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ERIC Number: EJ986889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Maintaining Heritage Language: Perspectives of Korean Parents
Brown, Clara Lee
Multicultural Education, v19 n1 p31-37 Fall 2011
There is a clear and explicit expectation for immigrants in the United States to learn the English language as part of their schooling, and there is too often a tacit understanding that immigrants are to lose their heritage language (HL) at the same time. Most second-generation immigrant children remain monolingual in their HL until they enter kindergarten (Portes & Hao, 1998, 2004). Once they start school, a language shift takes place (Draper & Hicks, 2000). Since in school they are immersed in an English-only environment, these children start losing HL rapidly (Cho & Krashen, 1998). At this point immigrant parents face an uphill battle to maintain the use of HL by their children (Jeon, 2008). With so many factors working against bilingual parents, it is certain that these immigrant parents must wage an enduring fight to maintain the HL for their children. As the literature suggests, parental involvement has been identified as one of the critical factors in maintaining HL, yet the issue is not all that clear cut. Despite strong consensus about parents' critical role, the degree or intensity of their involvement in maintaining HL has not been well understood and findings related to it have been rather one-dimensional, simply reaffirming that parental efforts and involvement are essential in maintaining HL. The study reported in this article, therefore, set out to explore some broader aspects of parent involvement in HL, addressing the questions: (1) What do parents believe about their HL?; and (2) How do they carry out these beliefs considering the clearly identified HL loss pattern among the second and third children in HL families? This study is part of a larger research project that has investigated HL use among Korean college-age students who successfully maintained their HL. Findings from this study highlight the complexities of the parental role and their involvement in seeking to help their children maintain HL at home, and therefore suggest that the contributions parents make to HL maintenance may be far more limited than previously believed. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A