1887
Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Abstract

Using the theoretical framework developed by Clyne this paper examines the factors influencing language maintenance among a cohort of secondary school students of Vietnamese ethnic background in Adelaide. It reports on a survey of 197 students who were asked (1) to estimate the extent to which, in Australia, they used Vietnamese when speaking to close others; how often these people used Vietnamese when speaking to them; and how often the students used Vietnamese in certain social contexts; and (2) to rate their ability in written and oral Vietnamese and written and oral English. Variables derived from these measures were then correlated with a number of other demographic, social, cultural and attitudinal factors in order to determine the major influences on language maintenance. Language use was greater with parents and grandparents than with members of the students’ own generation. Vietnamese language was used more in private and ethnic settings such as the home and community events than in public settings. Vietnamese language competence declined and English language competence increased with length of residence. Overall length of residence in Australia and age at which that residence commenced were more influential in language maintenance than ethnic identity or attitudes to cultural maintenance.

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1996-01-01
2018-09-24
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