Heritage Language Survey Report

Sec. 6/10: Previous Exposure to Written Language

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This section of questions focuses on HLLs’ exposure to their HL as a written language, as we know from experience and research that HLLs typically have lower exposure to the written language than to the spoken language.

21. What types of HL print did you have in your home when you were growing up? (Check as many as apply)

Question #21 reveals that HLLs grow up with a variety of HL print in their homes. The “Other” category mostly includes menus and package labels. The responses to this question resemble the responses to Question #22 about English-language print. However, the answers to both questions show lower reported frequencies of comic books, newsletters, and flyers in English, while the total numbers of English-language print materials are higher in each category. Responses for both languages are closest in the categories of newspapers and religious literature. The answers for #23 show what print HLLs currently have in their homes. A noticeable difference is in the prominence of dictionaries in the responses for #23, which is to be expected in a student’s home.

22. What types of ENGLISH-language print did you have in your home when you were growing up? (Check as many as apply.)

23. What types of HL print do you have in your home now? (Check as many as apply.)

24. Did your parents or other family member read to you in the HL when you were a young child? If so, what did they read? (Check as many as apply.)

342 (30%) of respondents reported that their parents never read to them in their HL. Among the respondents whose parents did read to them, most were read children’s stories (620, or 79%) or books (395, or 51%). Letters from relatives (249, or 32%), newspapers (250, or 32%), and religious literature (179, or 23%) were also frequently mentioned.