Objective:This paper will describe factors supporting language use, proficiency, and home language maintenance amongst the Vietnamese community in Australia.Background:Vietnamese is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, and in the top 5 languages spoken in Australia. Speech-language pathologists' support for language maintenance is underpinned by knowledge about the populations they serve.Method:This study is a part of an Australian Research Council funded study titled VietSpeech: Vietnamese-Australian children’s speech and language competence. Data were collected via an anonymous self-report questionnaire developed on a comprehensive review of literature addressing multilingualism and language maintenance. The survey was available in both Vietnamese and English and could be completed online and in hard copy A total of 271 participants completed the survey, with 87.3% born in Vietnam and 9.4% born in Australia.Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS, while extended response data were interpreted using a content analysis in NVivo. Results: Vietnamese was identified as the first language by 94.3% of the participants and the most proficient language by 78.5%. In terms of language proficiency, more than 83% of the participants rated their ability to speak Vietnamese as well or very well across the four domains(speaking, understanding,reading, writing). A slightly lower percentage of participants (between 68% and 74%) rated their English proficiency as well or very well across the four domains. Participants reported using mostly Vietnamese at home and with family, and using mostly English at work and in educational contexts. Strategies used to maintain Vietnamese included using only Vietnamese with family and friends and choosing to read,watch, and listen to Vietnamese media.A cluster analysis was undertaken to consider factors relating to language proficiency. Three clusters were identified: Proficient in Vietnamese only (31%), Proficient in both Vietnamese and English (52%),and a Proficient in English only (17%). There was no gender difference across the profiles. Participants who were proficient in Vietnamese only were older than those in the other clusters. Participants who were proficient in Vietnamese only and who were Proficient in both Vietnamese and English were more likely than expected to be first generation immigrants. Participants who were only proficient in English were more likely than expected to have bachelor’s degree and were more likely to have the highest income and had lived a significant longer time in English speaking countries. Participants who were proficient in Vietnamese only and who were proficient in both languages indicated important reasons for home language maintenance were to “help build friendships” and “improve your academic study (school,university)”. Discussion: The findings provide language-specific data to support speech-language pathologists’culturally responsive practice when working with multilingual clients of Vietnamese-Australian heritage.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2019|
|Event||International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics World Congress - Evergreen International Convention Centre, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China|
Duration: 19 Aug 2019 → 22 Aug 2019
|Conference||International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics World Congress|
|Country||Taiwan, Province of China|
|Period||19/08/19 → 22/08/19|
McLeod, S., Verdon, S., Wang, A., & Tran, V. (2019). Factors supporting language maintenance amongst the Vietnamese community in Australia. 51. Abstract from International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics World Congress, Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China.