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Browsing by Subject "vähemmistökieli"

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  • Saario, Hanna-Kaisa Christina (2018)
    Goal. Lack of exposure to the Finnish language is a common problem for Finnish-speaking children living in the United States. These children having Finnish as their mother tongue, have to grow without a comprehensive exposure to Finnish. They also belong to a minority language group. To maintain and improve Finnish, children should have a need to use their language and opportunities to gain exposure to it. Often Finnish ends up being the weaker language and parents find keeping its level up difficult. The goal of this research is to find the challenges Finnish speaking parents are facing when maintaining or developing Finnish language in the U.S. In addition to this I will look into the reasons behind this and practical solutions to these problems. Methods. This research is a qualitative case study. The data consists of 17 answers for the questionnaire survey. The questionnaire survey was done during the summer of 2016. The respondents were Finnish speaking parents, living in the U.S., whose children are / were the age of 6 or below during their stay. The respondents’ spouse’s mother tongue was not taken into account during the analysis. The data of the study was analyzed through content analysis methods. Results and conclusion. The research shows that the biggest challenges for the parents in maintaining their children’s ability to speak Finnish was largely focused on their need to use Finnish, a lack of varied exposure, quality of language, availability of native speech therapy services, and the problems focusing on language characteristics. The parents made sure to attempt to maintain the children’s Finnish language and their children’s choice was to primarily use English. According to the data, the challenges the parents face are varied and depend commonly on what kind of Finnish language exposure the children have a chance to live in, and what kind of standards the parents have for maintaining the children’s mother tongue. The higher the parents’ standards are in maintaining their children’s level of Finnish language, the more they are willing to work even when they are facing problems with their children’s mother tongue.