ASSIMILATION OR PLURALISM? CHANGING POLICIES FOR MINORITY LANGUAGES EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA
In spite of 'globalization' and the homogenizing trends which accompany it, the validity of ethnic identity, anchored in linguistic and cultural core values, has become a world phenomenon with minority languages encountering varying degrees of support or suppression. The paper examines the changing legislation and education policies toward minority languages in Australia. The country's emergence from an assimilationist past to embrace a more cultural approach in analysed with special reference to young Cambodian-Australians' educational achievements that show the vital importance of school support for minority language literacy and students' subsequent professional advancement. The paper concludes by re-affirming the need for a supportive community milieu to be supplemented by school literacy programs in minority languages. However, either of these two facts in its own way may be insufficient to ensure successful language maintenance and development.
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