Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Disappearing Hmong Language: The Effects of English on Hmong Children's Heritage Language and Their Relationship with Their Parents
by Xiong, Khang Yang, Ed.D., University of Colorado at Denver, 2019, 114; 13878684
Abstract (Summary)

Through counter-storytelling which is a method of telling the stories of people whose stories are not often told, this qualitative study sought to examine ways in which Hmong youth and their families experience and interpret the use of English in their lives and the ways it affects their use and maintenance of the Hmong language. It also sought to understand how the use of English affects the identity of Hmong youth and relationships between Hmong students, their parents and families.

In this study 13 Hmong college students and 5 Hmong parents were interviewed in 30- minute sessions using semi-structured, open-ended questions, and some cases, follow-up prompts. The interviews were audio recorded in the language of choice, either in Hmong or English, transcribed into English and categorized into themes.

Five themes major themes emerged from the data: (1) Dominance of English Contributes to Hmong Language and Culture Shift for Hmong Youth, (2) English Language Barriers for Youth and Parents, (3) English Impacts Relationship Between Youth and Parents, (4) Fractured Identities of Hmong American Youths, and (5) Potential Improvements to the Educational System. The data found in this study supported previous studies done on the Hmong.

The results of this study show the marginalization of the Hmong in U.S. society and in order to improve, there should be some changes to the educational system. Implications for positive solutions are discussed in order to improve their educational attainment, income and quality of life, and more importantly to find solutions to help connect Hmong youth to their culture and maintain their heritage language. In addition, the lessons learned from the Hmong refugee experience can help to improve the experiences of other language minority groups, immigrants, and current or future refugee families in the US.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Commins, Nancy L., Anguiano, Ruben
Commitee: Lopez, Anayeli
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Educational Studies and Research
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation
Keywords: Hegemony of english on heritage language, Hmong language loss, Hmong students
Publication Number: 13878684
ISBN: 978-1-392-21132-8
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