Bilinguality vs. Monolinguality among Kalhuri Kurdish Speakers: Gender, Social Class and English Language Achievement

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Shiraz University

Abstract

Today in multilingual contexts, many parents prefer to rear their children in the dominant language rather than in their mother tongue. This phenomenon is widespread among native speakers of Kalhuri dialect of the Kurdish language in the multilingual context of Iran, too. Nevertheless, some studies have evidenced the privilege of bilinguals in learning an additional language though some others have provided counterevidence in this regard. The present study chiefly intended to see if there was any difference between Kalhuri Kurdish learners who had been reared monolingually (using Persian) and the ones who had been reared bilingually (using both Kalhuri and Persian) in terms of their achievement in English. In addition, it aimed at exploring the relationship between gender and socioeconomic status and bilinguality vs. monolinguality. To achieve these purposes, data were gathered from 200 bilingual and 200 monolingual Kurd students living in the city of Kermanshah whose parents' native language was the Kalhuri dialect of Kurdish. Results of data analyses indicated that though gender had no relationship with bilinguality and monolinguality, most students from low socioeconomic class were reared bilingually. Moreover, the students reared bilingually outperformed their monolingual counterparts in terms of achievement in English.

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