British-born Pakistani community in Manchester:

© Sara Khan

This study explores the language use and attitudes of British-born Pakistanis in Manchester in order to understand how the migration process has affected the maintenance of their HL(s). The study aims to answer the following questions: (1) Which languages are spoken in the Pakistani community, and what support and opportunities are there to maintain and develop these in Manchester? (2) To what extent are HL(s) being maintained by the British-born generation, and do they have a distinctive role to play? (3) What are speaker’s attitudes towards the HLs and their future maintenance?

The findings show that there is a significant level of support and opportunities to use and access resources in the HL(s) (particularly Urdu) across Manchester. However, while the HL has been maintained across three generations, competence differs, and the languages have different functions for speakers depending on the generation they belong to. The dominant and preferred language for communication is English. Furthermore there is shift toward English and Arabic in the religious domain, and changing patterns of attitudes toward the cultural and religious significance of the HL. Nevertheless, the HL has remained an important part of British-born Pakistanis’ linguistic repertoire, as it fulfils functions that English and other languages cannot fulfill, whether they are communicative or solely symbolic.

For more information please see Sara's Undergraduate dissertation.