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The Relationship Between Heritage Language Education and Ethnic Identity: A Study of Second-generation Tamil Immigrants in the GTHA

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posted on 2024-06-17, 18:16 authored by Vinofa Muthulingam

This study investigates the relationship between heritage language education and the identity building of 2nd generation Tamil immigrants in the GTHA. Through interviews with six 2nd generation Tamil immigrants, the research questions that guide this study are: how do heritage language classes contribute to 2nd generation immigrants' proficiency in their heritage language? Does this proficiency (or lack of) contribute to developing their identity? Do heritage language classes impact their identity outside of the realm of language? Can heritage language classes be improved to better aid 2nd generation immigrants? The results show that 2nd generation immigrants consider language a critical marker of identity; however, they do not feel that heritage language education positively impacted their identity building. This is primarily due to several shortcomings of Tamil language classes, such as a lack of engaging and relevant material, poor placement of students of different proficiency levels and a lack of teacher support.

History

Language

eng

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Program

  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Ndeye Ba

Year

2022

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    Immigration and Settlement Studies (MRPs)

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