Parental motivations and heritage language schooling: A study of Japanese and Marathi parents


  • Pallavi Anshuman Atre La Trobe University


Why do heritage language learners (HLLs) end up in heritage language schools (HLS)? Until now, there has been relatively little research on the links between parental motivation and language learners’ language school attendance within the domain of heritage language (HL). This paper examines Marathi (people from the state of Maharashtra, India) and Japanese parental experiences in HL schooling and identifies their motivations to send their children to HLSs over other providers in Melbourne, Australia, drawing on the instrumental and integrative motivation framework (Gardner & Lambert, 1972). Analysing the cases of Marathi and Japanese parents, I propose that parental motivation lies on a continuum, which I refer to as the parental-motivation continuum. I argue that integrative-affective motivation in parents is the major motivation for sending children to HLSs and that HLSs are integral in activating the cultural identity of students, which goes beyond merely HL learning.