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Heritage Language Maintenance Among Second-generation Chinese-American Children in a Small Chinese Community
International Journal of Education, Culture and Society
Volume 5, Issue 5, October 2020, Pages: 100-114
Received: Oct. 3, 2020; Accepted: Oct. 19, 2020; Published: Oct. 26, 2020
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Daina Zhu, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, College of Education, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Peggy Hopper, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, College of Education, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Gulinaer Kulaixi, School of International Trade and Economics, Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, Urumqi, China
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Based on the findings of previous research conducted in Chinese-American children’s heritage language (HL) maintenance in large Chinese communities in urban settings, looking at positive parental attitudes, weekend Chinese schools, and interaction within local heritage language communities, the authors of this article investigated the contexts and outcomes of Chinese-language learning for second-generation Chinese-American children, in a small Southern United States college town. Research questions included: (1) What are the parents’ and grandparents’ attitudes about HL maintenance and efforts for passing on their HL to their children? (2) How consistent are parents’ and grandparents’ attitudes toward HL maintenance and their efforts of passing on HL to their children? What are reasons for the consistencies or inconsistencies? (3) Who has better learning outcomes, children who attending community Chinese-language school, or children taught by grandparents or parents? Results indicated that parents with higher education background and stay in the United State longer tend to have discrepancy between their attitudes and the real effort toward Chinese heritage language (CHL) maintenance. However, grandparents maintain consistency between their positive attitudes and the real effort regarding CHL maintenance. Grandparents’ heritage language communication supported children’s heritage language maintenance. Success of heritage language maintenance was determined more by children’s communicative need than by parental attitudes or schooling.
Chinese Heritage Language Maintenance, Second Generation Chinese-American Children, A Small Chinese Community
To cite this article
Daina Zhu, Peggy Hopper, Gulinaer Kulaixi, Heritage Language Maintenance Among Second-generation Chinese-American Children in a Small Chinese Community, International Journal of Education, Culture and Society. Vol. 5, No. 5, 2020, pp. 100-114. doi: 10.11648/j.ijecs.20200505.13
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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