THE ROLE OF HERITAGE LANGUAGE LEARNING IN ASPIRING SOMALI ORIGIN STUDENTS IN ENGLAND PRIMARY SCHOOL FOR AIMING AT HIGHER EDUCATION
Keywords:Heritage language, Somali origin students, extra-curricular activity, England primary school
Minority ethnic students in England still seem to be far behind in terms of academic attainment as young people in England leave schools with very few or no qualifications. Three theories framed this empirical study: the Ethnic Capital, Self-Determination, and Vygotsky's Sociocultural theories and it explores the role of Somali heritage language (HL) literacy learning in motivating and aspiring Somali origin students to attend higher education institutions. The participants, 12 Year 4 students (8 boys and 4 girls) at a primary school in Bristol involved in an extra-curricular activity where they learned HL literacy for 6 months. At the end of the intervention, participants were invited to an English as an additional language conference to perform their HL literacy skills as they previously asked me to. After the performance, semi-structured interviews were employed to capture the experience of the students. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Two main themes emerged: emotions and opportunity in relation to visiting the university. It was tentatively claimed that when the Somali origin students in England primary school learn their heritage language (HL) literacy, their motivation to further study at a higher institution is thereby raised.