Strategies for Heritage Language Maintenance and Raising Bilingual Children: A guide for Arabic-Speaking Parents
May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023
PD 5:00 - 6:00 MST | Online Event
By: Raghda Abdelqader
Upon immigration to Canada, Arab parents can face substantial challenges when it comes to maintaining their heritage language (HL) among their school-aged children. Due to strong religious and cultural ties to Arabic, a major concern is the loss or attrition of their HL upon exposure to the majority language.
Though HL maintenance among children has been demonstrated to have cognitive, cultural, academic, and economic benefits (Baker, 2000; King &amp; Mackey, 2007; Park &amp; Sarkar, 2007; Lee, 2002), HL maintenance can be difficult to maintain due to the intensive exposure to English at school.
The purpose of this project is to synthesize the literature and review key terms in the field of HL preservation and maintenance. I discuss the importance of developing and implementing a family language policy (FLP) and describe ten best practices specific to individual households.
The culmination of this project is a bilingual guidebook for Arab-Canadian parents that contains multiple resources and strategies based on evidence-based practices to help them maintain their children’s HL and achieve additive bilingualism. The necessity for additional research that examines children’s attitudes and/or opinions regarding HL maintenance regarding their families’ language policies is also discussed.
This event will be available online through Tutela.ca.
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ATESL Chapter: Edmonton