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Multilingualism and language practice of minority language background youths: a case study of the ethnic Korean youths in China

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(Thesis) M.A.
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This dissertation explores the interrelation of language, identity, and multilingualism among language minority youths through sociolinguistic and ethnographic lenses. Drawing from the data collected in a case study of six multilingual ethnic Korean teenagers from the ChaoXianZu Diaspora in Beijing, China, this study illustrates the interplay of the macro-level conditions and micro-level processes through which these youths negotiate their identities in multilingual contexts. Followed by a debate of the nature of contemporary Chinese nationalism, the study also examines the relationship between nationalism, multilingualism, language, and identities among minority groups in general. The findings suggest that multilingual speakers tend to devalue their own language knowledge, and consequently undermine their own legitimacy as multilingual. In turn, it is suggested that the schools and educators must pay attention to this tendency, which will affect the self esteem and vigorous intellectual development of the minority language background students in this multilingual era.
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