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Mother tongue maintenance in a Chinese community school in Newcastle Upon Tyne: developing a social network perspective

Li, Wei (1993) Mother tongue maintenance in a Chinese community school in Newcastle Upon Tyne: developing a social network perspective. Language and Education 7 (3), pp. 199-215. ISSN 0950-0782.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500789309541359

Abstract

Following Cochran & Riley's (1990) argument that children's school achievement is influenced by their immediate social environment of which adults, particularly parents, are a significant part, this paper presents findings from a case of study of a Chinese community school in Newcastle upon Tyne where a group of 20 British‐born Chinese children of similar age (between 12 and 14 years old) were examined in terms of ability to use their mother tongue and of social network structures. It is found that children whose parents have contracted relatively more non‐Chinese ties as part of their social network and have better command of the English language maintain their ethnic language better than those whose parents have confined themselves to the immediate family and to their ethnic community both socially and linguistically. It is argued that in order to make community language education more effective, parents and children should be brought closer together socially, starting perhaps by encouraging the parents to interact and make friends with members outside their immediate family and community.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2012 14:46
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4899

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