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Engagement in the Country of Origin Matters Little for Recent Migrants’ Second-Language Proficiency

Source: vofpalabra

In 2016, many Turkish migrants living in Europe expressed their loyalty towards their country of origin in the wake of the attempted military coup. This triggered various media outlets to make allegations about engagement in the country of origin hampering integration. Recently, Nella Geurts (Radboud University) & Marcel Lubbers (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute/KNAW/University of Groningen) questioned this assessment and investigated the relationship between migrants’ engagement with the country of origin and second-language proficiency from a quantitative perspective. Concretely, they looked at data from the New Immigrants to the Netherlands Survey (NIS2NL), which contains panel data of Polish and Turkish migrants who recently arrived in the Netherlands, to study their development of Dutch language proficiency. Their main results indicate no association between engagement with the country of origin and proficiency in Dutch, and proved that both processes develop over time without necessarily interacting. Accordingly, the study shows that there is little need to be concerned about country of origin engagement with respect to migrants’ second-language acquisition.

Author(s) of the original publication: 
Daniela Vono de Vilhena