Building expectations: Imagining family language policy and heteroglossic social spaces:
Summary (3 min read)
Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions:
- The article examines the language expectations of three couples with different language backgrounds – each expecting their first child.
- The study addresses three related questions: Recordings and pictures of the constructions were analyzed jointly to understand how parents assign relevancy to their language resources, social spaces and family language policies.
- This article centers on the development of FLP and the motivations and aspirations of parents before their first child is born.
- As King and Fogle (2006, p. 699) show, these processes are 3Draft version, November 2016Published version: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1367006916684921.
3 Methodology and Multimodal Data
- Using an innovative methodological framework, this research links bodily and emotional experience to social constructions and representations, and focuses on the motivations and interpretations of the parents.
- Conducting research on lived language experience can be done through different modes, but it always deals with individual and societal experience: asking speakers to reflect on and talk about their language biographies, specific parts of their linguistic repertoire or learning experiences that may have accompanied them for an extended period of time.
- Rather than guiding participants 8Draft version, November 2016Published version: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1367006916684921.
- To discuss FLP directly, their understandings and explanations are interpreted through engaging them in discussion and creative manual activities.
- For the analysis, two sets of data were used, and the methodological background and procedure for each is described below.
3.1 Collecting biographical data
- Participants were asked to use an empty silhouette of a human shape to draw with colored pens all the languages that were/are/will be relevant to them.
- This task has been developed as part of language biographical research (Busch, 2006; 2012), both with children and adults.
- The multimodal methods employed in this study fulfill this purpose.
- The couples in this study were asked to draw individual language portraits and then to talk about their own language biographies, their imaginings and aspirations for themselves and their child.
- In the course of the conversation, they were also asked about intended language use and policy.
- The participants were three heterosexual couples: two expecting their first child within two months, and the child of the third couple was born four weeks prior to the interview.
- While two of the couples have different first languages (English/German, German/Italian), the couple in Hungary is German-speaking and living in a de facto bilingual border region (see Table 1).
- All but one of the participants had prior experience of living abroad.
- German and English were used during the interviews: the excerpts are given in the original language and German transcripts are translated into English.
4 Language portraits and parents' language experiences
- In the final utterance of this excerpt, Ilse speaks about her feeling of the increasing mixture or coexistence of German and English in her life and how this reflects the language use among the parents who reportedly used English and German almost interchangeably while Ilse talks about her preference for English as the language of emotions and her relationship with her partner.
- Individual language experiences and language ideologies inform the parents' decisions and their planning, but the possibility of the child’s making his or her own decisions is mentioned in all of the interviews.
- The green part (top right) is termed family space, linked to the couple and the child.
- Given the references between the construction and the social spaces that are represented, a back-and-forth movement is noted: Adriano uses the building blocks to speak about his perceived reality (spaces of representation) but he also refers to qualities of the construction (i.e. the possibility to move parts) and uses them to draw conclusions about his reality.
- The combined qualitative data reveal, on the one hand, the meaning of language experiences and their relevance for individuals and families.
- On the other hand, this combination of data illuminates the construction of FLP and the couples’ negotiation over time.
- This perception of spaces of possibilities is linked to the social status, the educational background and the prior life experiences of the parents.
- Parents link spatial representations to their own biographies, but with regard to the upbringing of their child, they are very aware of the lived and planned.
- When parents expect languages to become part of their family life (or their child's life), through migration or new social contacts, they might not yet have developed any competence in the language(s), yet they start to position themselves (even hypothetically) vis-à-vis the language(s) and may incorporate 26Draft version, November 2016Published version: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1367006916684921.
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Cites background from "Building expectations: Imagining fa..."
...The concept has in recent years been rediscovered by sociolinguists, particularly relation to youth language in diverse societies (Pujolar 2001; Rampton 2011; Madsen 2014; Sultana 2014; Purkarthofer 2017) and multilingualism in general (Frekko 2011; Rassool 2014; Jaffe 2015; Blackledge and Creese 2016; Kiramba 2016)....
...…recent years been rediscovered by sociolinguists, particularly relation to youth language in diverse societies (Pujolar 2001; Rampton 2011; Madsen 2014; Sultana 2014; Purkarthofer 2017) and multilingualism in general (Frekko 2011; Rassool 2014; Jaffe 2015; Blackledge and Creese 2016; Kiramba 2016)....
"Building expectations: Imagining fa..." refers background in this paper
...Norton (2013, p. 45) uses the term “identity” to describe “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future”. Both Kramsch (2009) and Norton (2013) provide insights into the affective links and imaginations helping or hindering desired participation in (new) language environments. Language environments are shaped by language ideologies, which encompass beliefs and evaluations of languages and (maybe more importantly) their speakers. Irvine and Gal (2000) described processes of differentiation through ideologies in multilingual contexts....
...Norton (2013, p. 45) uses the term “identity” to describe “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future”. Both Kramsch (2009) and Norton (2013) provide insights into the affective links and imaginations helping or hindering desired participation in (new) language environments....
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