Greek-German bilingual, 71 Italian-German bilingual and 64 German monolingual students in the age range between 12 and 19 years participated in this research. On the one hand, they filled in a questionnaire focusing on their linguistic background and on the other hand, the participants completed an elicitation test consisting of a comprehension and a production section with three French object pronoun constructions (present tense forms, modal forms and past tense forms). The obtained results reveal positive effects of the knowledge of Greek and Italian of Greek-German and Italian-German bilingual students for their successful acquisition of French pronouns.

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