Scholarly article on topic 'Linguistic Capital in Iran: Using Official Language or Mother Tongue'

Linguistic Capital in Iran: Using Official Language or Mother Tongue Academic research paper on "Psychology"

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Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Mohammad Aliakbari, Fereshteh Khosravian

Abstract Linguistic capital has been the subject of interest and study to many linguists and sociolinguists in the past decade, a central point in this relation can be found in Bourdieu's (1992) claim that language is not simply an object of study; and that it is an instrument of action and power and also has the power to produce existence. This capitalism can be considered as a threatening factor for the national unity in bi or multilingual countries. Iran as a multilingual country is not an exception to this threat; however, few studies have addressed the issue in the society. In response to this shortcoming, the present study investigated linguistic capital in different situations to see how power is distributed among the languages of the country. Accordingly, Persian as the official language of the country and Turkish, Kurdish and Luri, major indigenous languages of the country, were brought under investigation. In so doing, a researcher-made questionnaire was administrated to 220 subjects who were all bilingual male and female within the age range of 18 to 80 having fourteen different professions. The results of the paired sample t-test analysis indicate meaningful difference in participants’ choice of mother tongue and Persian as the official language in non-official conditions which stands for the power of the latter. Moreover, the regression analysis demonstrated that age, gender, job, degree of education, field of study, and residency were significant for the prediction of the dependent variables. Yet, gender predicted the best. Therefore, EFL teachers should be aware of the power of each language the learners speak and distinguish the difference between the knowledge they possess and the language they use to express.

Academic research paper on topic "Linguistic Capital in Iran: Using Official Language or Mother Tongue"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 98 (2014) 190 - 199

International Conference on Current Trends in ELT

Linguistic Capital in Iran: Using Official Language or Mother

Tongue

Mohammad Aliakbari^ *, Fereshteh Khosravianb

a b English Department of Ilam University, Ilam 69315-516, Iran

Abstract

Linguistic capital has been the subject of interest and study to many linguists and sociolinguists in the past decade, a central point in this relation can be found in Bourdieu's (1992) claim that language is not simply an object of study; and that it is an instrument of action and power and also has the power to produce existence. This capitalism can be considered as a threatening factor for the national unity in bi or multilingual countries. Iran as a multilingual country is not an exception to this threat; however, few studies have addressed the issue in the society. In response to this shortcoming, the present study investigated linguistic capital in different situations to see how power is distributed among the languages of the country. Accordingly, Persian as the official language of the country and Turkish, Kurdish and Luri, major indigenous languages of the country, were brought under investigation. In so doing, a researcher-made questionnaire was administrated to 220 subjects who were all bilingual male and female within the age range of 18 to 80 having fourteen different professions. The results of the paired sample t-test analysis indicate meaningful difference in participants' choice of mother tongue and Persian as the official language in non-official conditions which stands for the power of the latter. Moreover, the regression analysis demonstrated that age, gender, job, degree of education, field of study, and residency were significant for the prediction of the dependent variables. Yet, gender predicted the best. Therefore, EFL teachers should be aware of the power of each language the learners speak and distinguish the difference between the knowledge they possess and the language they use to express.

© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selectionandpeer-reviewunder responsibility of Urmia University, Iran.

Keywords: Indigenous languages; Linguistic capital; Multilingual country; Official language; Power distribution

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98-918-341-3283; fax: +98-841-223-8528. E-mail address: maliakbari@hotmail.com

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Urmia University, Iran.

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.406

1. Introduction

Iran is a large and multiethnic country, where many different languages are spoken by the citizens. Iranian languages are derived from Indo-European languages which have been spoken in some areas of the world, such as Iran, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Georgia, since long ago. It also has a heterogeneous population speaking a variety of Indo-Iranian, Semitic, and Turkic languages. The largest language group consists of the speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, who comprised about 70 percent of the population in 1986 (Hooglund, 1991). The speakers of Indo-Iranian languages are not; however, a homogeneous group. They include speakers of Persian, the official language of the country, and its various dialects. Some of different dialects are spoken by the Kurds who live in the cities, towns, and villages of western Iran and adjacent areas of Iraq and Turkey. Another is called Luri that is spoken by Bakhtiaris and Lurs who live in the Zagros. Baluchi is the language of the seminomadic people who live in southeastern Iran and adjacent areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And the other dialects are a population who speaks various dialects of Turkish and speakers of Semitic languages include Arabs and Assyrians (Hooglund, 1991). Aliakbari and Darabi (2012) examined the existing variations of seven languages and one dialect in Iran which are the most frequent varieties spoken by large groups. They focused on the distribution of each in different areas. Findings of their study, acknowledged by different sources and information, divulged that Farsi is the most frequent language in Iran (51%). It encompasses the linguistic diversity of various languages within Iran. The second frequently spoken language of Iran is Turkish (25.4%) followed by Kurdish (8%), Gilaki and Mazandarani (7.4%), Luri and Balochi (4%), Arabic (3%), and Laki (1.2%).

Among various properties of language, recently, linguistic capital has been the subject of interest and study to many linguists. In 1986, Bourdieu defined 'linguistic capital' as one form of cultural capital that can exist in the embodied state that is to say in the form of long-lasting disposition through a process of education and cultivation, and in the institutionalized state, for instance, when authorities accord certain languages to be dominantly employed. Moreover, he asserted that linguistic capital is unequally distributed. Linguistic relations of power take place through different expressive styles. Only some speakers possess legitimate styles that may be considered as authoritative and, hence, capable of determining the good usage of language. Language in the social context he defines turns into a kind of capital and a source of power. Bourdieu (1997) suggests that the concepts of cultural capital, social capital, symbolic capital, and linguistic capital provide a better understanding of the complexities of culture, social class, and power. He believes that cultural and linguistic capitals are as influential as economic capital in determining the social and cultural relations, since they turn into symbolic capital and bring about a sort of distinction. Having all these in mind, the present study aimed at investigating linguistic capital in Iran through examining the official language use, Persian, and three indigenous languages in different situations to see how power is distributed among the speakers of different languages of the country. Among all the existing languages in Iran, Kurdish, Luri, and Turkish were selected because of their availability to the researchers.

2. Review of Literature

Capitalism has attracted continuing interest over the past few decades. Such interest has contributed to a large body of research in linguistic capital from different perspectives and different countries. These studies can be divided into studies on different concepts of capital such as linguistic, cultural, and social in general and linguistic capital in different languages in particular. Since the focus of the present study is on the linguistic capital among several languages in one country, in what follows, a number of studies investigating capitalism particularly linguistic capital are reviewed.

Smits and Gunduz-Hosgar (2003) investigated the characteristics of the non-Turkish speaking individuals in Turkey and in the socio-economic consequences of not speaking Turkish. The very large majority of non-Turkish speaking individuals turned out to be Kurdish and Arabic women, living in East Turkey and in the countryside. The data showed that about 4 percent of the married women aged 15-49 in Turkey was not able to speak Turkish. More than 90 percent of these women had not finished primary education. Regarding women's social background, the results suggested that they were more under the influence of traditional cultural values, that their access to the public

domain was limited, and that they were more heavily controlled by their family. Concerning the consequences of not speaking Turkish, they found the non-Turkish speaking women to be less employed in the formal economy, to have husbands with lower educational levels and occupational, and to have lower family incomes. The obtained results of their study were in line with the predictions of linguistic capital concept.

Applying Bourdieusian theoretical framework, Vaish and Tan (2008) scrutinized the relationship between ethnic group, language use, and social class in Singapore considering implications for performance in the national school system. They discussed that though Singapore equitably distributed the linguistic capital of English through its bilingual language in education policy, children from low income homes were disadvantaged. They found that for the Chinese and Malay ethnic groups, there was a correlation between dominant home language and social class; however, this was not the case for the Indians. Correspondence analysis revealed that socioeconomic status was correlated with English test scores. Moreover, as a result of multilevel analysis, socioeconomic status was related to aspects of linguistic capital like language choice in reading, watching TV, choosing types of friends, and learning about religion.

In the same year, Grayson (2008) made an attempt to encounter the needs of the group of students whose home language was different from the one spoken at school. He concluded that in contrast to Canadian- and foreign-born students for whom English was a first language, and Canadian-born ESL students, the linguistic capital of foreign-born ESL students increased over 4 years of university study. However, the increase in linguistic capital was not paralleled by the increase in academic achievement.

Hornberger and Vaish (2008) discovered tensions in translating multilingual language policy to classroom linguistic practice, and especially the paradoxical role of and demand for English as a tool of decolonization for multilingual populations seeking equitable access to a globalizing economy. They represented tensions between multilingualism and English across three national cases at both policy and classroom level through an ecological and sociolinguistic approach. As they demand for English and simultaneous official valuing of multilingualism in all cases, they argued that multilingual classroom practices could be a resource through which children access Standard English while also cultivating their own local languages.

In 2011, Pishghadam and Zabihi explored the relationship between social and cultural capital and academic achievement through administering the Social and Cultural Capital Questionnaire (SCCQ) to 320 undergraduate students majoring in English language, and correlating the respective subscales with the learners' university Grade Point Average (GPA). All five factors of SCCQ were found to be significantly correlated with the learners' GPA. The results of regression analysis disclosed that literacy and cultural competence were predictive of higher GPA. Then, the researchers entered parents' educational levels into the regression model. The outcomes indicated that, together with literacy, mother's educational level predicted 23% of the variances in learners' GPA. Nevertheless, father's educational level was not a good predictor of academic achievement.

Social capital, as a main type of capitals, was explored by Mata and Pendakur (2011) in various linguistic groups using a combined sample of approximately 47 thousand Canadian adults. Analytical methods included factor analysis, structural equation models, cluster analysis, and hierarchical linear models. They employed a multiple indicator model of social capital to estimate synthetic indices of social capital. They subsequently identified mother tongue groups of similar social capital characteristics and focused on the impacts that various individual and contextual characteristics had on social capital formation. Results advocated that five dimensions of social capital, namely institutional trust, organizational memberships, linguistic homogeneity of networks, individual trust, and belonging were critical in understanding this phenomenon. Multivariate analysis of indices tapping these key constructs suggested that mother tongue groups formed distinct classes and that both individual and contextual factors played substantive roles in the social capital accumulation of mother tongue groups.

Aliakbari, Samaie, Sayehmiri, and Qaracholloo (2012) conducted a survey to investigate the relationship between the linguistic and the social class patterns in the compositions of 350 male fifth-grade elementary school students. Accordingly, they designed a Language Pattern Elicitation Prompt and a Social Class Questionnaire to collect relevant data. Furthermore, utilizing the most common social class indices and via a set of pilot studies and factorial analysis, they addressed six social class factors of life style, property, parental education, paternal occupation/income, accommodation, and vehicle/transportation. They analyzed language data for frequencies of the grammatical categories, total number of words, T-units, adjectives, adverbs, personal pronouns, impersonal pronouns, first person singular pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and mean T-unit length. They also analyzed social class data for total social class scores and scores for each social class factor. The results of the correlation analyses recommended a significant relationship between the total social class scores and certain grammatical categories. The relationships between the language data and the social class factors divulged a similar leaning as well, leading to the conclusion that the findings of their study support Bernstein's theory to a great extent.

Most of the studies on different types of capitals in general and linguistic capital in particular were conducted in different languages and cultures. Due to the scarcity of studies accomplished on linguistic capital and its influencing factors in Iran, the present research investigated the extent to which Iranian language users employ Persian as the official language in comparison with their mother tongue in different situations and the factors at work in using one or the other to demonstrate the capitalism of each.

3. Statement of the problem

Today, it is gradually being appreciated that different cultures, languages, and varieties that coexist in Iran are acquired in the natural process of socialization (Nercissians, 2001). It is an important part of the national wealth, and cultural-linguistic diversity that can be a valued resource for continued social development, renovation, and the maintenance of social health in a rapidly changing society. For a long time, bilingualism or multilingualism was considered as the negative factor threatening the national unity of the country (Afshar, 1989). Seeking native resources has become an important sociopolitical goal in Iran, where the contemporary world condition is viewed as a cultural-invasion attempt by the west. In addition to its importance in the general area of language planning, and the associated areas of culture planning and identity planning, the study of bilingualism or multilingualism in Iran is of importance for educational planning in the corresponding speech communities. Having all these in mind, due to the accessibility; three of the frequently used mother tongues, namely Kurdish, Luri, and Turkish were selected. Accordingly, the following research questions were formulated based on the rationale elaborated above:

1. Is there a significant difference between the amount of using mother tongue and Persian?

2. Are the variables (age, gender, job, field of study, level of education, and residency) effective in using Persian as the official language of Iran and mother tongue (Kurdish, Luri, and Turkish)?

3. Is there a significant relationship between the pertinent factors and the usage of Persian and mother tongue in different situations?

4. Method

4.1. Participants

In conducting the current research, fourteen groups of participants were involved (Table 1). They belong to different classes of society with different jobs including university employee, student, farmer, surgeon, midwife, anesthetist, nurse, hospital staff, shopkeeper, housewife, driver, police officer, teacher, and photographer within the age range of 18 to 80. The participants were all bilingual; Persian/Kurdish, Persian/Turkish, and Persian/Luri, though Iran is a multilingual country. The study was conducted with 220 people, divided in eight groups according to their level of education and five groups based on their field of study for the educated participants. Among the aforementioned participants, eighty five were females and one hundred thirty five were males.

Table 1. Participants of the Study according to their occupation and gender

Employee Student Farmer Surgeon Midwife Anesthetist Nurse Hospital Staff Shopkeeper Housewife Driver Police officer Teacher 0-Í b c c Í

F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M F M

3 2 2 2 0 25 4 0 3 0 4 1 4 0 6 2 0 49 4 0 0 2 0 2 1 1 0 1

2 7 5 7

59 52 25 4 3 5 4 8 49 4 2 2 2 1

Note: F: Female, M: Male

4.2. Instrument

The questionnaire of the study, developed by the researchers, first, was in an open-ended form consisting two general questions about the situations of using mother tongue and Persian. It administered among 20 people to obtain real responses provided by the subjects. Then, the responses were classified as systematically as possible. Eventually, from the most frequent responses given to a particular question, the closed form questionnaire, encompassing 27 items, was constructed (see appendix A). It consisted of two parts; part one requested demographic information in terms of age, gender, job, level of education, field of study, mother tongue, and residency. Part two was made of twenty seven close-ended statements; statements number one to thirteen (alpha Cronbach: 0.92) were about using mother tongue in different situations and the remaining questions (fourteen to twenty seven; alpha Cronbach: 0.90) were asked about the use of Persian in different circumstances. The questionnaire was designed to elicit the participants' preference for using their mother tongue or the official language in various conditions. Since the participants had different levels of education, all the items were in Persian. Participants were asked to rank their preferences on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from "always" to "never". Concerning content and construct validity of the questionnaire, it was piloted to a group of respondents to enable the researchers to revise the items more practically. Finally, the Cronbach's alpha was implemented to the results of the pilot study in order to estimate the internal reliability that was 0.91 for the total scale.

4.3. Procedure, data collection and analysis

It took about six months to conduct the research and to distribute and collect the questionnaires. The process of questionnaire development was entirely explained in previous section. The distribution and collection of 220 questionnaires took around one month. The filled out questionnaires were gathered and put into analysis. All responses to the items were entered into SPSS software, version 11.5 for statistical analysis. After computing the sum of two sections of the questionnaire, they were examined through paired samples t-test to determine the significance or insignificance of the difference between the amount of using mother tongue and the official language. Afterwards, to check the effectiveness of factors in using Persian and mother tongue, the regression analysis was accomplished for each separately.

5. Results

The results of the questionnaire were analyzed and the mean and standard deviation for every item were calculated by assigning values to the choices (Always: 0, usually: 1, Sometimes: 2, never: 3) for questions 1 to 13 and the reverse value of (Always: 3, usually: 2, sometimes: 1, never: 0) for questions 14 to 27. Table 2 presents the results of the first part of the questionnaire.

Table 2. Participants' preferences concerning speaking native language in different situations

Mean SD

Q1: Dealing with the same language .32 .603

Q2: Being in family gathering .20 .526

Q3: Being in friend gathering .45 .741

Q4: Expressing one's feelings .71 .953

Q5: During shopping .77 .968

Q6: Being angry .45 .840

Q7: Telling jokes .76 .932

Q8: Saying prayers .94 1.088

Q9: Watching TV and listening to the radio 1.59 1.036

Q10: Joking with someone .67 .846

Q11: Using proverbs .97 .988

Q12: Recreating (parks, ...) .80 .893

Q13: Exercising (mountain climbing, ...) .60 .847

The mean and standard deviation of questions 14 to 27 are disclosed in Table 3.

Table 3. Participants' preferences concerning speaking Persian in different situations

Mean SD

Q14 Dealing with people who want to use non-native language, Farsi 2.44 .863

Q15 Attending classes 2.48 .838

Q16 Attending official places 2.45 .840

Q17 Studying written works (masterpieces) 2.39 .749

Q18 Attending administrative and educational places 2.27 .896

Q19 Sending SMS 2.35 .846

Q20 Using email 2.45 .857

Q21 Traveling 1.94 .934

Q22 Chatting on the Internet 2.40 .892

Q23 Participating in conferences and scientific sites 2.51 .816

Q24 Being among Persian speakers 2.50 .808

Q25 Writing (letter writing) 2.76 .582

Q26 Listening to music 1.74 .967

Q27 Singing 1.32 1.051

To investigate the preferences of the participants more precisely, the percent of the choices for each item was also calculated. The outcomes are demonstrated in the following tables.

Table 4. The percentage of answers to each item by each language group (items concerning mother tongue) Qs Always Usually Sometimes Never

Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish

Q1 78.5 52.4 57.1 17.3 23.8 28.6 3.7 23.8 14.3 0.5 0 0

Q2 88.0 66.7 85.7 9.4 19.0 0 1.6 14.3 14.3 1.0 0 0

Q3 73.3 38.1 28.6 19.9 28.6 42.9 5.2 28.6 14.3 1.6 4.8 14.3

Q4 61.3 38.1 28.6 18.3 19.0 42.9 16.8 28.6 0 3.7 14.3 28.6

Q5 58.6 33.3 14.3 21.5 14.3 14.3 15.7 38.1 42.9 4.2 14.3 28.6

Q6 76.4 52.4 71.4 11.5 23.8 14.3 8.4 14.3 14.3 3.7 9.5 0

Q7 56.0 42.9 14.3 22.0 28.6 28.6 16.8 28.6 42.9 5.2 0 14.3

Q8 51.6 38.1 42.9 18.9 19.0 .0 20 4.8 42.9 9.5 38.1 14.3

Q9 20.9 23.8 14.3 19.4 23.8 14.3 39.3 33.3 42.9 20.4 19.0 28.6

Q10 58.6 47.6 0 23.6 33.3 28.6 15.2 19.0 71.4 2.6 0 0

Q11 43.5 42.9 14.3 25.7 38.1 0 23.0 14.3 71.4 7.9 4.8 14.3

Q12 50.8 28.6 0 31.4 23.8 28.6 15.2 38.1 28.6 2.6 9.5 42.9

Q13 63.9 47.6 0 25.1 14.3 42.9 8.9 23.8 28.6 2.1 14.3 28.6

All the figures are presented in percentage

Table 5 shows the beliefs of the participants concerning the usage of Persian in Iran.

Table 5. The percentage of answers to each item by each language group (items concerning Persian)

Qs Always Usually Sometimes Never

Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish Kurdish Luri Turkish

Q14 60.5 75.0 100 24.7 5.0 0 10 10 0 4.7 10 0

Q15 63.5 76.2 100 21.7 9.5 0 10.6 9.5 0 4.2 4.8 0

Q16 59.7 81.0 85.7 26.2 14.3 14.3 8.9 0 0 5.2 4.8 0

Q17 50.3 61.9 71.4 38.1 28.6 14.3 9.0 9.5 14.3 2.6 0 0

Q18 48.9 66.7 85.7 28.4 28.6 14.3 16.8 4.8 0 5.8 0 0

Q19 55.1 50 71.4 27.8 40 28.6 12.3 10 0 4.8 0 0

Q20 62.1 76.2 71.4 22.0 19.0 14.3 10.4 4.8 14.3 5.5 0 0

Q21 34.0 23.8 28.6 34.0 38.1 42.9 23.6 38.1 28.6 8.4 0 0

Q22 61.5 65.0 71.4 20.9 20 14.3 12.1 10 14.3 5.5 5.0 0

Q23 65.1 81.0 71.4 22.2 19.0 14.3 7.4 0 14.3 5.3 0 0

Q24 63.9 81.0 71.4 23.0 14.3 28.6 8.4 4.8 0 4.7 0 0

Q25 81.5 85.7 85.7 14.3 9.5 14.3 2.1 4.8 0 2.1 0 0

Q26 26.7 14.3 14.3 33.5 38.1 42.9 27.7 38.1 42.9 12.0 9.5 0

Q27 18.8 9.5 14.3 21.5 23.8 42.9 31.9 42.9 42.9 27.7 23.8 0

All the figures are presented in percentage

As mentioned earlier, each question encompasses four choices of always, usually, sometimes, and never. Tables 4 and 5 divulge the exact percentage of each language group's answers to the choices separately. The highest percentage for each choice by each group is bolded as well. For instance, considering question one (Table 4), Kurdish people 78.5 percent always prefer to use their own mother tongue in dealing with the people who speak the same language, 17.3 percent usually, 3.7 percent sometimes, and only 0.5 percent of the Kurdish respondents choose the never choice in this regard. Hence, the sum of each choice for each group must be 100 percent; that is true for 'always' choice about Kurdish group and so is for the others. In order to check the statistical significance of the observed difference, the obtained data were subjected to paired samples t-test computation. The results shown in Table 6 supported the significance of the observed difference between mother tongue and Persian (p < .05).

Table 6. Paired samples t-test between mother tongue and Persian

Paired Differences

Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean t df Sig. (2-tailed)

M. Tongue-Persian -1.5636 .60547 .04208 -37.154 206 .000*

*p < .05

As demonstrated in Table 6, the mean of Persian is higher than that of mother tongue (Persian mean: 2.29, mother tongue: 0.72). The obtained significance of 0.000 indicates that there is a significant difference between the amount of using Persian and mother tongue. To further analyze the data, the researchers conducted the regression analysis.

Table 7. Regression analysis of the pertinent factors in employing mother tongue and Persian_

R F Sig. Job Degree Field Gender Age Residency

M. Tongue .485 10.804 .000 .014 .074 -.016 -.265 -.001 .092

Persian .330 4.042 .001 .015 .061 .003 -.234 .003 .034

As shown in Table 7, the power of prediction was statistically clarify the significance for both mother tongue and Persian. The results of the regression analysis revealed which variables are important in predicting through using mother tongue and Persian; gender was the best predictor and age was the worst.

6. Discussion

As mentioned before, the designed and validated questionnaire of linguistic capital was employed to examine the role of the pertinent factors (age, gender, job, level of education, field of study, and residency) in using mother tongue and the official language in different situations. Having conducted a paired sample t-test, to answer the first research question, the results (presented in Table 6) showed that the difference was significant. Concerning the second research question, as presented in Table 7 (regression model), analysis of the obtained data has shown that all the variables have significant and important influences on using mother tongue or Persian. They proved to be significantly good predictors for using the official language and mother tongue, though; gender was found to be the most efficient predictor in this case. Moreover, taking the final research question into account, the relationship between using mother tongue and the official language and the factors were all significant.

Regarding the scrutiny of Table 4, in contrast with Lurs and Turks, Kurdish people maintained the highest priority (78.5%) to employ their own mother tongue when talking to the people with the same language. From question two to question eight; Kurdish people more than 50 percent always prefer to use their own mother tongue in different situations such as when they are at home, in friends' gathering; when expressing their feelings, showing their anger, praying, saying jokes; and when go shopping. Concerning question nine that is watching TV and listening to the radio, among the three groups of Kurds, Lurs, and Turks, it was Lur people who mostly prefer mother tongue for the programs (about 24 percent). Again from question ten to thirteen, Kurds had the highest percent preference to use their mother tongue. Having divulged in Table 2, the questions were about joking with someone, using proverbs, recreating such as going to the park, and exercising for instance, mountain climbing.

As mentioned before, the last fourteen questions of the questionnaire (see Table 5) were about the situations using the official language, Farsi. Taking into account questions fourteen to nineteen, Turkish people prefer to employ Persian more than seventy percent in the situations including dealing with non-indigenous people, attending classrooms, studying written works such as book, magazine, etc., attending official, administrative, as well as educational places, and sending messages via cell phone. In question twenty, it was asked about writing email (in Persian) and the highest usage, compared to other groups, went to the Lurs with about eighty percent. Question twenty one concerned with using official language during traveling to which Kurdish people responded the most (34%) among other groups.

Next question was about chatting on the Internet and Turkish people with seventy one percent employed Persian the most among other groups. For the next two questions, Lurs used mostly Persian with eighty one percent in comparison with Kurds and Turks. They were about using Persian in conferences and scientific places and when most of the people speak Persian. Both Lurs and Turks used about eighty six percent always Persian for writing letters. Eventually, respecting the last two questions that were about listening to the music and singing in Persian as well as considering the always choice, Kurdish people about twenty seven and nineteen percent respectively preferred to use. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the choices altogether, Turkish participants have a tendency to mainly listen to Persian music and sing in Persian (see Table 5). Finally, as Kurdish people tried to employ their own mother tongue in most of the situations to keep and show their solidarity to other people, a probable reason for this could be their presence in their own hometown where the main language was Kurdish. Taking this issue into account, the present outcomes can somehow be considered in accordance with Hornberger and Vaish's (2008) findings in a way that people access official language while developing their own local languages as well.

7. Conclusion

Different situations of language use were analyzed for the official language and the three ethnic groups. Despite the considerable difference in the language behavior of the groups, important common patterns could be seen to exist. The three ethnic groups valued the knowledge of Persian, the common language used in day-to-day communication as well as the official language used in the educational and other formal establishments. At the same time, they expressed strong desire for the retention and the use of their mother tongue. It can be said that mother

tongue was mostly used in intergroup and informal face-to-face communication, while Persian was frequently employed in formal situations. There were; however, some important differences in language use and no single factor could explain the differences completely and satisfactorily. Rather, a combination of factors could be identified contributing to the difference in using Persian or mother tongue in various situations.

Even though the present study was a preliminary piece of research, its findings may inspire some pedagogical implications. Teachers in bilingual and language learning places should be conscious of the difference between linguistic capital and knowledge capital. For instance, sometimes some students possess enough knowledge concerning the topic of discussion in a classroom but because of their lack of language ability, they cannot argue. Then, not only teachers particularly language teachers had better to take the issue more seriously but also they ought to be able to discern the point. Bearing all these in mind; however, the main limitations worth addressing concerning the study are first, the limited number of the participants from each group of professions and second, the setting of conducting the research that led the answers mostly to Kurdish people. Considering these limitations, it is suggested that the study be replicated with larger participants and in other places with different ethnic groups to check if the same findings will be reached.

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Appendix A. Questionnaire of the study

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