|Budget Amount *help
¥1,600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,600,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1995 : ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,100,000)
The present study is a pre-hypothetical observation, attempting to relate the bilingual acquisition of children being raised in international families to the many variables in their social and linguistic environments. A refined and expanded version of previously-piloted research questionnaires was administered and valid data was obtained from 259 subject families in which the parents are of different mother tongues. Altogether, the data includes subjects of 38 nationalities and 32 languages. To categorize the present data, the author applies a typology of language use patterns tentatively proposed after the earlier studies. Doing so serves to examine the validity and usability of the typology.
The study shows that the patterns of language use were : (1) among three categories of familial interlocutors--parents of different mother tongues, Japanese mother-tongue parent and her/his children, and among siblings--the bilingual type, in which multiple languages are used, is found in an approximately equal distribution with the monolingual type, in which only one language is used ; (2) the bilingual type is most often selected when the parents are speaking with their children ; (3) more bilingual type interlocution than monolingual type is found in the communication between the minority language mother-tongue parent and the children. This analysis also revealed a small number of cases in which the common language among family members is not the native language of either parent.
As a whole, many families show a positive attitude toward bilingualism and are trying to raise their children bilingually, believing that Japanese society favorably perceives bilingual speakers of their particular mother tongues. On the other hand, the results show quite a number of families who feel that Japanese evaluation of bilinguals differs, according to the languages.