IJSSH 2016 Vol.6(3): 191-200 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2016.V6.642

The Motivational Factors of Heritage Language Learning in Immigrant Bilingualism

Tuba Yilmaz
Abstract—Research shows that the heritage language which is used in immigrant homes as a symbol of ethnic and cultural heritage disappears in two to three generations in the USA. Different factors contribute to this disappearance. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that cause immigrant children’s rejection of their heritage language and switching totally to English for daily conversation when they start schooling with native English speakers. Besides, it aims to figure out the motivational factors that encourage them to (re)learn their heritage language after a period of time. To reveal these factors, the study will examine what these immigrant bilingual speakers' experienced while learning two languages, what kind of challenges they faced with, and how they made their linguistic choices. For this study, four participants from different ethnic backgrounds were recruited based on their heritage language learning processes, and interviewed. The interviews took 15-20 minutes with per participant. Results show that the practices of schools and parents can have a subtractive effect on immigrant children's bilingualism Identity, family interaction, bilingualism, social pressure and stereotypes can also have a motivational effect.

Index Terms—Bilingualism, heritage language learning, language shift, subtractive ideologies.

T. Yilmaz is at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610 USA (e-mail: tubaylmz@ufl.edu).

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Cite: Tuba Yilmaz, " The Motivational Factors of Heritage Language Learning in Immigrant Bilingualism," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 191-200, 2016.

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