Reaching out to migrant and refugee communities to support home language maintenance

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Eisenchlas, Susana A
Schalley, Andrea C
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2019
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Abstract

Migrant and refugee parents considering raising their children in their non-mainstream home language often fear that this decision may impact negatively on their children’s English language ability and thus affect their academic prospects. The lack of institutional support for home languages in the Australian school system, and the well-intentioned but misguided advice parents may receive to switch to the mainstream language in family interactions reinforce parents’ doubts. To assuage parents’ concerns and assist them in making an informed decision most appropriate for their family circumstances, we developed and delivered free workshops on bilingual upbringing. We also trained bilingual facilitators who adapted the workshops culturally and linguistically and conducted these in their own communities. This paper discusses these workshops, the feedback received, our observations, and lessons learned.

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International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism

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© 2017 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism on 26 Jan 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13670050.2017.1281218

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This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.

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Linguistics

Migration

Language studies

Sociolinguistics

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