Language Maintenance in a Multilingual Family: Informal Heritage Language Lessons in Parent-Child Interactions
2015 (English)In: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communiciation, ISSN 0167-8507, E-ISSN 1613-3684, Vol. 34, no 3, 319-346 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The present study explores language socialization patterns in a Persian-Kurdish family in Sweden and examines how "one-parent, one-language" family language policies are instantiated and negotiated in parent-child interactions. The data consist of video-recordings and ethnographic observations of family interactions, as well as interviews. Detailed interactional analysis is employed to investigate parental language maintenance efforts and the childs agentive orientation in relation to the recurrent interactional practices through which parents attempt to enforce a monolingual, heritage language "context" for parent-child interaction. We examine the interactional trajectories that develop in parents requests for translation that target the focus childs (a 7-year-old girls) lexical mixings. These practices resembled formal language instruction: The parents suspended the ongoing conversational activity, requested that the child translate the problematic item, modeled and assessed her language use. The instructional exchanges were asymmetrically organized: the parents positioned themselves as "experts", insisting on the childs active participation, whereas the childs (affectively aggravated) resistance was frequent, and the parents recurrently accommodated the child by terminating the language instruction. The study argues that an examination of childrens agency, and the social dynamics characterizing parental attempts to shape childrens heritage language use, can provide significant insights into the conditions for language maintenance
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
De Gruyter , 2015. Vol. 34, no 3, 319-346 p.
language maintenance; family language policy; childrens bilingual development; language ideologies; family interaction
Other Social Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118043DOI: 10.1515/multi-2014-1020ISI: 000353138300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-118043DiVA: diva2:813045