Renjie Tang

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Farahnaz Faez


Research shows that heritage language (HL) maintenance benefits both the

individual and society, and that HL schools have a great impact on HL development. This study investigates the effectiveness of a HL program in supporting students to maintain their first language. I conducted a mixed methods research in a weekend Chinese HL school in a community in southwestern Ontario, utilizing various methods, such as questionnaires, focus group interviews, semi-structured interviews, and classroom observations to explore this issue.

The results revealed that many students in the Chinese school held a positive attitude towards maintaining their HL. This school presented a place for students to learn their heritage language and culture. However, limitations such as lack of sufficient certified and qualified language teachers, lack o f appropriate textbooks, teaching material and curriculum guidelines, as well as time and space restrictions impeded the quality o f instruction and success o f the program. More support is required to make the HL program more effective



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