Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lilia P. Savova, Ph.D.

Abstract

This case study aimed to explore the strategies and language ideologies that the Turkish-American immigrant parents in this study use in terms of maintaining the heritage language and their children's cultural identity. Also, the attitudes of these parents and children towards Turkish as a heritage language were investigated. This qualitative study consisted of audio-recorded semi-structured interviews of one Turkish-American immigrant family living in a residential suburban area in Western Pennsylvania. The findings of this study suggested that the parents and their children valued learning Turkish as a heritage language. However, different perceptions of the parents and the children regarding the children's use of Turkish and their cultural identity were reported. Moreover, the parents indicated that visiting the home country played a key role in their children's heritage language development. Finally, many issues such as the role of school support and immigrant community contact in maintaining the heritage language were discussed.

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