Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Shelley Taylor


This study examines first language (LI) maintenance in a second language (L2) environment from the viewpoint of its importance, implications,'and challenges, specifically in the context of Ontario’s International Language (IL) Programs. An ethnographic case study was conducted in two IL elementary classrooms to investigate the role IL programs play in language maintenance. Program administrators, teachers, students, and parents participated through semi-structured interviews, classroom i observations, and in-class questionnaires. This study reviewed current curriculum and educational policies and suggested amendments for more relevant IL teaching and - learning policies. It also examined stakeholders’ perceptions and attitudes towards the Cantonese Chinese language, the IL program, and how these factors contribute to language maintenance. The results suggest that IL Programs do contribute to the overall Cantonese Chinese language maintenance in second-generation Chinese Canadians. They show that both stakeholders’ attitudes towards the language and the quality of the learning material can impact the language learning and maintenance environment.



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