Maintaining a Minority Language: A Case Study of Hispanic Teenagers

Overview

This book explores two main areas. First, what a high level of proficiency in two languages comprises, and second, the factors that can produce this high level of bilingual proficiency. The book develops a model of proficiency that includes the literate, formal and academic language usually acquired at school. However, many minority language students are educated in only one language, so the book goes on to examine other factors, such as home literacy practices and positive attitudes to the non-school language, ...
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Overview

This book explores two main areas. First, what a high level of proficiency in two languages comprises, and second, the factors that can produce this high level of bilingual proficiency. The book develops a model of proficiency that includes the literate, formal and academic language usually acquired at school. However, many minority language students are educated in only one language, so the book goes on to examine other factors, such as home literacy practices and positive attitudes to the non-school language, that might contribute to the development of high bilingual proficiency, and tests these factors for the nature of their contribution. The interviewees are 106 Hispanic teenagers in Sydney, and they provide a rich source of information in the form of open comments in their own words and answers to closed questions, and, together with the completion of language assessment tasks, this constructs a clear picture of their language behaviour and beliefs, and how these affect their language proficiency.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853597404
  • Publisher: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Series: Multilingual Matters Series , #129
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gibbons teaches in the English Department of Hong Kong Baptist University. He has long term interests in the fields of bilingualism and language in the law. Publications include Code Mixing and Code Choice (Multilingual Matters, 1987), Learning Keeping and Using Language (Benjamins, 1990) Language and the Law (Longman, 1994) and Forensic Linguistics (Blackwell 'Language in Society' series, 2003). He is on the editorial board of several academic journals.
Elizabeth Ramirez is a doctoral student at the University of New South Wales in the field of Medical Interpreting. She is a practising interpreter, translator and Spanish language teacher. Her research interests and expertise are in the area of translation into a second language, community interpreting and bilingualism. Elizabeth co-authored the NLLIA Spanish Language Profile in Australia (1996) . She has also published papers in international journals, and developed a CD Rom for Spanish-English Bilingual teenagers.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Language proficiency 11
3 Measuring proficiency 34
4 The societal 50
5 Interpersonal contact 101
6 Education, media use and literacy 143
7 Attitudes and beliefs 191
8 Conclusions 226
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