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Language choice, identity and social distance: Ethnic minority students in Vietnam

Language choice, identity and social distance: Ethnic minority students in Vietnam 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter

Language choice, identity and social distance: Ethnic minority students in Vietnam

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
1868-6303
eISSN
1868-6311
DOI
10.1515/applirev-2017-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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.

Journal

Applied Linguistics Reviewde Gruyter

Published: May 26, 2019

References