The Impact of Home Language Maintenance and Acculturation Gaps Amongst Somali-American Families
Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair
Secondary Advisor/Reader One
The research question addressed in this thesis was: What impact does home language maintenance and acculturation gaps have on Somali-American families? The purpose was to understand the impact of language loss and acculturation gaps and to see what teachers and others could do to help encourage home language maintenance amongst Somali-American families. It discusses previous research in the field; such as Brown and Carpenter’s (2018) study of a community of Somali-Americans in Barron, Wisconsin, and Gonzalez and Mendez-Pounds’(2018) study on Mexican-American families and parents’ approaches to home language maintenance. In addition, this thesis explores the various connections between language, culture, and identity. It also explores the role of language in bonding and family cohesion. The study employed a mixed-methods approach to gather data from surveys and interviews conducted with two Somali-American participants. Findings support previous research and suggested that there are benefits of home language maintenance. The information gathered from the participants indicated that the participants strongly valued their home language and culture. The study also suggests that Somali-American families that are led by bilingual parents are less likely to experience strong acculturation gaps. Lastly, the study suggested that both teachers and schools may play a role in impacting students’ lives not only at school but also at home. Suggestions for further research include interviewing a larger participant pool as well as conducting a longitudinal study that follows participants and families throughout a longer period of time to see if attitudes and behaviors towards home language maintenance shift over time.
Case Study, Interview, Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)
Adult Education, Community Building, ESL/ ELLs, Parent Involvement
Wade, Morgyn, "The Impact of Home Language Maintenance and Acculturation Gaps Amongst Somali-American Families" (2021). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 4532.
School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations