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"Es algo mio, de mis raíces": El español como lengua de herencia en Suecia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
2016 (Spanish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
“It’s my own, from my roots” : Spanish as a Heritage Language in Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

There are many children of Spanish-speaking origin in Sweden. However, for many of these bilinguals, Swedish is a dominant language compared to their heritage language (HL) Spanish because of its role in the social environment. The current thesis is a didactic study and the aim is to investigate the attitude of Spanish-speaking adolescents towards the Spanish language. We have evaluated the factors that contribute to conservation or attrition of the Spanish language and the opinions of the participants regarding the attitude of parents in order to understand how the participants develop their proficiency in Spanish as a heritage language. To better understand the phenomenon of Spanish as a heritage language in Sweden, we studied a group of Spanish-speaking adolescents aged 16-18 years. We used a mixed method approach to collect data using ten anonymous surveys and five individual interviews. For ethical reasons, the names of interviewees have been replaced by fictitious names. Using data obtained from anonymous surveys and individual interviews we answered the research questions: What factors are the most important, according to the adolescents, in order to keep the mother tongue? What do adolescents think about the attitude of parents towards their mother tongue? The interview responses match the data obtained from the surveys, noting that the most influential factor in maintaining the Spanish language was speaking the language. We have observed that the attitude of parents affects adolescents in their linguistic choices. Most adolescents felt that parents had a positive attitude towards the mother tongue. In cases when only Spanish was spoken at home (i.e. without mixing both languages) a higher level of Spanish proficiency was observed. Because of the sociocultural environment (dominated by Swedish), adolescents who were born in Sweden or who entered the country at an early age received more language input in the majority language and therefore, Swedish became the dominant language. We also noted that one of the participants had maintained a high level of proficiency in Spanish despite being born in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 36 p.
Keyword [es]
español, lengua de herencia, suecia, atrición
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131429OAI: diva2:939187
Available from: 2016-08-01 Created: 2016-06-18 Last updated: 2016-08-01Bibliographically approved

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