From my parents’ language to my language: understanding language ideologies of young Australian Korean heritage language learners at the primary and secondary school level

Sun Jung Joo*, Alice Chik, Emilia Djonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The increasing influx into Australia of (im)migrants whose first language is not English has made Australia linguistically more diverse than ever. Despite this, Australia remains a strongly Anglocentric nation, and migrants, in response, tend to abandon their heritage languages (HL) and shift to English relatively quickly. Korean migrants in Australia buck this trend, as they show a relatively high level of language maintenance. The Australian Korean community, nevertheless, experiences a language shift to English among different generations, and a sharp decline in the rate of high school students enrolled in Korean community language schools. The present study expands existing accounts of HL maintenance in Australia. Specifically, drawing on interviews with six Korean-speaking children, it compares the views about the HL of primary and secondary school students. In line with language ideologies (Kroskrity [2004]. “Language Ideologies.” In A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology, edited by A. Duranti, 496–517. Malden, MA: Blackwell.; Woolard [1998]. “Language Ideology as a Field of Inquiry.” In Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory, edited by B. B. Schieffelin, K. A. Woolard, and P. V. Kroskrity, 20–86. New York: Oxford University Press.), data analysis and interpretation employ positioning theory (Davies and Harré [1990]. “Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 20 (1):43–63.). A key finding is that their ideologies around the HL vary by school age. The comparison also suggests that their language ideologies are associated with the domains where they practise their HL, and the ways they position themselves. The study contributes to a dynamic understanding of multilingualism and HL education in a multicultural society.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • heritage language
  • Korean Australian children
  • language ideologies
  • positioning identity

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