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GINI Index of HL Speakers for Each HL

GINI Index of HL Speakers for Each HL

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Article
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Heritage language (HL) speakers have received scholarly attention in recent years as an interdisciplinary research theme, but relatively less attention has been paid to their demographics. ExistingIntegrated Public User Microdata Series (Ruggles & Sobek, 1997), which is based on data from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey, this stud...

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... Gini index of zero indicates an equal spread (i.e., HL speakers are equally distributed across all ConsPUMAs/counties), and a Gini index of one indicates the most skewed spread (i.e., HL speakers are centered in one single ConsPUMA/county). Table 7 shows the Gini indexes for all HLs. The average Gini index was 0.886 in 2010, indicating that HL speakers usually reside in specific areas of each state. ...

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... With respect to the first point, ecological dynamics can be tracked within and across regions using publicly available data, including census demographic statistics (e.g., Statistics Canada). For example, Nagano (2015) explored the geographic distribution and demographic characteristics of adult heritage language 8 Debra A. Titone and Mehrgol Tiv speakers across the United States based on data from the U.S. Census. Similarly, they found substantial demographic differences in the adult heritage language speakers who resided in distinct regions of the country. ...
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In “The Devil's Dictionary”, Bierce (1911) defined language as “The music with which we charm the serpents guarding another's treasure.” This satirical definition reflects a core truth – humans communicate using language to accomplish social goals. In this Keynote, we urge cognitive scientists and neuroscientists to more fully embrace sociolinguistic and sociocultural experiences as part of their theoretical and empirical purview. To this end, we review theoretical antecedents of such approaches, and offer a new framework – the Systems Framework of Bilingualism – that we hope will be useful in this regard. We conclude with new questions to nudge our discipline towards a more nuanced, inclusive, and socially-informed scientific understanding of multilingual experience. We hope to engage a wide array of researchers united under the broad umbrella of multilingualism (e.g., researchers in neurocognition, sociolinguistics, and applied scientists).
... For the purposes of this study, we identified HL speakers as those who reported using a language other than English at home (whether currently or previously) who were either born in the U.S. or arrived in the U.S. at the age of 13 or younger. This definition has been employed primarily with the practicality of survey administration in mind (see Nagano, 2015). For this survey study, to ensure a high return rate, we had to limit questions identifying HL speakers to two items that we believed most effectively identified respondents as HL speakers. ...
... The proportion of HL speakers in the modern language classroom at community colleges is remarkably high (42%). Using U.S. Census data, Nagano (2015) estimates that approximately 9.2% of the U.S. adult population speaks HLs at home. Accordingly, it is noteworthy that nearly half of language students at community colleges come to the modern language classroom with some degree of proficiency in a language other than English. ...
... No data are available for less commonly taught languages (such as Chinese, Russian, Korean, Tagalog, etc.), but the comparable numbers for these languages must be significantly lower than for Spanish. The unavailability of HL classes is a particularly challenging issue: a recent study on the demographics of HL speakers (Nagano, 2015) shows that HL speakers have increased not only in number (on average a 27% increase per decade in the last three decades) but also in diversity, marked by the rapid growth of HL speakers of less commonly taught languages. Thus, while HL classes are effective and necessary for HL speakers, there are also practical challenges to offering HL classes to all HL speakers, especially those who speak less commonly taught languages. ...
Article
This study analyzes the choices that heritage language (HL) learners make when enrolling in language courses at community colleges. Data from the Students and Instructors of Languages at Community Colleges (SILCC) Surveys, a nationwide survey with 1,756 students taking language courses at 101 community colleges across 33 states in the U.S., show that as many as 42.2% of community college students in modern language classrooms are identified as HL speakers. Surprisingly, more than half of these HL speakers are studying a language other than their own HL despite their prior linguistic knowledge, cultural familiarity, and familial ties with their HL. This paper evaluates a few possible explanations why a large proportion of HL speakers are opting to learn a new, third language. Building upon prior research and current data, we discuss differences in linguistic backgrounds, demographics, motivational attributes, and academic goals between HL learners studying their own HL and those studying a new language.
... For the purposes of this study, we identified HL speakers as those who reported using a language other than English at home (whether currently or previously) who were either born in the U.S. or arrived in the U.S. at the age of 13 or younger. This definition has been employed primarily with the practicality of survey administration in mind (see Nagano, 2015). For this survey study, to ensure a high return rate, we had to limit questions identifying HL speakers to two items that we believed most effectively identified respondents as HL speakers. ...
... The proportion of HL speakers in the modern language classroom at community colleges is remarkably high (42%). Using U.S. Census data, Nagano (2015) estimates that approximately 9.2% of the U.S. adult population speaks HLs at home. Accordingly, it is noteworthy that nearly half of language students at community colleges come to the modern language classroom with some degree of proficiency in a language other than English. ...
... No data are available for less commonly taught languages (such as Chinese, Russian, Korean, Tagalog, etc.), but the comparable numbers for these languages must be significantly lower than for Spanish. The unavailability of HL classes is a particularly challenging issue: a recent study on the demographics of HL speakers (Nagano, 2015) shows that HL speakers have increased not only in number (on average a 27% increase per decade in the last three decades) but also in diversity, marked by the rapid growth of HL speakers of less commonly taught languages. Thus, while HL classes are effective and necessary for HL speakers, there are also practical challenges to offering HL classes to all HL speakers, especially those who speak less commonly taught languages. ...
Conference Paper
This study analyzes the choices that heritage language (HL) learners make when enrolling in language courses at community colleges. Data from the Students and Instructors of Languages at Community Colleges (SILCC) Surveys, a nationwide survey with 1,756 students taking language courses at 101 community colleges across 33 states in the U.S., show that as many as 42.2% of community college students in modern language classrooms are identified as HL speakers. Surprisingly, more than half of these HL speakers are studying a language other than their own HL despite their prior linguistic knowledge, cultural familiarity, and familial ties with their HL. This paper evaluates a few possible explanations why a large proportion of HL speakers are opting to learn a new, third language. Building upon prior research and current data, we discuss differences in linguistic backgrounds, demographics, motivational attributes, and academic goals between HL learners studying their own HL and those studying a new language.
... Questionnaire data on language history and language task performance data previously collected were thus utilized for the present purpose. The two language groups were both included, as these two groups present two of the biggest immigrant HL populations in the USA (Kim & Chao, 2009;King & Ennser-Kananen, 2013;Nagano, 2015), yet differ in many characteristics, including language use, cultural, and socioeconomic aspects, as well as typological distance between their heritage and majority languages (Kim & Chao, 2009;Nagano, 2015;Tao et al., 2015;Tomoschuk, Ferreira, & Gollan, in press). ...
... Questionnaire data on language history and language task performance data previously collected were thus utilized for the present purpose. The two language groups were both included, as these two groups present two of the biggest immigrant HL populations in the USA (Kim & Chao, 2009;King & Ennser-Kananen, 2013;Nagano, 2015), yet differ in many characteristics, including language use, cultural, and socioeconomic aspects, as well as typological distance between their heritage and majority languages (Kim & Chao, 2009;Nagano, 2015;Tao et al., 2015;Tomoschuk, Ferreira, & Gollan, in press). ...
Article
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This study investigated the effects of the amount of cumulative heritage language (HL) exposure during three time periods, on heritage and majority language performance in young adulthood, among two distinct groups of immigrant populations in the USA. Within each time period, exposure from three different sources were examined, and amount of cumulative exposure was calculated encompassing exposure from preceding periods. Factors that may modulate exposure effects were also assessed. Results showed that greater cumulative HL exposure from people at home during all three time periods significantly predicted HL skills for both language groups. For effects on English skills, only the Spanish group showed any influences of exposure. These effects were modulated by parental English proficiency. Input from other sources had less impact. The present findings support the role of parental input throughout childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood in improving HL skills, with less noticeable consequences for the majority language.
... Whatever the reason for the unusual skill ratings, the background profile collected here contrasts with the findings in Mikhaylova (2012) of significant differences in the background of advanced college-level HL and L2 learners. 6 Typically, adult heritage speakers of Russian continue to have exposure to Russian after their arrival in the U.S., and they self-rate their proficiency in Russian rather highly (Nagano, 2015). Fittingly, the prototypical English-dominant college level HL learners in Mikhaylova (2012) self-rated higher in Russian (especially in oral skills) than the prototypical L2 learners, and they also reported a greater frequency of use of Russian, as well as a higher number and wider variety of contexts. ...
Chapter
This study bridges a gap in heritage language (HL) research to date by focusing on learners that do not neatly fit the often-cited definitions and profiles of HL learners (e.g., Polinsky & Kagan, 2007; Carreira & Kagan, 2011). We study the effects of L1 attrition of Russian in teenage HL learners several years after exposure to the HL in the immediate family or community has ceased, due either to international adoption or to other restricted access to Russian speakers. We compare them in the context of re-exposure through a short-term cultural and language immersion program to age-matched foreign language (L2) learners. Each participant in the program produced oral narratives in two sessions, three and a half weeks apart, and the resulting narratives were coded and analyzed for fluency and accuracy. Although the results show significant attrition in the language of the HL learners, they surpassed the L2 learners in several fluency and accuracy measures. We discuss the strategies that both learner groups used in their narratives, as well as implications of these findings for HL acquisition research and pedagogy. https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/2092628
... A myriad of termsfrom native speakers to quasi-native speakers to bilingual speakers to home-background speakershave been used to refer to HL learners, highlighting the diversity in language proficiency and family relevance. Nagano (2015) summarized four key factors used in research literature to define HL learners according to broad or narrow criteria: 1) ethnic and ancestral background (Fishman and Peyton 2001), 2) language proficiency (Valdés, 2001), 3) identity and sociopolitical circumstances (Hornberger and Wang 2008), and 4) age of arrival, country of birth, and parents' native language (Carreira and Kagan 2011). Scholars working with CHL learners often follow these traditions in defining their subjects, but tend to take an all-inclusive approach and prefer a broad definition of CHL learners. ...
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Drawing on data from a learner corpus of blogs, this study explores epistemic expressions used in Chinese heritage language (CHL) writing from a developmental perspective, and aims to provide a better understanding of pragmatic development in heritage language learning context. A total of 6,511 blog entries written by 266 heritage learners from four different proficiency levels were analyzed cross-sectionally. The findings revealed three notable developmental patterns in CHL learners’ use of epistemic markers (EMs): 1) a rapid increase in the frequency and diversity of EMs at the beginning of CHL curriculum, 2) a period of stability from the second quarter onward, and 3) a divergence of frequency and diversity at the advanced level, whereby the diversity of EMs increased again, but the overall frequency of EMs remained unchanged. Significant developmental variability was also found between grammatical sub-groups of epistemic markers. Overall, the study shed light on the development of CHL learners’ pragmatic competence, and demonstrated the effectiveness of learner corpora as a research tool for studies of pragmatics learning.
... In the HL literature, however, more fine-grained definitions of HL speakers have been proposed. For example, Nagano (2015) introduced varying features that the previous studies employed to define HL speakers including students' ethnicity, birthplace, country of birth (and/or age of arrival to the United States), language used at home, proficiency in the HL, and proficiency in English. Fishman (2001) presented a classification of HL speakers based on the sociohistorical perspectives of the United States. ...
Article
This article describes the development process of a project for heritage language speakers of Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese at a high-enrollment community college in the northeast United States. This pilot project, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, aimed to empower minority group students through active reinforcement of students’ heritage language and culture, crossdisciplinary faculty collaboration, and a cohort-based advisement model. The pilot project consisted of mentorship by faculty members who shared the same heritage language and culture, incorporation of heritage language and international business courses into students’ curricula, and weekly seminars that focused on developing students’ heritage culture and professional skills. A cohort of nine students demonstrated that such a model is effective for minority students by achieving a remarkably high completion rate (66.67%) compared with an average rate for public 2-year institutions in the United States (21.20%).
Article
Issue There is a need for greater access to Spanish language services in United States healthcare. One approach to increasing language concordant care is the use of second language skills by healthcare staff. The desire to use second language skills may have unintended consequences when individuals step beyond their language abilities and can cause more harm than do good for limited-English proficiency patients. Medical students are in a unique position that places them at increased risk for inappropriately using second language skills. Evidence: The use of qualified healthcare interpreters has been shown to mitigate some of the disparities seen with limited-English proficiency patients including poorer healthcare outcomes, less access to care, and lower patient satisfaction. In spite of this knowledge, studies have demonstrated the phenomenon of residents and physicians “getting by” without the use of an interpreter, even when they recognized that their language competency was insufficient to provide high quality care. Regardless of language ability, medical students are asked to engage in conversations with Spanish speaking patients that are beyond their level of language competency. Students vary in their perceived language ability and level of comfort engaging in different clinical scenarios with limited-English proficiency patients. Implications: Students are in a unique position of vulnerability to pressures to use second language skills in situations that step beyond their abilities. We explore how hierarchy intensifies previously established factors, including a lack of adequate training or evaluation and other structural barriers, in contributing to medical students’ inappropriate use of Spanish with limited-English proficiency patients. We propose an approach that includes student education, standardization of clinic rules regarding interpretation, and comprehensive faculty development to address this important patient care issue.
Article
Objective This study examines the differing roles of parents in producing bilingualism among second‐generation Asian and Latino Americans, the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States. Methods We employ the probit model to estimate the likelihood of language maintenance for both ethnic groups using the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) USA of 2005–2014. Results The estimation results show that mothers play a more significant role than fathers, especially for Latino Americans, and that heritage‐language retention increases with the parents’ age at arrival. We also find an increase in the rates of language maintenance across generations, presumably resulting from heightened awareness of the need to preserve cultural heritage among younger immigrants in recent decades. Conclusion These findings highlight the cultural and structural differences in gendered parenting between the two immigrant groups and suggest potential areas of gains through intervention programs for immigrant parents to promote parental investment in their children's development, including bilingualism.