The Boat People By Joris De Bres Summary

2115 Words9 Pages
Joris de Bres wrote a blog entry called “The Boat People” in 1997. Parts of the text that best express language attitudes held by migrants towards the dominant language of English and the minority language of Dutch are examined through an analysis regarding the origins of such attitudes and what influenced their development through personal and societal components. The aspects covered include societal, individual, additive and subtractive bilingualism. The second part of this essay discusses the relationship between these attitudes and language and maintenance shift by showing the contribution of Diglossia, status, and demographic and institutional support factors Various attitudes are expressed by de Bres, his family, and others who immigrated…show more content…
German was learned “with no adverse effects on” (Study Guide 2, p.4) Dutch. His parents both spoke German and de Bres received a scholarship to study in Berlin so speaking a second language became an asset. Dutch was used for the majority of his time there but they all had to learn how to communicate correctly, what words to use and when to use them, outside the home when they entered New Zealand. At the time of his arrival here subtractive bilingualism was present and the family began a language shift. English was “learned at the expense of…” the Dutch language. All domains of Dutch were re-allocated to English as it had gained more social prestige. It was relegated to a minority language group in a society where bilingualism was not valued. Dutch had been replaced (Study Guide 2,…show more content…
Religion and education have been discussed earlier. The home domain is usually the last to shift but was among the first in the Dutch community as there were no opportunities to use this language outside the home. He depicts early friendships as a “…sort of fellow-feeling [he had] with the few other Dutch children at school, but you didn’t feel inclined to get too close to them” so again, the opportunity to continue speaking the language was lost. De Bres does not discuss his employment history in the

    More about The Boat People By Joris De Bres Summary

      Open Document