Language Awareness in Diasporic Contexts

Authored by: Anikó Hatoss

The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138937048
eBook ISBN: 9781315676494
Adobe ISBN:


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Diaspora communities face two major challenges that are relevant to language awareness research: the maintenance and intergenerational transmission of their heritage language; and the acquisition of the high prestige language(s) used in their newly adopted country. This chapter is focused on the first challenge and aims to review the development of the field with a particular focus on those issues where sociolinguistic theory informs language awareness research. Some of these issues include parents’ and children’s attitudes towards their immigrant (heritage) language, their awareness of language shift and the factors contributing to this. Research in the field is also concerned with the power-relations between heritage and mainstream languages, issues of authenticity and legitimacy and related attitudes and ideologies vis-à-vis the speech of second-generation speakers and accented speech. While the chapter reviews relevant conceptual and methodological developments from an international perspective, many of the examples are from the Australian context, since this is where the author’s own research activity has been concentrated. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future research directions that can further enhance language awareness in diasporic contexts.

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