CHILD LANGUAGE BROKERING AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS OF STUDENTS FROM IMMIGRANT FAMILIES IN AUSTRIA
University of Graz (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Immigration places a great amount of stress on families. Individuals, and the family as whole, must secure housing, attain employment, enter the educational system, navigate new cultural mores, and learn a new language among other tasks required in acculturation. For many families, children often acquire the new language at a faster pace than parents and are asked to then act as translators on behalf of the parents and family, a task called language brokering. Children who interpret for their immigrant parents are referred to as language brokers. Almost 20 % of Austrian’s population are immigrants that within the last twenty years came to live in this country. Among them are Bosnians and Turks, who constitute the 2nd and the 4th largest group. Whereas migrants from other countries often have high school diplomas or are even college graduates, the educational level of these two groups in many cases hardly improves even within the second generation.
The present study examines the relationship of language brokering to academic performance of Bosnian and Turkish college students (n = 160) from immigrant families in Austria. They were interviewed on various aspects of brokering. Moreover, the final grades of their school leaving certificate were compared. Results show that frequent language brokering was very positively related to better final grades in in English. The impact of frequent brokering on German and Maths grades was less significant.
Another predictor of high academic performance were positive feelings towards brokering, academic self-efficacy, and an increased self-esteem due to successful brokering activities.
Keywords: Academic success, immigration, multicultural education, immigrant students.