The Shift of the First Language During Migration

Sonia B SyGaco
Department of Communication, Negros Oriental State University, University in Dumaguete, Philippines

Dimensions

Plum Analytics

Abstract

Nine teenage Filipino-Germans were challenged to learn two languages when they moved to Dumaguete City, Philippines. These German native speakers were born in Germany and migrated to the Philippines with their German fathers and Filipino mothers. In this new environment, they have been exposed to communicating in Cebuano, the dominant language, and develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing English skills in school. The Can-do Scale test of Keijzer (2007) demonstrates their ability to learn a second language, with all responders willing to read, speak, and write in Cebuano and English. Short-term Filipino-Germans (who stayed in the Philippines for less than five years) prefer to listen to German on the radio or television, while long-term respondents (those who lived in the Philippines for more than five years) with dwindling German vocabulary favor listening to Cebuano and English. The study concludes that German respondents have gradually acquired Cebuano and English through time. The long-term migrants have forgotten their first language, as seen in their reading, speaking and writing skills. In contrast, the short-term migrants are still proficient in their first language despite the competition of the other two languages.

Keywords

  • First Language Attrition,
  • Speaking Skills,
  • Writing Skills,
  • Second Language Acquisition

References

  1. Adams, N., (2020) Domestic vs Foreign Immersion Experiences: Listening Comprehension of Multiple Dialects in Spanish, Brigham Young University, United States.
  2. Ameel, E., Malt, B., Storms, G., & Van Ascche, F., (2009) Semantic Convergence in the Bilingual Lexicon, Journal of Memory and Language, 60(2), 270-290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2008.10.001
  3. Andersen, R.W., (1982) Determining the linguistic attributes of language attrition, The loss of language skills, 83-117.
  4. Brown, A., & Gullenberg, M., (2011) Bidirectional cross-linguistic influence in event conceptualization? Expressions of Path among Japanese Learners in English, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 14(1), 79-94. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728910000064
  5. de las Fuentes Gutiérrez, E., (2020) The development of written expression in immigrant children from 6 to 9 years old, Open Linguistics, 6(1), 109-131. https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2020-0008
  6. Dorian, N., (1981) Language death, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, United States. https://doi.org/10.9783/9781512815580
  7. Hardach, S., (2018) Can you lose your native language?, Language, Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20180606-can-you-lose-your-native-language
  8. Isphording, I. E., (2015) What drives the language proficiency of immigrants?, IZA World of Labor. https://doi.org/10.15185/izawol.177
  9. Jakobson, R., (1941) Child language, aphasia and phonological universals, Mouton Publishers, The Hague.
  10. Jamshidiha, H., & Marefat, H., (2006) L1 Persian Attrition, The linguistics journal,1(1), 17-46. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.233.91&rep=rep1&type=pdf#page=17
  11. Kauffman, D., (2001) Tales of L1 attrition: Evidence from pre-puberty children, Sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives on maintenance and loss of minority languages, 185-202.
  12. Keijzer, M., (2007) First language attrition: A cross-linguistic investigation of Jakobson's regression hypothesis, International Journal of Bilingualism, 8(3), 389-393 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13670069040080030201
  13. Kroll, J. F., Dussias, P. E., Bice, K., & Perrotti, L., (2015) Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain, Annual Review of Linguistics, 1, 377-394. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-linguist-030514-124937
  14. Migration Observatory, (2019) English language use and proficiency of migrants in the UK, The Migration Observatory, London. Retrieved from https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/english-language-use-and-proficiency-of-migrants-in-the-uk/
  15. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2020) What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrants and their children?, OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/what-is-the-impact-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-on-immigrants-and-their-children-e7cbb7de/
  16. Paradis, M., (1985) On the Representation of Two Languages in the Brain, Language Sciences, 7(1), 1-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0388-0001(85)80010-3
  17. Paradis, M., (1997). The cognitive neuropsychology of bilingualism. In A. B. de Groot, & J. F. Kroll (Eds.), Tutorials in bilingualism: Psycholinguistic. Hillsdale New Jersey: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
  18. Pennington, D., (2020) Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension to Children of Migrant Workers, Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies, 7950. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/7950
  19. Sakai, K. L., Kuwamoto, T., Yagi, S., & Matsuya, K., (2021) Modality-Dependent Brain Activation Changes Induced by Acquiring a Second Language Abroad, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2021.631957
  20. Selinger, H., (1989) Deterioration and Creativity in Childhood Bilingualism, Bilingualism across the Lifespan, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom.
  21. Siegel, J.S., (2018) Migration and Language Change, Demographic and Socioeconomic Basis of Ethnolinguistics, Springer, 427-484. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-61778-7_12
  22. SyGaco, S. B., (2019) Death of the First Language among Filipino-Germans in Negros Island, Journal of Foreign Languages, Cultures and Civilizations, 7(1), 35-38. https://doi.org/10.15640/jflcc.v7n1a4
  23. SyGaco, S. B., (2020) A Case Study on Attitudes and Motivation among Filipino-Germans toward Language, Asian Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 3(3), 32-40. https://doi.org/10.34256/ajir20233

Downloads

PDF

Article Details

Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2022

Published 2022-03-21

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...