Edited By Sambor Grucza, Magdalena Olpińska-Szkiełko and Piotr Romanowski
Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages in New Zealand: Methodological Issues ([Jeanette King] [Una Cunningham])
Jeanette King, Una Cunningham (University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand) Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages in New Zealand: Methodological Issues Introduction This paper reports the research aims and methods of the Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages (ITML) Project at the University of Can- terbury, which is studying the extent to which speakers of minority languages in New Zealand are passing their language on to their children� We are plan- ning a number of interrelated projects, but here we report on our ‘bilingual teens’ project, which focuses on the experiences of parents and their teenage children in situations where intergenerational transmission has been successful� These questions are being addressed respectively by examining census data on language ability and by conducting interviews with families who speak a minor- ity language� The phrase ‘minority language’ is used here to refer to languages other than the three official languages of New Zealand: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language� One of the initial motivations for the current project was a report from the Office of Ethnic Affairs where it was suggested that migrant families should con- sider speaking English to their children to improve their level of English (2013: 16)� This report leans heavily on work by H� Esser which claims that “school perfor- mance is not enhanced by proficiency in the language of the country of origin in addition to that of the host country” (2006: 72)� Our concern is that advice such as this may encourage migrant families to abandon intergenerational...
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