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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Dispelling Myths: Facts for Developing an Appropriate Language Education Policy in Immigrant Nations

Dr Kay Losey, Hermann Kurthen.

Analyses of the language use and proficiency of people of Turkish descent in Germany and Mexican descent in the U.S. reveal that the rate at which these immigrant groups learn the host language is nothing short of astounding. Of grave concern, however, is that these groups are losing their mother-tongues at astonishing rates as well.

This paper carefully identifies the assimilationist effects of language policies carried out in these nations and explores the negative social and psychological consequences of rapid language loss, consequences that are detrimental not only to the individual but also to the host society.

The paper will conclude by proposing a language education policy for such immigrant nations that teaches the host language while also maintaining the mother-tongue and provides such education for even the most recent immigrants.


Dr Kay Losey  (United States)
Associate Professor
Program in Writing and Rhetoric
State University of New York, Stony Brook

Hermann Kurthen  (United States)

State University of New York, Stony Brook

  • Bilingualism
  • Language Learning
  • Language Maintenance
  • Immigration
  • Globalization

(30 min Conference Paper, English)