Heritage Language Maintenance and Development among Asian Immigrant Families in Canada




Hong, Mina

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A majority of Canada’s population consists of people from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. As the number of immigrants and refugees from non-English or French speaking regions has increased recently, the study of their linguistic adaptation and cultural adjustment has become relevant to national interest and is beginning to attract the attention of researchers. This project reviews heritage language maintenance and development among Korean, Chinese, and Japanese immigrant families in the Canadian context. There are both similarities and differences in the experiences with regard to their efforts to retain heritage language: whereas Asian immigrant families across the three ethnic groups are reported to actively support their children’s heritage language maintenance overall, the degree of their involvement and focal points for heritage language education are found to differ owing to linguistic characteristics, family environment, and absence or existence of stable ethnic communities in a larger society.



Asian immigrant families, Heritage language maintenance