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Language shift and vitality perceptions amongst London's second-generation Bangladeshis
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:56 authored by Sebastian M. Rasinger
With more than 64,500 members, the Bangladeshi community in London is one of the largest in the UK. Originating from a wave of immigration during the 1970s, a considerable part of the community now consists of a second, UK-born generation. This explorative study seeks to address, first, the extent of the intergenerational language shift from Bangla to English, and second, the patterns in Ethnolinguistic Vitality (EV) perceptions amongst a group of educated second-generation Bangladeshis. This study is located within the theoretical framework of EV. A questionnaire was used to elicit information on language usage patterns and perceptions of EV. The results suggest a strong shift from a very Bangla-centric first generation to a second generation that shows strong preferences for the use of English across all communicative domains. Bangla language maintenance seems to play a limited role even in the home/family domain – a domain that has traditionally been seen as a stronghold of minority community languages. This raises issues with regard to heritage language transmission from the second to the third generation.
Publication titleJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
PublisherTaylor & Francis