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The final product should conform to the genre and structure specific to your discipline requirements.  These specifications are to be confirmed by your supervisor and/ or unit coordinator.

Some further suggestions about what might be appropriate to include in a project proposal are provided below. Note that these are suggestions only. Some projects have a greater design focus/literature focus/experimental focus. This may influence the preferred format of the report. Some supervisors may like a greater focus on the plan, others on the literature survey. Hence, it is important to discuss with your supervisor.

Describe an existing gap in the knowledge derived from the analysis of the literature, and

Discuss how addressing this gap will make a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

The Influence of Parental Proficiency on Language Acquisition

Several studies that are related to the patterns of intergenerational transmission of languages in our societies have been carried out by different scholars as well as institutional learnings in a bid to identify all the possible effects of the skills of the parents when choosing the language to be used by their children. The studies have also been on the forefront in identifying the effects of the policies that reduce the acquisition cost of any second language. In this regard, it has been well laid out in several documents and articles that the many immigrants who are well adapted to the language of the host country often enjoy a wage premium and also that they do enjoy the knowledge of foreign languages that tend to have an influence on the pattern of international trade of the given country. This is in relation to a publishing by authors (Bleakley and Chin, 2004).

A study carried out by Di Paolo and Caminal also came out with a vital recognition that the extra skills in languages that are always redundant when considering the communication point of view have also always had an influence on the behavior of individuals who are in the marriage market. This often leads to a rise in the proportion of mixed couples. Most notably, it was also realized that there is a valuable wage return to the enhanced skills of language that are induced by a means of implementation of the reform in the language in education. This also adds to the point where most immigrants tend to enjoy a valuable wage premium (Caminal and Di Paolo, 2015).

The native language, commonly referred to as the mother tongue, has always been deemed as a vital ingredient to any individual repertoire in language. Most commonly, for those individuals with little knowledge of the additional languages, it is evident that the language that was learned at home during their childhood days will always become the main, and most commonly the only, tool of communication. It is true that even for those individuals who have shown proficiency and fluency in the second language, or even the third, their native language will always play the main role in communication simply because of some emotional attachment that most individuals tend to develop towards their native language ((Caminal and Di Paolo, 2016).

This type of attachment is in most cases is in relation to some tight link between culture, language, political or ethnic identity. A study conducted by scholars Frankel and Rose on the effect on the native language of individuals as well as the role it plays in communication did form the basis of this argument. Also when considering the point of view or the context from which a specific language can be discriminated against, it is realized that the native language will still act as the predictor of social outcomes and labor market which has always contributed to the existing inequalities throughout the life cycle of an individual.

The Role of Native Language in Communication

In this context, therefore, the investigation of the intergenerational languages transmission is very vital when understanding the dynamics of the distribution of the skills in language as well as the strength of the forces that result to the consolidation of the languages of the world. At any point the languages are transmitted to the different generations, the advantages and the disadvantages that are always related to having a specific native language in the social and economic performance will, therefore, be inherited from the succeeding generation and hence it will continue to exist over time (Caminal and Di Paolo, 2015).

Economic research that is related to the intergenerational transmission of languages are still inadequate and they have fixated on the immigrant’s behavior. Researchers Barkley and Chin have carried out studies for different countries on the influence of the parental proficiency in the language of the host country on the proficiency of language of their children and how they relate to the outcomes of the labor market. Their research capitulated on the differences in the performances between the first and second immigrants and the natives in the communities where there are well defined dominant languages.

One shortcoming, however, is that little is known on the language transmission in those countries that have two languages that are deemed co-official and are legally protected by several institutions, commonly referred to as the bilingual societies. These societies have made these languages often enjoy a high social status and are therefore most commonly used. Many existing study works and research are only based on the association between the language proficiency of the parents and parents while they do not put into consideration the duties played by the choices of language.

 Their research therefore explicitly gives an analysis of the transmission of languages and not the language skills. They argue that focusing on the choices of language instead of the language skills is very important when understanding the language related dynamics and inequalities from one generation to another given that the language proficiency intergenerational persistence could be pushed by several other factors besides the choices of language. These factors include the quality, school, and even the neighborhood characteristics (Clots-Figueras and Masella 2013).

The empirical analysis entails the estimation of the relationship that exists between the native language of individual and the language her first born child is being addressed to in the early stages having it in mind that the exogenous individual's traits are included in the vector X. the straight line equation involved is in the form;

Language Transmission in Bilingual Societies

(τ) fixed effects and X individual’s age polynomial, child’s age polynomial, gender dummy, wave dummy in the baseline specification putting more emphasis on the extensive set of control.

An estimated measure of covers the conditional relationship that exists between individual’s mother language and the language that the child is addressed with during the early development stages. The OLS estimation extents shows the causal effects of the native language can be assumed to be exogenous in order to analyse the heterogeneity of the relationship between the parental mother language and the language in which the child is addressed in stage 5 and by allowing the to be dependable on the Catalan skills of the individual “i” I.e. because of the self-reporting, the viability of the child ability to master the native language could not be exogenous. This possibility is however tested by the robust and the general outcome if stable and even by accepting the endogeneity in the mother tongue.

The estimate of represents the conditional expectation of LC for a parent using the Spanish language as mother tongue with no skills in Catalan and represents the conditional expectation of LC for those using Spanish as their first language with no Catalan with

Moreover, both the language transmitted to the child and language fluency are likely to correlate with common unobserved factors, which would generate the typical omitted variable bias in the OLS estimation of equation (3). Finally, as long as oral proficiency in Catalan is a self-reported measure of language skills, it could be measured with error due to the general tendency of overstating language fluency in self-reported surveys’ questions.   Therefore, we exploit the exogenous change in language proficiency among Spanish native speakers induced by “Language Normalization Act” (LNA) of 1983 (Mélitz, 2008).

As explained in Section 2, this language-in-education reform implied a change in the language of instruction, moving from a monolingual to a bilingual schooling system in which Catalan was used as a medium of instruction together with Spanish. This reform was aimed not only at recovering the social use and prestige of Catalan but also at guaranteeing full proficiency in this language for all pupils at the end of compulsory schooling, regardless of their language background. Although overall exposure to the language-in-education reform depends on both birth cohort and the number of years of schooling, we focus exclusively on language exposure during compulsory education for two main reasons: first, the intensity in the use of Catalan as medium of instruction in the initial phase of   implementation of the LNA was especially pronounced at compulsory schooling levels.

The Importance of Focusing on Language Choices

Second, as noticed by Clots-Figueras and Masella (2013), overall language exposure could be endogenous since it depends on the length of stay in the schooling system, which is clearly a choice variable. However, they constructed a variable that measures the (potential) number of years of compulsory schooling under the linguistic regime introduced by the 1983 reform, which can be interpreted as an “Intention-to-Treat” variable. More specifically, Clots-Figueras and Masella (2013) assumed that individuals born in 1977 or after received all their compulsory schooling in Catalan, while those born between 1970 and 1976 were just partially exposed to the reform, with one year of exposure for the former cohort, up to seven years for the latter cohort. Individuals born before 1970 were never affected. The length of compulsory education in Spain was eight years under the legal framework implemented in 1974 (“Ley General de Educación") from ages 6 to 14. A new law passed in 1990 (LOGSE) extended the number of years of compulsory education to ten (from ages 6 to 16). This means that individuals born before 1983 were subject to eight years of compulsory schooling, and those born in 1983 or after to ten years.   The years of language exposure during compulsory education, induced by the LNA reform, can be synthesized into the following stepwise function of year of birth (τ)

The variable captures the exogenous source of variation in language exposure during compulsory education since it depends only on whether a given birth cohort was potentially exposed to the policy during the years of compulsory education. In our empirical setup, we aim at dealing with the potential endogeneity of the interaction between oral skills in Catalan (CATS) and the indicator for being native Spanish speaker (SPA) in equation (3), we instrument it with the interaction between compulsory language exposure (EXP) and SPA, which leads to the following system of equations,  (Mélitz, 2008)

References

Bleakley, H., and Chin, A. (2008). “What holds back the second generation? The intergenerational transmission of language human capital among immigrants”. Journal of Human Resources, 43(2): 267-298.

 Bleakly, H. and A. Chin (2004). "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from childhood immigrants". Review of Economics and Statistics, 86 481-496.

 Caminal, R. and Di Paolo, A. (2015). “Your Language or Mine?” Barcelona-GSE Working Paper 852.

Caminal, R. and Di Paolo, A. (2016). “Your Language or Mine?” Barcelona-GSE Working Paper 852.

 Cappellari, L. and Di Paolo, A. (2015). “Bilingual Schooling and Earnings: Evidence from a Language-in-Education Reform”. IZA Discussion Paper no. 9431.

 Casey, T. and C. Dustmann (2008). “Intergenerational Transmission of Language Capital and Economic Outcomes”. The Journal of Human Resources, 43 (3): 660-687.

 Chiswick, B. and P. Miller (2007). “The Economics of Language: International Analyses”. London: Routledge.

 Clots-Figueras, I. and P. Masella (2013). “Education, Language and Identity”. The Economic Journal, 123: 332-357.

Di Paolo, A., and Raymond, J. L. (2012). “Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia”. Journal of Applied Economics, 15(1): 89-118.

 Frankel, J. and A. Rose (2002). “An estimate of the effect of currencies on trade and income”. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117: 437-466.

 Kuziemko, I. (2014). “Human Capital Spillovers in Families: Do Parents Learn from or Lean on Their Children?” Journal of Labor Economics, 32(4): 755-786.

Mélitz, J. (2008), Language and Foreign Trade. European Economic Review, 52: 667699.

Mélitz, J. (2009), Language and Foreign Trade. European Economic Review, 52: 667699.  

Mélitz, J. (2010), Language and Foreign Trade. European Economic Review, 52: 667699.

 Rendon, S. (2007). “The Catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia.” Journal of Population Economics, 20(3): 669-686.

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