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Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships? PowerPoint Presentation
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Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships?

Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships?

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Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships?

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  1. Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships? Janet S. Oh UCLA

  2. Heritage language loss in the U.S. • Accelerated HL loss among linguistic minorities • Previously lost between second and third generations (Krashen, 1996; Veltman, 1983) • Now seems to be lost during second generation (Fillmore, 2000)

  3. Family communication • What happens when children cannot speak HL with parents? • Mismatch in language • Parents speak HL, child speaks English • Mutually speak English • a match, but not necessarily better • many parents who speak English to their children report that they are not able to “express themselves easily” in the language (Fillmore, 1991, p. 337)

  4. Family relationships:Case Studies • Third-generation Japanese American respondent: • Q: Did your grandparents teach you about Japanese culture? • A: No, because there was a language barrier. I missed having that kind of relationship. All I remember to me, as grandparents, was somebody that [pause] they would come and give us like money and treats and in broken English they would say, “Oh, you good child.” (Tuan, 1998, p. 63)

  5. Family relationships:Case Studies • Kai-fong: L1: Cantonese; immigrated to US at age 5: • “At home, Kai-fong became increasingly an outsider. Once he learned a little English, he stopped speaking Cantonese altogether. When Grandmother spoke to him, he either ignored her or would mutter a response in English which she did not understand. When pushed, he would simply stop speaking.” (Fillmore, 2000)

  6. Family relationships:Case Studies • Alex: L1: Russian & Polish; immigrated to US in early childhood: • … Language barrier; I could not explain to her [his mother] what it is I’m studying like, computers—totally no way you could explain it to her—no way. I never explained it to her—she just assumed that I knew what I was doing… (Kouritzin, 1999, p. 173) • “Alex told me that both his parents died without ever understanding what he did for a living, without ever realizing that he had been successful …, that he had, in fact, fulfilled the dreams that they had had for him, and for which they had chosen to immigrate” (Kouritzin, 1999, p. 173)

  7. Research evidence • Phinney, Ong, & Madden (2000) • Participants • adolescents and parents from Armenian-, Vietnamese-, Mexican-, African-, and European-American families • Cohort 1: US-born adolescents • Cohort 2: foreign-born adolescents

  8. Research evidence • Phinney, Ong, & Madden (2000) • Measure: • attitudes toward family obligations • examples: • “Children should obey their parents.” • “Parents always know what is best.” • answered by both adolescents and parents • also used as measure of intergenerational discrepancies

  9. Research evidence • Phinney, Ong, & Madden (2000) • Results: • Overall, more intergenerational discrepancy among Cohort 1 (US-born adolescent) vs Cohort 2 (foreign-born adolescent) families • Highest levels of discrepancy among Cohort 1 Vietnamese families

  10. Research evidence • Phinney, Ong, & Madden (2000) • Why such high discrepancy among Vietnamese but not Armenian & Mexican families? • Lowest HL proficiency among Cohort 1 Vietnamese adolescents

  11. Research evidence • Tseng & Fuligni (2000) • Participants • East Asian, Filipino, and Latin American background adolescents • range of socioeconomic backgrounds

  12. Research evidence • Tseng & Fuligni (2000) • Measures: • Parent-adolescent language use patterns • Family relationship • Cohesion • Discussion • Conflict

  13. Research evidence • Tseng & Fuligni (2000) • Results: • Adolescents who mutually spoke HL indicated having emotionally closer relationships with parents than those who mutually spoke English with parents • Adolescents who mutually spoke HL indicated having less conflict with fathers than those who mutually spoke English.

  14. Research evidence • Tseng & Fuligni (2000) • Results: • Language use patterns remained stable over 2 year period for 72% of families • Of the other 28%: • Majority were changes made on part of parents (both HLEnglish and EnglishHL) • Relationships between language use & relationship variables did not change over 2 year period

  15. Research evidence • Tseng & Fuligni (2000) • Results: • Parents and adolescents who felt closer and engaged in more discussions were more likely to switch to speaking same language 2 years later (usually parent switch to English from HL)

  16. The link between family relationships & HL use Heritage Language Use Family Relationships

  17. The link between family relationships & HL loss Heritage Language Use Family Relationships

  18. The link between family relationships & HL loss Heritage Language Use Family Relationships

  19. Implications for mental health • Poor parent-adolescent communication can lead to risky behavior (e.g., Brown & Mann, 1990; Klein, Forehand, Armistead, & Long, 1997) • First generation immigrant adolescents tend to be healthier and less likely to engage in risky behavior than second-generation counterparts (see Fuligni, 1998)

  20. So… Does Heritage Language Loss Affect Family Relationships? • Some ideas for future research: • Link between HL use and psychological functioning • HL proficiency in addition to HL use • (Re)learners of HL: • How do they benefit? • Motivational factors?