Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 24, October, 2010

Jaya Nagpal & Elena Nicoladis

Running head: Minority language survival

Abstract

We compared French speaking and South Asian (SA) immigrant families having preschool children in an English speaking region in Canada, with regard to the parentsí attitudes towards minority language (ML) maintenance, ML use at home, and exposure of children to ML media. Parents in both groups had positive attitudes about language maintenance, however, SA parents were less hopeful that their children would retain their ML and pass it on to their next generations. SA parents made less effort to communicate with their children in the ML and provided less ML media for children at home, in comparison to their French counterparts. We discuss the results with respect to the relative position and utility of maintaining these minority languages in Canada and how these factors might influence parentsí language choices.

Key words: Language maintenance, Language shift, Minority languages


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