British Sikhs in complementary schooling: the role of heritage language proficiency and ‘culture learning’ in ethnic identity and bicultural adaptation

Article


Lam, V., Chaudry, F. R., Pinder, M. and Sura, T. 2019. British Sikhs in complementary schooling: the role of heritage language proficiency and ‘culture learning’ in ethnic identity and bicultural adaptation. Language and Education.
AuthorsLam, V., Chaudry, F. R., Pinder, M. and Sura, T.
Abstract

While the debate regarding bilingual benefits persists within the cognitive sciences, education research has documented various functions that heritage languages (HL) serve their speakers through bicultural adaptation. The present study adopted a mixed-methods approach to gauge HL proficiency and use, cultural participation and ethnic and mainstream identities, and to examine multiple perspectives on HL learning with complementary schooling (CS) among British Sikhs. Seventy-four 6- to 15-year-olds completed scales for perceived oral and literate abilities, language use across contexts, British and Sikh identifications, and participation in cultural activities. Children filled in open-ended items, while parents and teachers discussed in interviews and focus groups, their motivations for HL learning and CS experiences. The majority of children self-reported ‘good’ proficiency, which differed between generations as impacted by home use and was associated with cultural participation and Sikh identification. Most children referred to practical utility while most parents regarded culture retention as the dominant motivation for HL learning. Teachers discussed how teaching beyond the second generation and language shifts presented both challenges and opportunities. Still, all parties corroborated on the pertinence of HL maintenance as facilitated by CS through ‘culture learning’ towards a strong ethnic identity and bicultural adaptation.

KeywordsHeritage language; bicultural; complementary school; British Sikhs; ethnic identity
JournalLanguage and Education
ISSN0950-0782
Year2019
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/09500782.2019.1634095
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2019.1634095
Publication dates
Online05 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Jun 2019
Deposited30 Aug 2019
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Language and Education on 05.07.19, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09500782.2019.1634095

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Accepted author manuscript

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