This study explored the family language policy of the transnational Nepali families living in the US regarding how their language ideologies and practices are shaped and in turn shape the heritage language development of their school-age children. Adopting an ethnographic case study research design, the study tried to find the answers to three research questions; 1) What are the beliefs of the two Nepali immigrant families living in the US related to the use of language and what are the sources of these beliefs?; 2) What language practices do they make in different interactional settings and how does that further influence the linguistic behavior of the children?; and 3) What language management efforts are these family members making for the development of language in their children and how do these efforts influence the language and literacy skills of their children?. Data for the study were collected using semi-structured interviews, participant observation, field notes, and analysis of available artifacts related to the study area from two selected families. Analysis of the data done through recursive content analysis showed that despite having a positive attitude towards their heritage language, the families are not able to invest resources and provide adequate support to their children for the development of heritage language and literacy skills. The study also revealed that the children, as members of the linguistically marginalized communities, do not receive any support from the schools and society to help them develop proficiency in their home language.


Sarah Henderson Lee

Committee Member

Paolo Infante

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities



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In Copyright