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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:02:38 EDT by admin, 144186 views
Florida Gulf Coast University and State University of New York, Brockport
Education paper by Szilágyi, Janka and Szécsi, Tünde (all papers)
Hungarian-American Immigrant Children’s Use of Media Technologies to Maintain Their Heritage Language and Culture
Despite the increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse immigrants in the USA, more than 90 % of the population uses solely English for communication. Research also indicates that within three generations the heritage language is completely lost (Fishman, 1991). The consequences of such language loss are often devastating (Wong Fillmore, 2000), because it impacts immigrant children’s identities, their relationship with parents and grandparents, and their academic accomplishments in the second language.
This presentation reports on the findings of a study that delved deep into the media-related perceptions of dispersed Hungarian immigrant professionals who have been successful at raising bilingual and bicultural children in the United States. Open-ended interviewing and autoethnography was used to explore perceptions of three Hungarian immigrant families about the role of new media technologies in their children's successful development and maintenance of heritage language skills, relationships with relatives in the heritage country, and cultural identity. Participating bilingual families found new media technologies beneficial in all three areas: the development and maintenance of heritage language and heritage culture, and relationships with Hungarian speaking relatives. Parents and grandparents also repeatedly pointed out the significance of adults’ active involvement in the process, and their responsibility in selecting appropriate resources and in being available to support children in their optimal use of new media technologies while children are improving their skills in the heritage language and culture.
The presentation will offer recommendations for families and educators for nurturing children’s heritage language, culture, and for the development of well founded social-emotional well-being of bilingual children through using new media technologies.
Fishman, J.A. (1991). Reversing language shift: Theoretical and empirical foundations of assistance to threatened languages. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Wong Fillmore, L. (2000). Loss of family languages: Should educators be concerned? Theory into Practice, 39(4), 203-210.
Brief Professional Bio:
Dr. Janka Szilágyi (photo) is an Assistant Professor at the College at Brockport, State University of New York. . She obtained her master’s degrees in Mathematics and English Language and Literature in Hungary in 1999. She earned her Ph.D. in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education from the University at Buffalo, in 2007. She has published articles on multicultural education, best practices, and culturally responsive teacher preparation, both in Hungarian and English. During the past ten years, she has presented at national and international conferences in Hungary and the United States. She has served on the ACEI Intercultural Publication and Awards committees. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tünde Szécsi is an Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, USA. She earned her Master’s degrees in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Teaching Russian and Hungarian Languages in Hungary. In 2003, she obtained her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education at University at Buffalo, USA. Over the last decade she has made numerous presentations in Hungary, Denmark, Bolivia, Russia, Italy, France, Greece and USA. She has contributed over thirty articles in child development, multicultural education, foreign and second language leaning, and culturally responsive teacher preparation. Currently, she is also the coeditor of the Teaching Strategies column of the Childhood Education journal.