Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Anderson-Mejias

Second Advisor

Dr. Yong Lang

Third Advisor

Dr. Deborah Cole


A 2005 study in the bilingual Spanish/English Rio Grande Valley of South Texas investigates the language strategies used by immigrant families from China, Greece, Hungary, Japan, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, and the Ukraine to preserve their heritage languages and pass them on to their children. Personal interviews determine that all the parents are well-educated and from an above average socio-economic level. This investigation categorizes the various strategies used by the parents. All the immigrant parents emphasize that the main reason they want to preserve the heritage language with their children is to insure that the children can continue to communicate with their extended family in the home country. The social use of language appears to be the strongest motivation for success in preserving these immigrant languages not supported in the bilingual environment.


Copyright 2006 Sonia A. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American