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What factors lead a community to shift from using one language to using another?

1. Economic Factor
Initially, the most obvious factor is that the community sees an economic. Obtaining work is
the most obvious economic reason for learning another language. In English dominated
countries, for instance, people learn English in order to get good jobs. This results in
bilingualism. The high demand from industries for employees with fluent English has
successfully encouraged job seekers to equip themselves with English. In fact, being
competent in English leads to well-paid jobs.
2. Social Factor
The second important factor, then, seems to be that the community sees no reason to take
active steps to maintain their ethnic language. When there is a community of speakers moving
to a region or a country whose language is different from theirs, there is a tendency to shift to
the new language. Every time an immigrant learns the native language of the new country and
passes it down to children in place of the old country language. For example, where a migrant
minority group moves to a predominately monolingual society dominated by one majority
group language in all the major institutional domains
government administration, courts, work

school, TV, radio, newspaper,

language shift will be unavoidable unless the

community takes active steps to prevent it.


3. Political Factor
Rapid shift occurs when people are anxious to get on in a society where knowledge of the
second language is a prerequisite for success.
4. Demographic Factor
Demographic factor plays the role in the process of language shift. When there is a
community of speakers moving to a region or a country whose language is different from
theirs, there is a tendency to shift to the new language. Every time an immigrant learns the
native language of the new country and passes it down to children in place of the old country
language. For example, I was born in Solo so my mother tongue is Javanese which was used
as the language in my former neighborhood and the medium of instruction in my elementary
school. I moved to Jakarta in 1979. Since then, I only use Javanese at home with my family
and my Javanese neighbors. Because there is a high frequency of contact with people coming

from different ethnic groups who use Bahasa Indonesia, I gradually shift from Javanese to
Bahasa Indonesia. This is a clear evidence that demography is an influencing factor in
language shift.
5. Attitude Factor
The negative attitudes towards the language can also accelerate language shift. It occurs
where the ethnic language is not highly valued and is not seen as a symbol of identity. As
stated by Holmes, young people are the fastest to shift languages (60). Teenagers in some big
cities of Central Java Province gradually abandon Javanese in daily communication. Having
various levels of formality, Javanese is seen as a difficult medium of instruction. They are
required to choose different variety when talking to different people. In addition, they feel
more prestigious when using Bahasa Indonesia or English than when using Javanese. (Samadi
SP, Suara Karya). Teenagers nowadays want to be a part of a global community. Therefore,
they do not have the need to show their identity by using Javanese. If this continues, they will
eventually lose their ability to speak Javanese.

http://tefltere.blogspot.com/2009/05/factors-contributing-to-language-shift.html [accessed on
April 16, 2015 at 2:48 AM]
http://yatilavigne.blogspot.com/2012/06/factor-contributing-to-language-shift.html [accessed on
April 16, 2015 at 4:08AM]