Immigrant parents are frequently advised by teachers, doctors and speech therapists to stop speaking the native language at home so as not to confuse children with input from two languages. However, this view is not supported by empirical linguistic and social evidence. This book sheds light on some of the common myths around being bilingual and explores the processes of dual language development among Korean children growing up in the United States. The book sensibly argues that the bilingualism of linguistic minority children is a resource to be cultivated, not a problem to be overcome. In addition, it explores various educational, social and economic pressures which hamper intergenerational transmission of heritage languages, and discusses factors that contribute to successful bilingual raising of children in spite of these pressures. A welcome addition to the growing literature on bilingual development, this book offers useful suggestions for parents, teachers and policy makers who are interested in promoting the development and maintenance of bilingual competence in linguistic minority children.
Sarah J. Shin is Assistant Professor of Education and Co-Director of the MA Program in ESOL/Bilingual Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A “1.5 generation” Korean immigrant to the US, she specializes in various aspects of bilingualism, heritage language education, and second language writing.