Read all about it! Community language media and language maintenance

Ben Petre


This paper reports the preliminary results of an ongoing investigation into community language media provision and use in Melbourne, with special reference to fust and second generation Greek Australians. The introductory section of the paper formulates a series of working hypotheses about the potential and actual role played by mother tongue media in language maintenance on the basis of previous research findings. Mother tongue newspapers, radio and television programs available to five different communities are outlined in section two, which assesses the relative strength of Greek-language media in Melbourne. Section three presents data from a series of interviews on media use conducted with thirty-six fust and second generation Greek Australians living in the same city. On the basis of the information presented, the concluding section argues that it is important to distinguish between media provision and media use; while the former cannot be regarded as a reliable guide to group language maintenance efforts in Australia, the latter is indicative of individual interest in mother tongue preservation in the second generation.

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