I will present my current research on 5-9-year-old monolingual, bidialectal Hungarian children’s reactions towards their local dialect compared to the standard variety. To date, little is known about the linguistic preferences of young bidialectal individuals, and there are no studies on Hungarian children in this field. 185 kindergarteners and first-graders from a small town in Northeastern Hungary participated in the study. Participant observation, questionnaires with 48 parents and interviews with 7 teachers have been administered. A quantitative experiment has also been conducted using child-friendly MGT and VGT in 2 test and 2 control conditions, along with a brief qualitative data collection. The results point to a significant preference for the standard variety over the local dialect in kindergarteners, and a slight increase of the degree of this bias in the first year of school.
Crucially, a reverse effect on preferences was observed across age as a result of a change in the instructor’s language variety. There is also evidence of the children’s emerging metalinguistic awareness of their biases as early as 6; however, a qualitative leap was found between 7-9.