HOW PARENTS FOSTER BILINGUALISM IN THE FAMILY: A CASE STUDY OF AN INDONESIAN STUDENT FAMILY IN PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Lilis Ummi Fa'iezah

Abstract


This study investigated how Indonesian children in Australia as a foreign country
temporarily switch their Indonesian language with English, what parents’ attitudes toward
the children’s language is, and how Indonesian parents encourage the use of Bahasa
Indonesia by their children at home (in Australia). A case study method with qualitative
approach was used. Participants of the study were one family of Indonesian students
comprising a 35-year-old mother with 6 and 8-year-old sons. The mother was chosen
because she was considered as repositories of culture and responsible for the maintenance
of tradition and language. Data collected through observation and open-ended interview.
The study showed that the Indonesian children soon adopted English and gradually lost
their mother language because of their less frequent use and interaction with the users.
The Indonesian mother had to struggle to maintain her children’s mother tongue, since
she and her family planed to go back to Indonesia. Parents had to make an effort to
maintain their children’s Indonesian language skills. Use of mother tongue as the home
language considered to be a good way to foster children’s Indonesian use. This could help
the children re-learning Indonesian they had a good understanding of it.


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IJE | ISSN: 1978-1342