Supporting heritage language development through adults' participation in activity settings

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The field of heritage language studies is under-researched and bilingual families struggle to maintain their heritage languages at home. The in-depth study reported in this chapter examined an episode of one child, a 4-year-old girl, and her parents, baking at home in order to explore how parents’ participation aligns with children’s actions in supporting their heritage language development in a home activity setting. Hedegaard’s (Studying children: A cultural-historical approach. Open University Press, Maidenhead, pp. 30–45, 2008, Mind, Culture and Activity 16:64–82, 2009) wholeness approach and model of children’s learning and development through participation in institutional practices form the foundation of the analysis. Through taking different perspectives, this chapter explains how the parents interact with their daughter differently while they both aim to support her bilingual heritage learning and development and how this impacts on their daughters’ opportunities to practice Chinese in the home activity setting. This study gives insights into the essence of the activity setting as an analytical concept to research the child’s development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural-Historical Approaches to Studying Learning and Development
Subtitle of host publicationSocietal, Institutional and Personal Perspectives
EditorsAnne Edwards, Marilyn Fleer, Louise Bøttcher
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811368264
ISBN (Print)9789811368257
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePerspectives in Cultural-Historical Research
ISSN (Print)2520-1530
ISSN (Electronic)2520-1549


  • activity setting
  • demands
  • motives
  • heritage language development
  • adult's participation

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