Olga Kagan, UCLA, and Kathleen Dillon, UC Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching
We are delighted to present this fourth guest-edited edition of the Heritage Language Journal. Publication of a special issue on Korean as a heritage language is significant for the heritage language field, given that approximately 1,062,337 people in the U.S. have self-identified as speaking Korean at home (U.S. Census, 2008).
This issue could only have been possible thanks to the efforts of the two guest editors, Sarah Shin (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Jin-Sook Lee (University of California, Santa Barbara). Both Shin and Lee have been forerunners in research on Korean as a heritage language and culture. We are deeply grateful for their sustained efforts to bring this special issue to completion, and for writing an introduction that makes the issue accessible to non-Koreanists.
Eunjin Park (University of Texas at Arlington) contributed Intergenerational Transmission of Cultural Values in Korean American Families: An Analysis of the Verb Suffix -ta, which investigates informal, intergenerational family interactions and childrens' language utterances. Since the paper is based on the concept of language socialization, it too will be of interest to heritage language instructors and researchers across languages.
Korean Heritage Language Maintenance and Language Ideology by Mihyon Jeon (York University) is an ethnographic study of students' and families' attitudes toward learning their heritage language and how these attitudes are continuously shaped and revised. The data gathered and the conclusions reached by Jeon have implications for all heritage language programs.
The final entry, Voluntary Writing in the Heritage Language: A Study of Biliterate Korean-Heritage Adolescents in the U.S. is by Youngjoo Yi (Georgia State University). This paper's focus on biliterate adolescents with advanced skills in both English and Korean offers our readers important insights into this demographic group that can inform curriculum development.
Hae-Young Kim's (Duke University) commentary on each paper also makes a significant contribution to the dialog about heritage language and culture.
We anticipate the publication of a general issue in 2009. In addition, a guest-edited issue devoted to Heritage Language and Identity is in progress.
As is the case with every issue of the Journal, the extraordinary editing skills of Managing Editor Susan Bauckus deserve our highest praise and appreciation.
U.S. Census. (2008). Table B16001: Language spoken at home by ability to speak english for the population 5 years and over [table]. 2007 American Community Survey. Available at http://www.census.gov