Presentation Title

Why and How to Maintain the Hungarian Language: Hungarian American Families’ Views on Heritage Language Practices

Abstract

This presentation reports on a study that explored immigrant Hungarian American parents’ perceptions on heritage language (HL) maintenance. We developed an online survey including Likert-type and open questions, which was completed by 101 participants. First, we used factor analysis to investigate the constructs of parents’ views about HL maintenance, and multiple regression analyses to examine what factors predicted the specific constructs of parents’ views. Two components emerged that accounted for 42.05% of the total variance: Benefits of the HL and Elements for sustainable HL maintenance. Further, the findings suggested that time spent in Hungary and time spent with Hungarian friends and families were statistically significant predictors of parents’ perceptions of the elements for sustainable HL maintenance. Next, thematic analysis was used to inquire into the parents’ perceptions about goals and contributing factors in HL maintenance. The parents indicated several goals for their children’s learning Hungarian, such as acquiring Hungarian language proficiency, knowledge and life skills, Hungarian cultural heritage and identity, and deep relationship with the Hungarian parent(s). In addition, regarding language management strategies, parents expressed the importance of opportunities, the consistent use of the HL at home, and access to Hungarian communities. Overall, the participants highlighted that ethnolinguistic vitality was present in their families and communities, which appears to strengthen HL maintenance.

Video Length: 28:07

Author Biography

Dr. Janka Szilágyi, Department of Education and Human Development, SUNY Brockport
Dr. Tünde Szécsi, Elementary Education Program Coordinator, College of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University

Start Date

26-3-2022 11:10 AM

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Mar 26th, 11:10 AM

Why and How to Maintain the Hungarian Language: Hungarian American Families’ Views on Heritage Language Practices

This presentation reports on a study that explored immigrant Hungarian American parents’ perceptions on heritage language (HL) maintenance. We developed an online survey including Likert-type and open questions, which was completed by 101 participants. First, we used factor analysis to investigate the constructs of parents’ views about HL maintenance, and multiple regression analyses to examine what factors predicted the specific constructs of parents’ views. Two components emerged that accounted for 42.05% of the total variance: Benefits of the HL and Elements for sustainable HL maintenance. Further, the findings suggested that time spent in Hungary and time spent with Hungarian friends and families were statistically significant predictors of parents’ perceptions of the elements for sustainable HL maintenance. Next, thematic analysis was used to inquire into the parents’ perceptions about goals and contributing factors in HL maintenance. The parents indicated several goals for their children’s learning Hungarian, such as acquiring Hungarian language proficiency, knowledge and life skills, Hungarian cultural heritage and identity, and deep relationship with the Hungarian parent(s). In addition, regarding language management strategies, parents expressed the importance of opportunities, the consistent use of the HL at home, and access to Hungarian communities. Overall, the participants highlighted that ethnolinguistic vitality was present in their families and communities, which appears to strengthen HL maintenance.

Video Length: 28:07