Language shift and host society attitudes: Dutch migrants who arrived in New Zealand between 1950 and 1965
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Language shift and host society attitudes - Dutch migrants who arrived in New Zealand between 1950 and 1965 Abstract A study published in 2010 reported on past and current language use of a group of older Dutch migrants in New Zealand. Respondents interviewed for the study consisted of 30 retired Dutch migrants, all of whom had arrived in New Zealand between 1950 and 1965 when they were aged between 18 and 35 years of age. All respondents were living in the Greater Auckland area and were aged between 65 and 92 at the time of the interview. All respondents were asked questions based on a sociolinguistic life questionnaire and asked about their language use and experiences since migration. Interviews were recorded and information from interviews and questionnaires was supplemented by data collected from participants’ adult children.This paper will focus on respondents’ comments in relation to their motivation to either maintain their L1 Dutch or shift to their L2 English in the home environment. It appeared that external societal attitudes affected respondents’ language use in a number of domains, including the home environment.