Presenter Information

Helena SaiFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-5-2022 11:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2022 1:00 PM

Subjects

Bilingualism, Heritage Language, Language Development

Advisor

Carolyn Quam

Student Level

Undergraduate

Abstract

This review article aims to examine families’ beliefs and strategies regarding heritage language maintenance in the US. Language status, caregiver beliefs, and community factors are explored in relation to language maintenance across generations. The broader context in which parents make decisions about family language policies were investigated through the following research questions:

  1. What is the nature of the relationship between a heritage language’s language status in society and language maintenance across generations?

  2. How do parents’ beliefs about the impact of heritage language on academic, social, and career success influence their decision to pass this language to their children?

  3. To what extent does the information parents receive from community members influence their beliefs in relation to this decision?

We are currently identifying themes from over 30 articles involving families from various language and ethnic backgrounds. We have found that a languages’ social status is closely tied to economic status, and English is viewed as the “key” to academic success. Bilingual families face pressure to support their children’s English learning and accommodate English-dominant societal expectations. Families are more likely to maintain heritage languages when professionals express positive views of bilingualism. Strong community and cultural ties can also predict higher heritage language retention.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/37479

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May 4th, 11:00 AM May 4th, 1:00 PM

Factors Impacting Heritage Language Maintenance in Children

This review article aims to examine families’ beliefs and strategies regarding heritage language maintenance in the US. Language status, caregiver beliefs, and community factors are explored in relation to language maintenance across generations. The broader context in which parents make decisions about family language policies were investigated through the following research questions:

  1. What is the nature of the relationship between a heritage language’s language status in society and language maintenance across generations?

  2. How do parents’ beliefs about the impact of heritage language on academic, social, and career success influence their decision to pass this language to their children?

  3. To what extent does the information parents receive from community members influence their beliefs in relation to this decision?

We are currently identifying themes from over 30 articles involving families from various language and ethnic backgrounds. We have found that a languages’ social status is closely tied to economic status, and English is viewed as the “key” to academic success. Bilingual families face pressure to support their children’s English learning and accommodate English-dominant societal expectations. Families are more likely to maintain heritage languages when professionals express positive views of bilingualism. Strong community and cultural ties can also predict higher heritage language retention.