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ERIC Number: EJ1128975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Raising Children Bilingually Is Hard: Why Bother?
Sims, Margaret; Ellis, Elizabeth M.
Babel, v49 n2 p28-35 2014
This paper presents results from a pilot project that sought to establish parental motivations for raising children bilingually in regional Australia in the absence of a co-located speech community. Cultural and linguistic diversity outside metropolitan areas is increasing as a result of Commonwealth Government incentive schemes, and one effect of this is that migrant families must find innovative ways to stem the shift to English that is virtually inevitable in the absence of a systematic and committed family language policy. Five families of varied language background were interviewed regarding their motivations for and challenges in raising their children bilingually. Four key themes emerged, comprising three goals and one major challenge. The three goals were: to create a sense of belonging to a family, a community and a culture; to create a competitive advantage for their children's future; and to improve their children's school learning. The major challenge was the difficulty of the task despite their commitment to the family language plan. Results from this pilot have informed the design of a larger study of regional family language maintenance.
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A