In a situation where the parents choose to stick with the initial culture then the children’s identity does not change. These children will still identify with the Brazilian culture; however, this is different if the parents decide to completely depart from their indigenous culture. Unfortunately, this cannot be said in the case of a language. Children will by default adopt the language widely used by the larger society, this explains why in the interview the children attested to be slowly forgetting Portuguese but developing their use of French and to some extent English.
This observation is best explained by a look at the sociocultural perspective which identifies social context as critical to learning. Further, it stresses the importance of social interaction, communication and instruction to learning not to mention that the social environment is identified as not only a place where learning takes place but one that is critical to the learning process (Johnson & Golombek, 2010).
These children perceive language as a mere means of communication. To them, using Portuguese at home or French/English in school does not represent anything but is only an enabling element. The language enables interactions and social contact with their classmates and teachers. This is different from the parents who view language as a source of identity which explains their insistence on the children’s use of Portuguese at home. Perhaps the parents are afraid that failure to use the language will mean losing their identity. Additionally, the children view biliteracy as more of an advantage as it allows them to have a taste of both worlds (Rivera & Huerta-Macías, 2008). This feeling is not shared by the parents as these look at biliteracy as a way of draining the children’s prowess in the indigenous Portuguese language.
The children perceive the Portuguese language as a barrier to ...Show more