Maintaining the community language in Australia : challenges and roles for families

Anne Pauwels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)


Much Australian work on immigrant languages has revealed that the family is a crucial site of language maintenance (LM). The family remains for most immigrants and their offspring the main domain for community language (CL) use. At the same time, there is no doubt that positive language, education and migration policies strengthen the maintenance of CL in Australia as described in Fishman's (1991) model of LM, Reversing Language Shift. However, as Fishman (1991) has observed, supportive policies and educational provisions will only be of value if the family initiates CL acquisition and provides a practice ground for its continued use. I consider the main favourable factors, challenges and strategies for successful CL maintenance in the family, as gleaned from case studies, and conclude with suggestions for greater attention to the role of adolescents and of technology in CL maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124 - 131
JournalThe international journal of bilingual education and bilingualism
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Cite this