Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Sedique Popal

Third Advisor

Sarah Capitelli


The purpose of this qualitative study, conducted with parents of a Bay Area Korean school, was to explore how Korean American parents perceive, practice, and expect from the heritage language education of their children. The parents shared their experiences as Korean immigrants in raising their children in two languages. First, a survey was distributed and collected to apprehend the demographics of 24 Korean American parents in a West Coast metropolitan area who sent their children to a Korean heritage language school on weekends. Then one-on-one in-depth interviews were conducted with seven of these parents. Seven themes emerged from the data: 1) the importance of the parental role in heritage language education, 2) maintaining the Korean language and ethnic identity, 3) limited exposure to the Korean language, 4) positive feelings towards the Korean culture and language, 5) no strict family language policy, 6) no high expectations for heritage language learning, and 7) diminishing the Korean language use with the start of schooling. Even though the parents regarded heritage language maintenance as important for their children and viewed their parental role was significant, they did not impose a strict family language policy. The underlying reason for this discrepancy in their perceptions, expectations, and practices could be the wish for their children to learn the Korean language someday primarily in order to maintain their Korean identity.