Language Maintenance and Transmission: The Case of Egyptian Arabic in Durham, UK

Yasser Ahmed Gomaa


This sociolinguistic micro-level study examines experiences of five Egyptian families, living in Durham, UK, who are trying to transmit Egyptian Arabic to their children. Answers to the following questions are sought: first, how these language-minority families describe barriers to and supports for passing on Egyptian Arabic to their children? Second, what language decisions they make in order to fulfill their roles? Third, how such decisions are linked to their identity as Egyptians living in an English-dominant country? Finally, what are the factors that helps their children to preserve Egyptian Arabic? The findings, based on data collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviews and participant observation, show that the participants regard Egyptian Arabic as a cultural core value  that is linked with other core values such as religion and identity. Consequently, a number of language-related decisions have been made and implemented to ensure the improvement of their children's Egyptian Arabic spoken proficiency level.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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