Social Factors Influencing the Acquisition of the Romanian Language by Students Belonging to a Local Community Hungarian Minority
Research on language acquisition is a central theme in sociolinguistic research. Contemporary social, economic and political processes affect the life of communities and the languages what they speak. Globalization, migration and the enlargement of the European Union can significantly change the role and the future of majority and minority languages. In this research, we aim to reveal the family level language choice strategies of the Hungarian community in the small town of Margitha (Bihor County, Romania), discussing the role of family related social framework that positively or negatively influences the motivation of minority students to acquire knowledge of the Romanian language. For this purpose, we used both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. The results of research confirm that in multi-ethnic communities perhaps the most important, however at the same time the most vulnerable component of ethnic identity is the linguistic identity, which plays a key role in shaping the cultural landmarks and contents that determine the social integration of the individual. The positive family effects of socialization with the Hungarian language can be observed mostly in the ethnically homogeneous family. However, if one of the spouses is ethnic Romanian, the dominant language of communication within the family is more likely to be the Romanian language.
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