Shift in the use of migrant community languages in Australia

Maria Karidaki, Dharma Arunachalam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we first explore the trends in the maintenance of migrant community languages among the first generation migrants and then the socio-economic variation in the shift in use of community languages. Our analysis showed that language shift to English among first generation migrants has not been uniform, with some migrant groups adopting English as a home language at a much faster rate than others. Gender and duration of residence had strong association with language shift; languages of migrant groups of the pre-1980 period have not been maintained as well as that of later arrivals. Place of residence and the distribution of a linguistic community also provided opportunities for language maintenance as migrants residing in major capital cities in Australia tended to better maintain their community language. Finally, higher level of education was associated with lower likelihood of speaking a community language at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • language loss
  • language maintenance
  • language shift
  • migrant community languages
  • migration
  • sociolinguistics

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