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ERIC Number: EJ937153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Exploring and Supporting Home Language Maintenance in Informal Playgroups: Working with Pacific Communities
Morgan, Liam; Chodkiewicz, Andrew
Heritage Language Journal, v8 n2 p81-95 Sum 2011
This paper draws on three years of fieldwork within informal supported play-groups in inner Sydney. In Australia, some 40% of children reach school age without attending formal preschools. Aboriginal and immigrant groups are greatly overrepresented in this statistic. For these children, informal playgroups, funded from a range of government and non-government sources are important sites for learning. For children who speak a language other than English in the home, the playgroups also offer an opportunity to strengthen and support the use of the home language and connection to heritage cultures. Using data from observations, audio and video recordings, interviews with mothers and carers as well as interviews with play-group workers, literacy specialists and community workers, this paper will examine the challenges facing these families as their children prepare for schools in which their home language will be "submerged." The case study includes an evaluation of a bilingual program within informal playgroups aimed at strengthening home language use among children from the Maori and Tongan communities. The program was designed and implemented in collaboration with these communities as a part of research discussed in this paper. The evaluation will examine the benefits and limitations of such programs as well as foregrounding those strategies that engage and support families in their efforts to maintain their home language. The effects of these programs in terms of strengthening parental home language support cannot be underestimated and the results of this study highlight the importance of supporting home language in early childhood education settings through structured programs that are responsive to local needs. (Contains 1 table.)
National Heritage Language Resource Center and UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. 1333 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1411. Tel: 310-825-1138; Fax: 310-206-5183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia