Publication Date

April 2018

Advisor(s)

Typhaine Leservot

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This essay discusses the language anxiety experienced by heritage speakers of minority languages in the United States. This anxiety is expressed through the feeling of ?not being good enough? for themselves nor for the people around them regardless of their actual language ability. This deeply personal feeling is the logical result of a series of obstacles placed in their way during language acquisition by the society at large, the community, and by the speakers themselves. The paradox of the issue is that even though many members of heritage language speaking communities share this anxiety, it is often hidden out of fear of judgment or inadequacy. In order to understand this anxiety, fear, and frustration that come from these obstructive systems, this essay will examine various forms of fiction and non-fiction, as well as linguistic studies that reveal, through official research or personal stories, the feelings that heritage speakers are so afraid to share with one another.

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