Parents, migrant domestic workers and children's speaking of a second language: Evidence from Hong Kong

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Abstract

This paper explores the effects of different language home environments provided by English-speaking and non-English-speaking migrant domestic workers (MDWs) on Hong Kong children’s ability to speak English. Results show that English-speaking MDWs in working-mother households increase children’s likelihood of speaking English by 12% if the mother in the household does not speak English, but by 25% if the mother in the household is capable of speaking English. Non-English-speaking MDWs, however, are found to have little such effects. Age and education are two qualities of English-speaking MDWs that are significantly associated with improvements in children’s English-speaking ability and their English school subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-181
Number of pages24
JournalPacific Economic Review
Volume24
Issue number1
Early online date30 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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