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Kristen, Cornelia
Mühlau, Peter
Schacht, Diana
Year of Publication: 
[Journal:] Ethnicities [ISSN:] 17412706 [Volume:] 16 [Issue:] 2 [Pages:] 180-212
This study examines processes of language acquisition among new immigrants from Poland and Turkey in different European destinations focusing on the first few months after arrival. Starting from a human capital framework, a variety of pre- and post-migration conditions of language learning are addressed, including economic and non-economic incentives, the amount of exposure to the destination language as well as learning efficiency. The empirical analyses are based on SCIP data, a two-wave panel on new immigrants in Europe. The longitudinal setup allows following the development of language skills over time, taking into account initial skill levels shortly after arrival as well as language acquisition thereafter. The analyses reveal that immigrants from both groups in all destination countries improve their language skills over time. There is also clear evidence that the conditions associated with efficiency, exposure, and incentives matter for language learning. Especially pre-migration exposure in school or other structured learning environments and post-migration exposure in terms of destination language use in various contexts are crucial to acquiring language proficiency. The empirical results apply to Poles and Turks in the different destinations likewise indicating that the processes fostering language acquisition follow a general logic.
Language proficiency
new immigrants
comparative research
The Netherlands
panel study
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Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich. - This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
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