The attainment of language proficiency is an important issue in the economic, social, and political adjustment of new immigrants. This study investigated language proficiency and use among a sample of new immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel. Past studies relied on an expanded human capital model that conceptualizes language proficiency attainment as a function of economic incentives, exposure, and ability. In this study I expanded the model and argued that factors present prior to migration, such as proactive motivation for migration and the social reaction of the local society to immigrants, influence the process as well. The hypothesis was tested in a sample of immigrants from the FSU in Israel. The findings supported the argument that societal attitudes to immigrants are an important factor in the understanding of language proficiency and use among immigrants. The findings and their implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science