Helping our Children with Homework: Homework as an Activity of Anxiety for First Generation Bilingual Korean American Mothers

  • 투고 : 2011.10.29
  • 심사 : 2012.04.18
  • 발행 : 2012.08.30


This study aimed to understand communicative and socialization practices of immigrant bilingual families in everyday learning situations by examining interactions between parents and children in the United States. Drawn on language socialization theory and socio-cultural factors influencing immigrants, this study explored how three Korean American mothers struggled as they helped their children with homework by interviewing the mothers and observing mother-child interaction during homework time. The study paid attention to the emotional values of immigrant parents that they tried to teach their children who are members in two distinctive communities, such as Korean American and mainstream American. The findings showed that parental socialization practices had effects on children's emotional and social competence and at the same time the socialization process was bidirectional. Mothers started with Korean values, but they faced challenges with the English language, different demands for American homework, and children's rejection of their attempts. Mothers needed to change their strategy and borrow American ways of keeping emotional distance from their children by acknowledging their independence. Their struggles are discussed with attention to their language choice and culture.



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