Immigrant parents' choice of a bilingual versus monolingual kindergarten for second-generation children: Motives, attitudes, and factors

Mila Schwartz, Victor Moin, Mark Leikin, Anna Breitkopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated how immigrant parents describe and explain their family language policy concerning their child's preschool bilingual development, and also explored the factors linked to the parents' choice of bilingual or monolingual kindergarten for their child. The study design was based on a comparison of 2 groups of parents: those who chose bilingual versus monolingual kindergartens. The research model consisted of 3 groups of variables: the sociocultural and linguistic profile of these groups of parents, their language policy (language ideology, practice, and management), and the parents' representations about their child's proficiency in the both languages. The article presents results of a self-administered questionnaire. The sample (n = 111) included bilingual (Russian-Hebrew) young adult immigrants in Israel from the former Soviet Union. Three factors were found to be most significantly related to the parents' choice of kindergarten and their general attitudes toward their child's bilingual development: the number of children in the family, the parents' identification with Russian culture, and the child's well-being as a motivating factor in the choice of kindergarten. The results also show that, for both groups, the FLP was vaguely defined and unplanned, and it varied considerably within 1 immigrant language community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by the grants awarded to Dr. Mila Schwartz by the Kreitman Postdoctoral fellowship (Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel) and by the Edmond J. SAFRA Foundation. The funders had no role in the decision to publish or in the preparation of the manuscript.


  • Family language policy
  • Parents' perceptions
  • Preschool bilingual education
  • Russianspeaking Israeli
  • Second-generation immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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