Project Title: Social and affective factors in home language maintenance – Croatian in Australia
Investigator: Dr Jasna Novak Milic, firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to participate in a research project on the maintenance of the Croatian language in Australia. Please read this sheet carefully and be confident that you understand its contents before deciding whether to participate. If you have any questions about the project, please ask one of the investigators.
The researcher will ask you to sign a separate written consent form prior to the interview. If you choose to do the online survey, no signature is needed as by submitting the survey you accept terms and conditions of this research project. Please see below for details.
Who is conducting the research?
Jasna Novak Milic has been working in the field of applied linguistics for the past 20 years, most of which she has spent working as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Zagreb. She has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters in applied and general linguistics, mostly focusing on second and foreign language acquisition.
In the past five years Jasna has been teaching Croatian at Macquarie University and is, since February 2020, holds the position of Director and Lecturer in Croatian Studies.
Why is the research being conducted?
You might be aware the number of Croatian speakers in Australia is drastically declining year by year. In our attempt to help the maintenance of Croatian in Australia, our aim at this point is to explore in more detail motives and factors impacting language learning and home language maintenance and to understand the current situation and potential needs, especially after the coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, we need your help. We would like to hear about your experience and what you do to preserve the Croatian language in your family and/or community.
What you will be asked to do
You are expected to sit (face-to-face, online or via phone) with a researcher for approximately 30 to 40 minutes and answer the questions such as why you think maintaining Croatian in your home is important, whether Croatian is spoken in your family and in what circumstances.
The researcher will ask you if the interview can be recorded for research purposes. You can decline, and still participate in the research. In that case, the researcher will take notes. Alternatively, you can choose to compete an online survey (links available below) which could take 15 to 30 minutes.
Who can participate?
If you have at least one child currently involved in Croatian classes, primary or secondary, or if you are actively learning Croatian in a formal setting, you are eligible to participate in this research. Whether you yourself are fluent in Croatian or not is not important. You can answer the questions either in English or in Croatian.
How will this benefit me?
We expect the data collected through the interviews will help us detect successful strategies/practices in home language maintenance. This information can further help us prepare workshops and/or publications for teachers and parents. Therefore, we hope the research will have a positive impact on the maintenance of Croatian in Australia and that way be of use to the whole community.
We don’t need your name, your address or any other personal data. It would be useful though if you could tell us the ages of your children / your age, if you are the learner enrolled in Croatian classes and how you rate their /your Croatian proficiency.
All recordings/notes will be safely stored and only the researcher will have access to them.
Once analysed, the data will be submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. The article will not contain any information that can be linked back to you.
In other words, any information or personal details gathered in the course of the research are confidential, except as required by law.
Your participation is voluntary
By choosing to participate in the interview, you are giving your consent to use the information for research purposes. However, the participation is completely voluntary, and you can change your mind at any time during the interview or even afterwards, before data is published (6 months to a year after the interviews).
If you choose to do the online survey, please choose one of these two links, depending on whether you are a learner yourself or a caregiver of one.
For caregivers: https://limesurvey.mq.edu.au/index.php/975255?lang=en
For adult learners: https://limesurvey.mq.edu.au/index.php/277613?lang=en
If you would prefer to do an interview, please call (2) 9850 7040 or send an email to email@example.com.
Questions / further information
If you have any questions, before or after the interviews or you need more information, be free to contact the researcher (contact details provided above).
The ethical conduct of this research
The ethical aspects of this study have been approved by the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or reservations about any ethical aspect of your participation in this research, you may contact the Committee through the Director, Research Ethics (telephone (02) 9850 7854; email firstname.lastname@example.org). Any complaint you make will be treated in confidence and investigated, and you will be informed of the outcome.