Three Hundred-Plus Years of Heritage Language Education in the United States

Authored by: Joshua A. Fishman

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415520669
eBook ISBN: 9780203122419
Adobe ISBN: 9781136332494

10.4324/9780203122419.ch4

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Abstract

All of us—individuals, societies, cultures, and nations alike—live by our fondest myths, beliefs whose importance transcends their value as truth. One of the myths held in the United States is that our Pilgrim fathers first left England and resettled in the Netherlands and then left the Netherlands for Plymouth Rock, because their children were becoming monolingual Dutch speakers and losing their command of English. Whether this is pure myth or has some confirmed truth, it is beyond doubt that since the time of the Pilgrims, millions upon millions of refugees and immigrants have arrived on America’s shores with strong hopes of maintaining the ethnolinguistic traditions that defined them to themselves, to their neighbors, and to their God.

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