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Attrition

Maintaining L1 competence in other-language settings

At a glance

  • Project leader : Prof. Dr. Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow
  • Project team : Dr. Laurence Aggeler
  • Project budget : CHF 10'000
  • Project status : completed
  • Funding partner : EU and other international programmes
  • Project partner : International Council for Canadian Studies
  • Contact person : Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow

Description

Our research project addresses the question of whether Canada’s official bilingualism policy might provide unexpected metalinguistic benefits to Canadians living abroad, such as protection from language attrition. We are investigating whether Anglophone and Francophone Canadians who grew up in Canada with official bilingualism have been able to retain their language competence and maintain natural use of their languages even after several years in an other-language community. A battery of test instruments developed to investigate language attrition in various settings as part of the ZHAW project Maintaining Natural English has been adapted for use with French- and English-speaking Canadians in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.