The role of different forms of social contact in the destination-language proficiency of immigrants in the Netherlands
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An important aspect in determining economic, political and social integration of immigrants in a host society is speaking the language of the destination-country. A form of human capital that influences this destination-language proficiency is the intensity of exposure to the second-language. The aim of this research is to study the role of different forms of social contact in immigrants’ destination-language proficiency in greater detail and to make a comparison between different forms. The hypotheses are tested with a survey of immigrants in the Netherlands (SPVA-98). The results show that contact matters and that the effect of social contact depends on the form of contact. Contact with friends, speaking Dutch with children and having contact with colleagues play the most important roles in immigrants’ destination-language proficiency.