Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study is an attempt to investigate language attitudes of the older and younger generations of Vietnamese bilingual adults in Melbourne, in relation to their ethnicity in the Australian context and in the light of the historical background of the Vietnamese immigrants in Australia. A survey of 165 Vietnamese bilingual adults and students in Melbourne was carried out to investigate their language use in private and public domains, their appraisal of English and Vietnamese, their attitudes towards Vietnamese language maintenance, acculturation, and the question of their ethnic identity in Australian society. The results of the findings reveal that there is a significant difference between adults and students in various aspects of their language attitudes. Overall their choice of language use in private and public domains varies with situations and interlocutors. Although both groups show positive attitudes towards the appraisal of Vietnamese, the maintenance of Vietnamese language and culture and the retaining of their ethnic identity, what is significant is that students demonstrate stronger positive attitudes than adults. With regard to factors that influence the maintenance of Vietnamese, while adults think that government language policy is the most important factor, students express their confidence in the ability of the Vietnamese themselves to maintain their language.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Appel, R. and P. Muysken
    (1987) Language contact and bilingualism. London, Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (1991) The overseas-born in Victoria. Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bettoni, C. and J. Gibbons
    (1988) Linguistic purism and language shift: A guise-voice study of the Italian community in Sydney. International Journal of the Sociology of Language72:15–354.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bureau of Immigration and Population Research
    Bureau of Immigration and Population Research (1991) Community profiles-1991 census, Vietnam born. Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Callan, V. and C. Gallois
    (1981) Language attitudes of Italo-Australian and Greek-Australian bilinguals. International Journal of Psychology17:345–358
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Coughlan, J.E.
    (1989) A comparative study of the demographic profile of Australia’s three Indochinese-born communities: 1976–1986. (Australia-Asia Papers No 50) Nathan, QLD, CSAAR, Griffith University.
  7. Clyne, M.G.
    (1988) The German-Australian speech community: ethnic core values and language maintenance. International Journal of the Sociology of Language72:68–83.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. (1991) Community languages: The Australian experience. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511597084
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511597084 [Google Scholar]
  9. (ed.) (1985) Australia, meeting place of languages. Canberra, Pacific Linguistics
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Garner, M.
    (1988) Ethnic languages in two small communities: Swedish and Russian in Melbourne. International Journal of the Sociology of Language72:37–50
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Giles, H. and B. Saint-Jacques
    (1979) Language and ethnic relations. Oxford, Pergamon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Giles, H. , P.W. Robinson and P.M. Smith
    (eds) (1980) Language, social psychological perspectives. Oxford, Pergamon Press
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Giles, H. and E.B. Ryan
    (1982) Attitudes towards language variation. London, Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Grosjean, F.
    (1982) Life with two languages. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Gudykunst, W.B.
    (ed.) (1988) Language arid ethnic identity. Clevedon, Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gumperz, J.J.
    (ed.) (1982) Language and social identity. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hatch, E. and A. Lazaraton
    (1991) The research manual design and statistics for applied linguistics. Rowley, MA, Newbury House
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kalantzis, M. , B. Cope and D. Slade
    (1989) Minority languages and dominant culture. Sydney, Falmer Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Klasberg, M.
    (1985) Hebrew and Yiddish in Melbourne. In M. Clyne (ed.) Australia, meeting place of languages. Canberra, Pacific Linguistics
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Kouzmin, L.
    (1988) Language use and language maintenance in two Russian communities in Australia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language72:51–65
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Labov, V.
    (1966) The social stratification of English in New York cityWashington, Center for Applied Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Lambert, W.E. , R. Hodgson , R.C. Gardner and S. Fillenbaum
    (1960) Evaluational reactions to spoken languages. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology60:44–51.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. McNamara, T.F.
    (1987) Language and social identity: Israelis abroad. In W.B. Gudykunst (ed.) Language and ethnic identity. Multilingual Matters. doi: 10.1177/0261927X8763005
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X8763005 [Google Scholar]
  24. (1987) Language and social identity: Some Australian studies. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics10, 2: 33–58.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Ninnes, P.
    (1996) Language maintenance among Vietnamese-Australian students. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics19,2:15–138.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Pauwels, A.
    (1990) Dutch in Australia: perceptions of attitudes towards transference and other language contact phenomena. In S. Romaine (ed.) Language in Australia. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Pham, M.N.
    (1994) Language attitudes of Vietnamese bilinguals in Melboune. Unpublished MA Thesis. University of Melbourne.
  28. Shuy, R.W. and R.W. Fasold
    (1973) Language attitudes: Current trends and prospects. Washington, Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Secord, P. and C. Backman
    (1964) Social psychology. New York, McGrawHill
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Smolicz, J.J. and M.J. Secombe
    (1985) Community languages, core values and cultural maintenance: The Australian experience with special reference to Greek, Latvian and Polish groups. In M. Clyne (ed.) Australia, meeting place of languages. Canberra, Pacific Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Stubbs, M.W.
    (ed.) (1985) The other languages of England. Linguistic minorities project. London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Tajfel, H.
    (1981) Human groups and social categories. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Turner, J.C.
    (1982) Towards a cognitive redefinition of the social groups. In H. Tajfel (ed.) (1982) Social identity and intergroup relations. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Viviani, N.
    (1984) The long journey. Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Viviani, N. , J. Coughlan and J Powland
    (1993) Indochinese in Australia: The issue of unemployment and residential concentration. Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Service
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error