“What About Me? I'm Not Like Chinese But I'm Not Like American”: Heritage-Language Learning and Identity of Mixed-Heritage Adults
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Type of Work37 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationShin, Sarah J.; “What About Me? I'm Not Like Chinese But I'm Not Like American”: Heritage-Language Learning and Identity of Mixed-Heritage Adults; The Journal of Language, Identity, and Education 9(3), pages 203-219(2010); https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/uAKPPrKEiif666ms6YRc/full
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Language, Identity, and Education on 2010-07-08, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/15348458.2010.486277
This study examines heritage-language (HL) experience and identity of 12 adults of mixed-heritage backgrounds through in-depth autobiographical interviews. Each participant has an English-speaking American parent and an HL (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, or Vietnamese)-speaking immigrant parent. The interviews explored each participant's experience in the HL while growing up, self-claimed proficiency in the HL, attitudes toward the HL, and self- and other-perceived identities. The findings suggest that HL proficiencies varied widely, tending to correspond with the extent of the participants' interaction in that language. Three participants had extensive HL experience while 9 had limited HL exposure. These 9 mainly attributed their lack of HL proficiency to their parents' and/or their own reluctance to use the HL, which arose from various societal and personal pressures to shift to English. This article discusses the implications of these findings on heritage-language education.