AbstractDrawing on concepts such as convergence, divergence and maintenance associated with Communication Accommodation Theory, this article examines a group of Vietnamese ethnic minority students’ language choice in relation to their identity and social distance between them and their interlocutors. Our analysis suggests that the strategies of accommodation deployed by individuals can be related to common values/tendencies that are maintained by the groups and communities to which they belong, raising issues about structural influence on individual language choice and agency. We observe that enhancing the ethnolinguistic vitality of the home and the community in which senior members hold the key to language maintenance should be considered vital in reducing the new in-group distance created by young members. Moreover, multilingual policies which enable flexible attainment goals for all languages may provide a way forward for equity and reduction of social distance between different ethnic groups in society.
Applied Linguistics Review – de Gruyter
Published: May 26, 2019