Home language

Home language

Home language is a term widely used for a language spoken in the home that is different from the main language spoken in the society. The term is mainly used in educational environments.

Home language speakers are usually bilingual, and the home language is usually the person’s first language. However, in situations where the home language isn't the dominant language in the home, but something the child uses only when communicating with grandparents or when talking with the parents about certain things, the home language may in practice be the person's second language.

The right to receive free education in one's home language is law in parts of Europe, especially the Nordic countries.

In the United States, the term heritage language is a synonym to home language in which someone who learned a certain language in childhood, but has subsequently used it only in a limited set of contexts (often only with family). Children who immigrated before they began formal education in their native country, and children who are exposed to their immigrant parent or parents' native language at home are likely to become heritage speakers.

ee also

*First language
*Second language
*children of deaf adult(s)
*Language acquisition

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