Rachel Emerine Hicks

For her MA thesis at CSULB, Rachel conducted fieldwork in the Solomon Islands studying the causes for endangerment of a small language on the island of Santa Cruz. She found that the increasing value of Solomon Islands Pijin for economic advancement compounded with intermarriage between different language groups is leading to replacive bilingualism in a traditionally multilingual society. The findings of this research have been published in the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

During July and August 2017, Rachel conducted preliminary dissertation fieldwork in the Solomon Islands supported by the David K. Jordan Fellowship for research among non-Anglophone populations in Asia and Oceania. Through conversations with teachers and school administrators, she found that there is a disconnect between what students learn in school and the skills that are needed for life in the Solomons. Many youth in the Solomons are forced to leave school early because they do not pass their exams. Some try to find jobs in the urban areas, but because of high unemployment rates, many are unsuccessful and return home. Her dissertation project seeks to answer the question: How do school leavers balance the Western-influenced values and skills that they learned in school with the practical skills and cultural knowledge needed for life in the Solomons, where over 70% of the population lives in subsistence-based rural communities? To answer this question, she will study how rural-to-urban migration for secondary schooling and return migration after school affects the cultural values, identities, social networks, and language use of students.
B.A. Anthropology and Intercultural Studies with a minor in Applied Linguistics; Biola University, 2007.

M.A. Anthropology, California State University, Long Beach, 2009 with an emphasis in Linguistic Anthropology. MA thesis titled: Schools, Marriage and the Endangerment of the Nagu Language in the Solomons Islands.
Emerine Hicks, Rachel. (2017). From multilingualism to bilingualism: changes in language use, language value, and social mobility among Engdewu speakers in the Solomon Islands. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 38(10):857-870. DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2017.1284852

Boerger, B. H., Åshild Næss, Anders Vaa, Rachel Emerine, and Angela Hoover. (2012). Sociological factors in Reefs-Santa Cruz language vitality: a 40 year retrospective. International Journal of the Sociology of Language (214): 111-152.

Emerine, Rachel. (2009). Schools, Marriage, and the Endangerment of the Nagu Language in the Solomon Islands. MA Thesis. California State University, Long Beach.