Language Use and Family Transmission in Migration Context

  • Stephanie CondonEmail author
  • Corinne Régnard
Part of the INED Population Studies book series (INPS, volume 8)


This chapter analyses the foreign language usage of migrants to France over the last 50 years. The TeO survey enables us to place language usage in the context of individual linguistic repertoires and migration trajectories, taking account of social characteristics and transnational practices. The use of languages other than French evolves in response to strong competition from the majority language. Moreover, many immigrants from countries with historical colonial links to France spoke French even before arriving in the country.

After a first part devoted to immigrants’ linguistic skills and their command of French, the chapter then describes the profile of immigrants who continue to speak other languages, the context in which they use them, and the factors that favour their continued use, notably family transmission. The last part examines the extent to which family languages are mastered by descendants of immigrants after reaching adulthood. Placing different languages in perspective reveals the degree to which individuals acknowledge this transmission as a cultural inheritance and/or a resource that can also be mobilized outside the family sphere. Attitudes in this respect vary from one language to another.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut national d’études démographiques (INED)ParisFrance
  2. 2.DPMParisFrance

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