Date of Award
Master of Science
Human Development and Family Studies
Gayle J. Luze
Carla A. Peterson
More than half the world's population is bilingual (Faroqi-Shah et al, 2010), and more than 55 million people in the U.S. are bilingual (Grosjean, 2012). However, many U.S. immigrants will become monolingual in English instead of remaining monolingual in their home language or becoming bilingual (Grosjean, 2012). Several experts have mentioned that there are programs that can foster dual language learning and encourage children to maintain their home language (Tabors, 2008; Zelasko & Antunez, 2000; Cunningham-Andersson & Andersson, 2011), but little research about how to inform families of the benefits of these programs and support them in maintaining their home languages is available. There is a lack of research about how families from groups who speak a home language other than English maintain their home language in the U.S. More needs to be known in order to support families who speak non-English languages. This study focuses on Chinese families, the largest Asian group living in U.S., to understand more about how families help their children maintain their home languages. This thesis study used an online survey to explore parents' attitudes toward and strategies for maintaining children's home language among Chinese who are living in the U.S. The study revealed that an overwhelming number of Chinese parents strongly agreed that it would be important to teach their children their home language. However, parents had differing opinions regarding whether maintaining their children's home language was related to maintaining their home culture and the benefit to their children's future careers. Parents reported experiences and strategies used in supporting their children's home language development. Future research and implications for supporting families were also suggested.
Fan, Liuran, "Understanding home language use in Chinese families who are living in the United States" (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14155.