Affective factors influencing plurilingual students' acquisition of Catalan in a Catalan-Spanish bilingual context

Mercè Bernaus, Emilee Moore, Adriana Cordeiro Azevedo

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored the affective factors influencing students' learning of Catalan across different year levels in a multilingual school community in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Questionnaires were distributed to 176 students, from 12 to 17 years of age, registered in a public secondary school, the majority of whom were not born in Catalonia. This study is unique for two reasons. First, many of the students were simultaneously learning 2 official languages - Catalan and Spanish - both inside and outside the classroom, plus 1 foreign language, English. Second, the instrument used to assess the affective variables made use of scales from 2 different models, by Dörnyei (2001) and Gardner (1985). There were 4 major results. First, it was found that the students used Catalan very infrequently in comparison to Spanish even though Catalan is an official language and is the language of the school. Second, the students' country of origin had relatively little influence on most of the affective measures. Third, attitudes and motivation decreased and language anxiety increased as year level increased. Finally, the constructs assessed by the scales in the 2 models (i.e., Dörnyei, 2001; Gardner, 1985) are largely factorially distinct, tapping different affective dimensions. © 2007 The Modern Language Journal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-246
JournalModern Language Journal
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007

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