“I hardly ever practice the real Standard German.” Self-reported language use and language proficiency in South Tyrol (Italy)
This paper deals with qualitative data on language use and self-assessments on language proficiency in multilingual speakers in South Tyrol (Italy). The first aim is to investigate empirically whether there has been a change in young people’s language use within certain domains (family, friends, and school). The second aim describes whether, after years of segregation between the language groups, a change in pupil’s language proficiency could be observed. Moreover, we also examine which extra-linguistic factors may influence their language competences in German, Italian and English. One way to investigate these aspects is through an empirical study on self-reported language use and language proficiency by the speakers themselves. The current survey was conducted in South Tyrol, an official trilingual province in northern Italy. The qualitative analyses are based on biographical interviews provided by 65 high school graduates (mean age: 19.3 years) attending German-language high schools in South Tyrol.
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