Factors affecting Vietnamese-Australian children's language proficiency and use

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Vietnamese is one of the top five languages spoken in Australia with approximately 300,000 speakers, equivalent to 1.2% the Australian population. Intergenerational transmission of home languages is becoming more challenging for the second and the third generations of many immigrant communities.
This study used Spolky's language policy theory to examine the language practice (i.e., proficiency and use) of Vietnamese-Australian families. A total of 151 families with Vietnamese heritage living in Australia completed a survey in English or Vietnamese regarding their families' language practice. Bivariate analyses (Pearson correlation and ANOVA) were conducted to explore the associations between parents' and children's language practice and a range of child, parent, family and community factors. Multiple regression was conducted to further explore the relative associations of significant bivariate factors and language practice. Factors significantly associated with parents' language use were mostly related to their age, their English and Vietnamese proficiency, and the frequency of their attendance at community events. Factors highly correlated with children’s language proficiency and use included children's Vietnamese proficiency, number of years living in English-speaking countries, language use, parents' perceptions of the importance of home language maintenance, perceptions of cultural identity, intention to live in Vietnam in future, and the presence of language policies and rules. Understanding factors associated with Vietnamese-Australian families' language practice helps promote intergenerational language transmission.
Acknowledgment: This research is a part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP180102848) titled VietSpeech: Vietnamese-Australian children's speech and language competence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
EventThe Fifth Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages Symposium ITML5 - Online
Duration: 09 Dec 2019 → …


ConferenceThe Fifth Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages Symposium ITML5
Period09/12/19 → …
Internet address


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