Event Title

Heritage Language Maintenance Among Second and Third Generation Hmong-Americans

Presenter Information

Tiffany Xiong

Mentor 1

Dr. Chia Youyee Vang

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

While the Hmong ethnic group makes up over 299,000 people in the United States, there is little exploration of the Hmong heritage language (HL). The Hmong HL writing system is based on the Romanized writing system; however, the Hmong HL stems from their oral storytelling and the Hmong paj ntaub story cloth. The Hmong’s support and partnership with American forces in Laos during the Vietnam War led to their resettlement across the United States including Milwaukee. The nature of the HL maintenance for Hmong-Americans highlights the decline of the HL among immigrant children due to their attitudes about its relevance in their lives. While there has been a decline of HL use, there has been an emergence of Hmong-Americans’ interest in HL. This study explores the attitudes of second and third generation Hmong-Americans and their perspectives on the HL and its maintenance. An analysis of online and paper surveys provide insight to the Hmong Americans’ perspectives. The survey was sent through email to Hmong students who attend UW-Milwaukee and posted on Facebook on various personal pages and Hmong language pages. The findings were based on questions which asked research participants to elaborate on their value and interpretation of the Hmong HL in their life. There were 247 participants in the paper and online surveys. Outcomes unravel essentials at the heart of second and third generation Hmong-Americans’ attitudes about the HL maintenance. Their attitudes reveal the language as integral to personal and collective identity, history, and culture. These attitudes also display their engagement and exposure to cultural and HL settings as a result of their interpretation of the HL value. Through these findings, this research conveys the importance of Hmong HL in stitching together the fabric of second and third generation Hmong-American identity.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Heritage Language Maintenance Among Second and Third Generation Hmong-Americans

Union Wisconsin Room

While the Hmong ethnic group makes up over 299,000 people in the United States, there is little exploration of the Hmong heritage language (HL). The Hmong HL writing system is based on the Romanized writing system; however, the Hmong HL stems from their oral storytelling and the Hmong paj ntaub story cloth. The Hmong’s support and partnership with American forces in Laos during the Vietnam War led to their resettlement across the United States including Milwaukee. The nature of the HL maintenance for Hmong-Americans highlights the decline of the HL among immigrant children due to their attitudes about its relevance in their lives. While there has been a decline of HL use, there has been an emergence of Hmong-Americans’ interest in HL. This study explores the attitudes of second and third generation Hmong-Americans and their perspectives on the HL and its maintenance. An analysis of online and paper surveys provide insight to the Hmong Americans’ perspectives. The survey was sent through email to Hmong students who attend UW-Milwaukee and posted on Facebook on various personal pages and Hmong language pages. The findings were based on questions which asked research participants to elaborate on their value and interpretation of the Hmong HL in their life. There were 247 participants in the paper and online surveys. Outcomes unravel essentials at the heart of second and third generation Hmong-Americans’ attitudes about the HL maintenance. Their attitudes reveal the language as integral to personal and collective identity, history, and culture. These attitudes also display their engagement and exposure to cultural and HL settings as a result of their interpretation of the HL value. Through these findings, this research conveys the importance of Hmong HL in stitching together the fabric of second and third generation Hmong-American identity.