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Language and its Effects

Proceedings from the 31st International Conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society

Edited By Marija Brala Vukanović and Anita Memišević

The effects of language are numerous. Some are known and have been described, other effects are intuitive and are still waiting to be understood, explained and predicted, while – possibly – there might be more effects that we are still unaware of. The book brings together 16 contributions organized into two main sections: The first one relates to the issue of the effects of language in the FL classroom. The second one can, broadly speaking, be subsumed under the heading of sociolinguistics, given that it brings together a number of papers exploring the effects of language on society and/or on the individual. The answers to the questions have been provided by linguists – theoreticians and practitioners - from multiple perspectives. Thus, the conclusions and invitations for further research put forth in the papers collected in this book, should be of use to anyone with an interest in the effects of language, from cognitive scientists to FL teachers.

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Parental attitudes towards Croatian as the heritage language in Australia (Jasna Novak-Milic)


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Jasna Novak-Milic

Sydney, Australia

Parental attitudes towards Croatian as the heritage language in Australia

Abstract: The newest Census data from 2016 shows a significant decrease in the number of people speaking Croatian at home in Australia (more than 7% decrease). The same source reveals a slight rise in the number of people having Croatian ancestry. Among larger Croatian communities, located in major Australian cities, Croatian classes are offered regularly for primary and secondary school children as part of government subsidised language programs. The number of Croatian classes has generally declined in numbers over the past 20 years. It has been noted that while some parents and their children choose after-school Croatian classes, others tend to replace them with sports or other activities.

Numerous studies have proven that both the quality and quantity of the input are essential for successful language learning; therefore, it is quite possible that Croatian classes, usually organised in weekly two-hour sessions, cannot provide enough input to produce fluent users of the Croatian language. Unless language is maintained at home, it is unlikely children will gain high proficiency in their heritage language.

Parents can therefore be seen as the key to successful language learning. With or without the support of schools, the extended family, the community, the church etc., it is they who make major decisions concerning their children and their learning. In this paper, the author will present the results of...

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