Linguistic adjustment among Israeli immigrants in Germany

Uzi Rebhun, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This study examines the linguistic adjustment of Israeli immigrants in Germany. It is based on an Internet survey conducted in 2014/2015. Our sample is comprised of 603 native-born Israeli Jews. Descriptive findings show that approximately one-fifth speak German very well and another one-quarter speak it well. German-language proficiency increases commensurate with tenure in the country. Results from multivariate analysis (ordinary logistic regression) suggest that immigration variables (tenure, age at immigration, and German citizenship) are positively associated with proficiency in the vernacular. Likewise, Israelis who emigrated due to push factors of inability to progress professionally in Israel were likely to learn German more rapidly than those for whom the professional consideration was not important. Economic push and pull factors did not play a significant role in learning the host language. Among various socio-demographic characteristics only marital status of having a German spouse of being single exhibited a significant and positive effects. The results will be discussed in an appropriate theoretical context.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session 3