Hvordan er språkmiljøet hjemme hos barn med foreldre som har persisk som førstespråk?
This is a Master’s dissertation from Oslo and Akershus University College. In this masterthesis i will study the parent role in the language environment of children in families with Persian origin and what role the parents have in this environment. I also want to study whether the development of the mother tongue forms the basis for the development of Norwegian as a second language and thus for functional bilingualism. Language is important in interaction with other people. It is important for human emotional, social identity and intellectual development. Furthermore, it forms community with other people. Children with a minority background will learn their native language and, in my opinion, it is important that they feel it is useful to them. This happens when the children feel interact with their parents, their family and relatives. The research question said: «How is the language environment of children in families with parents having Persian as their first language?» I have chosen this research question for my master thesis because I think it is important for employees in kindergarten in a diverse society to know something about how the language environment in the families of the children varies in different cultures in Norway. This could help improve how the children are received in kindergartens, it can increase the quality of parent cooperation and it may affect positively how children learn Norwegian in the kindergarten. This thesis is based on phenomenological theory by Husserl (1900), Merleau-Ponty (1994), Thornquist (2003), Haugen (2005), Birkler (2007), Kvale and Brinkmann (2009). Other theories about children with minority-language backgrounds and bilingual development are by Wong Fillmore (1991), Valvatne and Sandvik (2002), Gjervan (2006, 2008), Gjervan, Andersen and Bleka (2006), Engen and Kulbranstad (2006), Sand (2006) and Chumak- Horbatsch (2012). The postcolonial perspective is inspired by Said (1978), Frantz Fanon (1961), Gandhi (1998), Foucault (1999), Rhedding-Jones (2002, 2005), Andersen (2002), Morten (2003), Cannella and Viruru (2004), Lens Taguchi (2004), Otterstad (2005), Spivak (2009), Otterstat og Rhedding- Jones (2011). My research is a qualitative research process. Qualitative research is well suited to gain insight into the informant's own experiences, thoughts and feelings. My purpose was from the beginning to interview five parents with children between 2 and 6 years. It was important to me that both or one of the parents were born in Iran and have Persian as the main language. It was important that the parents had good contact with the staff in the kindergarten and could tell about their experience of how their child used his or her language. In the analysis section I present empirical data from my five informants. I point out the similarities and differences that I found through interviews. In the discussion section, I discuss the informants' answers during the interviews. My findings are about my informants' experience of language use and language development in children with minority language backgrounds. The findings can also be linked to theories, especially regarding the consideration of children's choices, and viewing children as subjective phenomena and point out the big role that kindergarten and parents play in the child's development of both native and other languages. In the sixth chapter I wrote about the findings in my survey. One of the findings is that parents and kindergarten play a major role in the child's mother tongue development. Children's socialization and language development depend on each other. Parents help the child to contact other children and adults. With good social skills, children can build strong and rewarding relationships and develop their language skills. Another finding is that mother tongue is of great importance to children and is important for learning Norwegian. Minority-language children are a resource for the kindergarten. When linguistic and cultural diversity is part of the day-to-day work in kindergarten and school, one probably achieves something more important than stimulating the development of linguistic awareness and expanding the children's image of the world, namely to prevent opposites between majority children and minority children. Recent findings are the consideration of the child's choice. When minority language children begin to go to kindergarten and learn other languages, the child can decide in which language they want to talk or decide to switch between two languages in different situations. In my survey, I got a clear opinion that all the informants except one, want the children to learn Persian, but they also want a good language development in norwegian. My findings show that both parents and kindergarten play an important role in language development for both mother tongue and Norwegian as second language.