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Lockdown Project

Multilingual families in lockdown

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The covid-19 pandemic has affected families in the Netherlands in many different ways. In 2021 the Lockdown Project investigated how the pandemic affected multilingual families in particular. Since the outbreak of the pandemic we’ve all had to follow social distancing measures and our daily lives have been restricted in many ways. During the lockdown, many children were forced to do their schoolwork at home due to (partial) school closures. It’s possible that this has had an impact on the language use in multilingual families because children. Therefore, the aim of this project was to investigate the impact of the lockdown on multilingual families. We looked at the effects of the pandemic on children and parents’ language use, their language proficiency, and their attitudes towards the different languages, and family well-being.

The results of the project are now available in the form of a report (English (pdf, 3,1 MB), Dutch) (pdf, 3,1 MB) and an infographic (English (pdf, 1,1 MB), Dutch (pdf, 1,1 MB)).

If you have any questions about the project or our report, please send an email to sharon.unsworth@ru.nl.

Who are we?

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We are a group of (research) master students who, under the supervision of Dr Sharon Unsworth, worked on this project as part of the course Child Bilingualism during the Spring/Summer semester of 2021. We carried out a complete study – from start to finish – in the period from February to July, gaining direct experience in all the steps involved in doing research and learning first-hand what’s involved in such a project. We analyzed part of the data we gathered for our coursework. The full dataset was analyzed and written up into the final report by Caya van Dijk, Marieke van den Akker and Sharon Unsworth.

More info about multilingual families in lockdown?

Listen to the episode of the Kletsheads podcast on this topic. It’s available in English here and in Dutch here.