Mrs Pallavi Atre1
1La Trobe University, Australia
The purpose of this paper is to report on a work-in-progress project which examines parental motivation for heritage language school education. In this comparative case study of an emerging Marathi heritage school (2015) and an established Japanese heritage school (1986) in Melbourne I discuss what heritage language education signifies for individuals, families, ethnic communities and the wider Australian society, by examining the data collected in my fieldwork. The data consists of class observations and interviews with parents, former parents, teachers and community members. I then explore parental motivations and strategies, drawing on Bourdieu’s forms of capital and conversion strategies (1997) and the instrumental and integrative motivation continuum (Gardner and Lambert 1972) as analytical tools. I also review the challenges emerging heritage language schools face, and highlight practical measures to promote heritage language maintenance.
Pallavi’s interest in heritage language derives from her experience as a diaspora mother of a 12 year old growing in Melbourne. She is an Indian by origin, having done her Masters in Japanese, having spent a couple of years in Japan and settled in Australia 9 years ago. Today while living in Melbourne as a mother she sees the challenge of second generation immigrants’ language maintenance. Currently pursuing PhD in her study “Participation in heritage language schools and its consequences: Second generation Marathi and Japanese in Melbourne”. She would like to bring her multicultural and multilingual capacity to this study.