Attitudes of Iranian Community Parents in Australia towards their Children’s Language Maintenance

Hadis Abdizadeh, Jane Southcott, Maria Gindidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Issues of language shift (LS) and language maintenance (LM) are inevitable consequences of globalization and increased mobility of human populations. This qualitative case study investigated attitudes of migrant parents from Iran towards Persian community language maintenance (CLM) for their school-age children in Australia. Ten parents residing in Melbourne, Victoria were interviewed in two groups and demographic data were collected. The participants were seven female and three male parents who had at least one school-age child. In this qualitative case study, data were analyzed thematically. Three major themes concerning Persian CLM were identified: parents’ attitudes, strategies adopted for maintenance, and challenges for their children. The parents believed that CLM supported cultural identity, preserved family cohesion, and fostered bilingualism, all of which were considered valuable future skills for their children. Interviewees adopted diverse strategies including the establishment of family language use policies, sending their children to Iranian community language school, frequent contacts with extended family in Iran, and the use of Persian media and literature. The influential role of siblings and peers in their children’s language shift, and a lack of age-appropriate Persian books and visual materials were the main challenges to CLM mentioned by the parents in this research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-331
Number of pages22
JournalHeritage Language Journal
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Community language maintenance
  • Heritage Languages
  • Language shift
  • Iranian migrant parents
  • Persian cultural maintenance

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