Heritage languages and community identity building: the case of a language of lesser status

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Borland, Helen (2005) Heritage languages and community identity building: the case of a language of lesser status. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8 (2-3). pp. 109-123. ISSN 1367-0050

Abstract

Diasporic communities formed as a result of recent migration movements face particular issues and challenges in supporting the intergenerational transmission of their heritage language through language maintenance and heritage language education (HLE) initiatives, especially when the language involved is not one that has high visibility and status in the surrounding society. This paper reports on a case study of ongoing action-oriented research to raise awareness and use of the heritage language within the second and third generations of such a community, Maltese-background people in Melbourne, Australia. The community is well established with the ageing first generation having primarily migrated in 1950s and 1960s. Within the community poorer than average educational outcomes for the second generation led to a programme of research and action to enhance ethnic identification and involvement with the heritage language and culture. Questionnaires, interviews and focus groups were conducted to investigate attitudes to and use of Maltese within the community. These data have formed the basis for other ongoing initiatives to strengthen heritage language maintenance and education efforts, described and evaluated below.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1888
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050508668600
Official URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13670050508668600
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 420000 Language and Culture
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Keywords ResPubID:9134. heritage languages, bilingualism, language maintenance, Maltese, community building
Citations in Scopus 14 - View on Scopus
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