Essay on Ethnic Identity And Immigrant Language Proficiency

818 Words Oct 27th, 2015 4 Pages
Unlike previous studies, Phinney et al. considers more subjective aspects of ethnic identity, and treats immigrant language proficiency as one of three factors contributing to it, along with parental cultural maintenance and ethnic peer groups. It finds language to be a significant aspect in ethnic identity in that it is reinforced by cultural maintenance and peer interaction (2001, p. 151). While participants’ relation to language varied with national origin, it played similar roles in narratives of ethnic identity formation for all groups. This is strongly linked to social identity theory and other sociological concepts of ethnic identity and family relationships. However, the nature of the study makes establishing causation particularly difficult, and the use of questionnaires should be supplemented by qualitative methods as the combination of categorical variables with a deductive approach results in problematic assumptions of how ethnic identity and cultural maintenance manifest. Additionally, there is room for greater discussion on more subjective factors of the role of language in ethnic identity, along with a potential link between ethnicity and modes of language learning and maintenance. In contrast to quantitatively focused studies, Medvedeva’s examination of second generation immigrant adolescents’ use of English in parent-child interactions supplements survey data with interviews. It finds retention is associated with low English proficiency in mothers, but a…

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