Article

Hidden Bilingualism: Ideological Influences on the Language Practices of Multilingual Migrant Mothers in Japan

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Abstract

This study examines the challenges of minority language transmission in exogamous families in a society where linguistic and cultural homogeneity still prevails. Specifically, it investigates the macro and micro ideological influences that lead multilingual migrant mothers in Japan to speak Japanese to their children. Interview data with six Thai mothers revealed that political influences made them emphasize the learning of Japanese. Economic factors led to the mothers’ valorization of Japanese, and even English, and lackadaisical efforts toward developing their children’s Thai. Sociocultural influences contributed to their practice of speaking Japanese to their children in front of Japanese speakers. The mothers’ childrearing experiences also affected their language practices. Their perception that Thai exposure delayed their older children’s Japanese development led them to use more Japanese to their younger children. The mothers’ limited use of Thai led to a lack of comprehension and low production of Thai by their children.

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... In recent times in Japan, contact with foreign languages other than English is becoming common in daily life due to the increasing influx of migrants and growing presence of global languages such as Chinese (Kanno, 2008). In accordance with such change, the ideologies of these languages have been increasingly placed in the academic spotlight since late 2000s (Fukuda, 2018;Kobayashi, 2015;Kubota, 2013;Kubota & McKay, 2009;Nakamura, 2016), as interest grows in whether rising linguistic diversity will oblige Japanese to learn not only English. In other words, there has also been a 'multilingual turn' (May, 2013) in the research on language ideologies. ...
... Furthermore, the multilingualism which was valued in the city was Japanese and/or English, and this binary orientation undermined the maintenance of the heritage languages of immigrants. This kind of exclusive multilingualism is also well documented in the study by Nakamura (2016) who interviewed Thai mothers married to Japanese and residing in the country. Nakamura discovered how Thai mothers self-restrict the use of Thai, since compared to English the language was overall viewed negatively in the local community. ...
... Against this backdrop, Kobayashi (2011aKobayashi ( , 2018 was curious to find out if Japanese adult students in private English schools at Singapore were interested in learning local language(s) other than English. Garnering data from surveys and interviews, the results gave similar conclusions to those of Kubota & McKay (2009) and Nakamura (2016), in which Japanese students were focused on learning English, but not attentive to languages such as Mandarin Chinese. The study states that one of the causes may be the temporary nature of their stay, which affects their interest in and commitment to the languages of the host country, as most participants did not envision working in Singapore after their study abroad. ...
Conference Paper
This thesis critically examines the language ideologies underpinning the language curriculum and language teaching practices in a nihonjingakkō, a full-time day school for children of Japanese expatriates, in Belgium. By drawing on the theoretical frame of ideology of authenticity and ideology of anonymity (Woolard, 2016), I investigate what language ideologies the school, principal, and language teachers hold and how these influence the school’s language curriculum and language teachers’ pedagogy. The research adopted an ethnographically-oriented case study approach. The data consisted of semi-structured interviews with the principal and language teachers along with questionnaires, classroom observations, and analysis of policy documents from the school. Using qualitative content analysis, the study illustrated the complexity and multiplicity of language ideologies manifested in the school’s policy and practice. The findings indicate that the language ideologies operating in the school influencing the language curriculum and pedagogy are primarily monolingual and homogeneous, and largely influenced by the dominant language ideologies of Japan’s Ministry of Education and Japanese society. Consequently, the school positions itself as if it were a mainstream school in Japan despite its location in the multilingual setting of Belgium. This was manifested through Japanese and English occupying the dominant role in the language curriculum, while French was marginalized, and no other languages were offered. Furthermore, a monolingual approach to pedagogy was adopted that emphasized keeping language separate, disregarding students’ and language teachers’ rich multilingual repertoire. The idea of developing students to be multilingual speakers is missing from the school curriculum and pedagogy, since the school do not conceive their multilingual abilities as a resource. In conclusion, this study proposes a critique of the language education policy of the nihonjingakkō operated in non-Anglophone settings such as Belgium. By setting this research in a nihonjingakkō in Belgium, I argue that these schools have the potential to provide an excellent model for multilingual education for Japanese children and for Japan since the majority of nihonjingakkō students will eventually return to Japan (Sato, 2019). The study also calls for a change in the monolingual language ideologies which shape the equation of ‘foreign language is English’ (Erikawa, 2018; Kubota, 2019; Seargeant, 2009) pervasive in the Japanese schooling context.
... Examples of proximal factors are the kinds of questions children are asked (Palacios et al., 2015), the extent to which children are read to in a particular language (Kibler et al., 2016), and how parents react when children address them in a language parents do not speak to them (Juan-Garau & Pérez-Vidal, 2001). Proximal factors are embedded in language-learning environments shaped by more "distal" psychosocial and cultural factors such as maternal language ideologies (Nakamura, 2016), parental beliefs and attitudes (De Houwer, 1999, 2009), children's living conditions and social class differences (Weisleder & Fernald, 2014), and the social status of languages (Pearson, 2007). ...
... Thus, most children had continuing input in whatever language mothers addressed them in. However, parents may shift to speaking a different language to children from the one they started out using with them (Nakamura, 2016). Often this shift happens when children start attending (pre-)school (De Houwer, 2017c;Hoff et al., 2014;Silvén et al., 2014). ...
... We know very little about bilingual children's exposure to overheard speech and how it may affect their language development (but see De Houwer, 2009: 101-103). Overheard speech is particularly relevant to some trilingual settings where children are addressed in each of two languages, but where parents address each other in a third (Chevalier, 2015;Nakamura, 2016). ...
Chapter
This chapter outlines a holistic framework for approaching the study of language input to children under age 6 acquiring oral languages in bilingual settings. After a brief historical overview, the input factors discussed include relative timing of input in two languages, cumulative, absolute and relative frequency of overall language input, input frequency of linguistic categories, language models, the people speaking to children and language choice patterns, communicative settings and media use, and interactional style. The chapter addresses methodological issues and gives an indication of the extent to which particular aspects of the input have been investigated. It ends with a selective evaluation of links between input and bilingual language outcomes and early bilingual acquisition.
... Thus far, the most investigated aspect of bilingual input has been the amount of exposure to each language (e.g., Cattani et al., 2014;David & Wei, 2008;Garcia-Sierra et al., 2011;Hoff et al., 2012;Hoff, Welsh, Place, & Ribot, 2014;Marchman, Martínez, Hurtado, Grüter, & Fernald, 2017;Pearson, Fernandez, Lewedeg, & Oller, 1997;Place & Hoff, 2011, 2016Poulin-Dubois, Bialystok, Blaye, Polonia, & Yott, 2013;Thordardottir, 2011). Unless speakers in bilingual families are more talkative than in monolingual families, bilingual children will receive less input in each language than their monolingual peers in their unique language. ...
... Their findings showed that English would need to comprise at least 60% of the bilingual's total input. Furthermore, the relative amount of exposure to a given language has been found to correlate with phonological development ( Garcia-Sierra et al., 2011), vocabulary size ( Cattani et al., 2014;David & Wei, 2008;Hoff et al., 2012;Pearson et al., 1997;Place & Hoff, 2011, 2016Poulin-Dubois et al., 2013;Thordardottir, 2011), and grammatical skills (Gathercole, 2002a(Gathercole, , 2002b(Gathercole, , 2002cHoff et al., 2012;Place & Hoff, 2016) in that language. ...
... Some other properties of the bilingual environment that have been found to influence language development are the number of speakers of each language (Gollan, Starr, & Ferreira, 2015;Place & Hoff, 2011), the presence of siblings (Bridges & Hoff, 2014;Silven, Voeten, Kouvo, & Lunden, 2014), parental strategies and attitudes toward bilingualism (Juan- Garau & Perez-Vidal, 2001;Nakamura, 2016), and the use and status of each language in the community (Gathercole & Thomas, 2009). Because of the large amount of variability within and across bilingual populations, it is hard to draw general conclusions about the impact of specific factors on bilingual language development from any specific study. ...
Article
We examined properties of the input and the environment that characterize bilingual exposure in 11‐month‐old infants with a regular exposure to French and an additional language, and their possible effects on receptive vocabulary size. Using a diary method, we found that a majority of the families roughly followed a one‐parent–one‐language approach. Yet, the two languages co‐occurred to various extents within the same half‐hour both within and across speakers. We used exploratory correlation analyses to examine potential effects of the dual input on the size of infants’ vocabularies. The results revealed some evidence for an impact of language separation by speakers.
... In their research with Swedish-Finnish speaking families in Finland, Palviainen and Boyd (2013) showed that even preschool children can decide which parent should speak which language. In addition, by taking an active role in their children's socialisation, mothers become crucial to language maintenance or shift within the family (Kayam and Hirsch 2012;Nakamura 2016;Tuominen 1999). Okita (2002) asserts that mothers play an important role in helping their children adjust to the school environment and the majority language as well as in promoting the home language. ...
... That is why they generally hesitate to use their mother tongue freely outside the home context with the fear it opposes the societal ideology, which also creates a psychological pressure on minorities. Nakamura (2016) also found in her research with Thai mothers in Japan that mothers feel pressure to use Japanese in interaction with their children due to political, economic, and sociocultural factors. Still, in the current study, when parents observe that teachers at school value the use of Turkish as the home language, they feel more secure and they hold more positive beliefs regarding the language. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the family language policy of second-generation Turkish immigrant families in the Netherlands by exploring their language ideologies, practices, and management strategies. Using an ethnographic approach, data were collected through a set of observations and interviews with 20 families. Transcriptions of interviews and memos of observations were coded to derive the major strategies employed by parents regarding home language use. The findings show that, although Turkish maintenance is a very important part of the linguistic ideologies of the families studied, there is great diversity and complexity in their language practices and management strategies. All of the families focus their language planning activities around the educational achievement of their children. Therefore, the recommendations of educational institutions are very important in their language practices.
... However, non-Japanese parents tend to speak Japanese to their children (Ishii, 2010;Jabar, 2013;Nakamura, 2015;Yamamoto, 2005). Language ideology plays a critical role in minority language transmission, but non-Japanese parents tend to valorize and prioritize the acquisition of Japanese, and evaluate their minority language negatively (Nakamura, 2016;Yamamoto, 2002). For some parents, their language ideology may be driven by their perception of society's negative evaluation of their minority language rather than actual experiences. ...
... English-Japanese bilingualism is highly valued by Japanese people (Yamamoto, 2001a), and English-speaking parents raising bilingual children are aware of society's favorable perception of the language (Yamamoto, 2005). The high status of English in Japan even motivates non-native English speakers to speak English instead of their native language to their children (Billings, 1990;Nakamura, 2016;Yamamoto, 2002Yamamoto, , 2005. Nevertheless, not all children exposed to English end up speaking it. ...
Article
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Impact belief is the conviction that parents have that they can affect their children’s language development (De Houwer, 1999). This paper investigates how parents’ impact belief is shaped and how it transpires into language management which supports the bilingual and biliterate development of children in exogamous families. Interviews with eight English-speaking parents raising English-Japanese bilingual children in Tokyo, Japan were analyzed using the constructive grounded approach (Charmaz, 2014). The results revealed that the parents’ impact belief was influenced by their individual experiences, the support of their Japanese spouses, and peer influence. Specifically, it was positively affected by other parents with older bilingual children. The parents’ impact belief was also strengthened by their involvement in ‘communities of practice,’ i.e., English playgroup and weekend school. Their strong impact belief led to language management efforts which included their insistence on their children speaking English and the regular practice of home literacy activities.
... Examining how family language policies are chosen, managed, and practiced is crucial given the potential linguistic, psychological, and emotional impacts on multilingual families (King & Fogle, 2006). Hence, much scholarly attention has been given to FLP in multilingual families, not just in the United States, but also among migrant families in China (Curdt-Christiansen & Wang, 2018), Chinese families (Hua & Wei, 2016) and Japanese-English multilingual families in the United Kingdom (Danjo, 2018), and migrant mothers from Thailand in Japan (Nakamura, 2016). ...
... It is important to document both parents' and children's perspectives to understand multilingual families' complex ways of planning, practicing, and navigating language practices at home. Existing studies on family language policy, however, focus either on parents (Curdt-Christiansen & Wang, 2018;Kang, 2015;King & Fogle, 2006;Nakamura, 2016) or on children (Kang, 2015), but not both. Aligning with the views of Hua and Wei (2016), I argue that bilingualism and multilingualism can have different meanings for different generations and family members, even within the same family. ...
... However, living in three-generation households would still probably inhibit minority language use. Even when Japanese in-laws do not show any signs of disapproval, the non-Japanese parent may perceive that minority language use is inappropriate (Nakamura 2016a). Living separately from the Japanese grandparents may make it easier for the minority language to be used. ...
... These findings provide further evidence that minority language transmission in exogamous families in Japan is not only hampered by the dominance of the societal language, i. e. Japanese, but also threatened by the valorization of English in society. Non-Japanese parents who do not speak English as their native language may forego minority language transmission for English education in the home (Nakamura 2016a;Yamamoto 2005). Those who have high levels of fluency in English and come from countries where English is spoken as a second language may be most likely to promote English rather than their native language. ...
Article
Mixed-ethnic children in Japan do not usually acquire the language of their non-Japanese parent. This study looks at their lost opportunity to acquire their minority parent’s language through a retrospective investigation of their language experiences from childhood to young adulthood. Transcripts of interviews with ten mixed-ethnic children (ages 18 to 23) were analyzed based on the constructive grounded theory approach (Charmaz 2014 Constructing grounded theory , 2nd edn. London: Sage). Analysis of codes which emerged from the interviews revealed that family relations, parents’ reluctance to speak the minority language and the prioritization of English were some of the factors perceived by the mixed-ethnic children to have contributed to the non-transmission of the minority language. Many of the children described their lost opportunity to acquire the minority language as regretful. Questions posed by Japanese people about their identity and language reminded some participants of their mixed-ethnicity and inability to speak the minority language. These findings suggest that the non-transmission of the minority language has long-term implications on the social and emotional well-being of mixed-ethnic children in Japan.
... A receptive bilingual is a person who 'understands a second language, in either its spoken or written form, or both, but does not necessarily speak or write Japanese bilingual families in Japan. Likewise, Thai mothers in Japan reported that their first child spoke some Thai but their second child spoke mainly Japanese (Nakamura, 2016). Döpke (1992) also noted that the younger siblings of the six English-German bilingual children in her study were either receptive bilinguals or English monolinguals. ...
Article
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Not all children who receive bilingual exposure from birth speak both of their languages. This paper examines receptive bilingualism in two bilingual children who reportedly speak Japanese to their Italian-speaking and English-speaking fathers. Analysis of audio recordings of parent-child interactions revealed that the two children produced some utterances in their weaker language, that is, Italian or English. However, while the children spoke Japanese spontaneously and independently, many of their utterances in the weaker language were either rote-learned phrases, imitations of their parents' utterances, or polar responses. The children also asked questions and made new topic initiations in conversations predominantly in Japanese. Only repair questions that request clarification of their father's preceding utterances were proportionately higher in their weaker language. The children's lack of spontaneity and initiative when speaking their weaker language demonstrate how receptive bilingualism does not imply zero production of the weaker language but highly limited language use in interaction. These findings suggest that qualitative and interactional aspects of language use need to be considered to determine children's receptive bilingualism.
... In the education context, relations between the translingual practices by English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers and their identity and agency (Ishihara et al., 2018) as well as the possibility of employing translanguaging as a pedagogy in EFL classrooms at the tertiary level (Turnbull, 2018) have been considered. In the context of migration, Takeuchi (2014) and Nakamura (2016) investigated the ideological influences of bilingualism/multilingualism on family language practices among bilingual Filipino mothers and multilingual Thai mothers in Japan, respectively. Mori and Shima (2014) focused on (Japanese) doctor -(migrant) patient interactions to examine the use of multilingual repertoires. ...
... The interdependence of social and psycholinguistic aspects can further be illustrated taking the case of language attrition or loss in individuals and groups, since it is the change in societal conditions that may result in changes in linguistic knowledge, affecting the L1 of migrant children/families. A case in point is the situation of migrant parents who opt to send their children to English classes, or speak English at home, rather than support home language and literacy development, as documented by Nakamura (2016) in the case of migrants from Thailand and the Philippines living in Japan. A similar trend, with English as an international language being preferred to the regional Catalan language by many parents, has been documented by Safont-Jordà (2015) for the bilingual region of Valencia. ...
... The children's use of English in their plays also suggests that the children who receive exposure to two languages may not necessarily produce both languages. Based on her research on Italian-speaking and English-speaking parents in Japan, Nakamura (2016) argues that this may be due to the parents' discourse strategies. Her research showed that the parents' predominant use of the move-on strategy (Lanza, 1998(Lanza, , 2007b in responding to their children's Japanese utterances did not encourage their children's production of their weaker language. ...
Article
This research applies language socialization theory within a family language policy framework to investigate how language shift is realized in daily mundane activitieswithin a Malay-English bilingual family in Singapore. Applying Goffman’s frame analysis to two excerpts of siblings’ play from ninety hours of recordings of family interactions, we illustrate how children as young as four and seven enact adult roles such as teacher and student within the frame of play. In creatively enacting these roles, identities and social relations, the children draw upon their knowledge of play-external structures – with which they have experience from other (non-play) situations. The children consequently use English – what is typical of educational settings in Singapore – to portray an image of a teacher and student within the frameof play.We argue that a better understanding of language shift processes necessitates a nuanced examination of a variety of instances of familial interactions which take place doing different activities at home.
... A number of other studies employ Spolsky's (2004; tripartite framework (e.g. Altman et al. 2014;Bezcioglu-Goktolga and Yagmur 2017;Chatzidaki and Maligkoudi 2013;Dumanig et al. 2013;Kaveh 2017;Kayam and Hirsch 2014;Kopeliovich 2010;Nakamura 2016;Parada 2013;Patrick et al. 2013;Pillai et al. 2014;Revis 2016;Schwartz 2008;Schwartz and Verschik 2013;Stavans 2015;Xiaomei 2017;Yu 2016) with little effort directed to evaluating the framework itself or proposing reformulations. ...
Article
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Commentary on “Omphile and his soccer ball: colonialism, methodology, translanguaging research”
... Some other properties of the bilingual environment that have been found to influence language development are the number of speakers of each language(Gollan, Starr, & Ferreira, 2015;Place & Hoff, 2011), the presence of siblings(Bridges & Hoff, 2014;Silven, Voeten, Kouvo, & Lunden, 2014), parental strategies and attitudes towards bilingualism(Juan-Garau & Perez-Vidal, 2001;Nakamura, 2016) and the use and status of each language in the community(Gathercole & Thomas, 2009). ...
Thesis
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During the first years of life, children rapidly learn to process speech from a continuous acoustic signal, and soon become able to understand and produce the sounds, words and structure of their native language. Children growing up in a bilingual environment face an additional challenge: they must simultaneously discover and separate their bilingual input into individual (yet potentially overlapping) systems, with independent sound units, vocabularies and grammars, without knowing a priori how many languages are spoken in their environment. In spite of this, language acquisition in young bilinguals follows, to an extent, a similar time-line as in monolinguals. Understanding how children come to discover the presence of two languages in their input, and to what extent they are able to keep them apart, are to this day crucial questions to the field of childhood bilingualism. In this thesis we focus on these two questions by exploring how perceptual and environmental properties of the input can help or hinder the discovery and lexical development of two languages, and whether the phonological representations formed by young bilinguals are language-specific. In order to investigate these questions, we take a multidisciplinary approach, using both empirical and computational techniques,which can provide different insights on the task of early language separation.In the first part of this dissertation we examine the problem of discovering two languages in the input from an acoustic perspective. Based on a large body of research on language discrimination abilities in newborns and infants, and inspired by previous modelling work, we aim to provide a computational account of infant perception of multilingual speech. Borrowing a state-of-the-art system from speech technologies, we conducted a series of computational experiments that can help us understand what kind of representations young infants form when hearing different languages, and how different factors may shape their perception of language distance.In the second part, we investigate several environmental aspects of bilingual exposure. Previous research on quantitative and qualitative properties of bilingual input had shown strong influences of each language’s relative amount of exposure on infants’ lexical development, but diverging results were reported regarding the impact of the separation of the two languages in their environment. We used a home diary method to investigate the co-existence of two languages in young bilinguals’ input, and explore how this and other environmental factors may influence their vocabulary acquisition.Finally, in the last part of this dissertation, we consider bilingual preschoolers’ perception of language-specific phonological rules. Unlike other properties of young bilinguals’ phonological systems, their acquisition and separation of phonological rules has barely been explored, with the only prior evidence coming from production studies. We conducted a behavioral experiment using a touchpad videogame to test French-English bilinguals’ cross-linguistic perception of phonological assimilations.Overall, this thesis contributes new insights to the question of language separation and acquisition in early bilingualism, with multiple perspectives for future research on this topic.
... This creates a problem for the bilingual child in that the boundaries where they use English are much more fluid than they are for their monolingual Japanese friends. The dilemma is that when they use a language other than Japanese, they become conspicuous, and it can be negatively perceived by Japanese speakers around them (Nakamura, 2016). Accordingly, bilingual children often use Japanese as a way to blend in. ...
Chapter
Raising Bilingual and Bicultural Children: Essays from the Inaka Darren Lingley & Paul Daniels (Ed.) 2018 This monograph celebrates the experience of raising bilingual and bicultural children in Japan. Our shared stories specifically focus on the unique challenges of raising bilingual children in Japan’s inaka, or more peripheral rural areas. Personal, accessible and reflective in its remit, this edited volume monograph represents a strong contribution to an under-represented aspect of bilingualism in Japan.
... However, we should also be aware of the difficulty and limitation of parental support on heritage language maintenance (Cummins & Danesi, 2005). Noting that Japan is more homogenous than other countries with more linguistic and cultural diversity, migrant women-the mothers of their migrant children-play a significant role in transmitting their mother language to their children in a situation where their mother language is rarely spoken outside of home (Nakamura, 2016). In our case, for those who have been to Japanese schools especially in their early school years, it is mostly parents who played the role of L1 teachers and helped them get familiar with their heritage language (Korean). ...
Article
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Kim, S. (2022). Heritage language use by Korean bilinguals in Tokyo: a focus on home, community, school, and honorifics. Transcommunication 9(1), 49-75. This study explores the impact of the heritage language (HL) use at home on the proficiency and confidence of Korean heritage language speakers in Tokyo. The 24 participants in this study were Korean newcomers who were born and/or raised in Tokyo. Their HL use at home, school, and community is described and discussed in connection with their proficiency in honorific use. The information on the participants' language use in different contexts was collected through a questionnaire. In the analysis, the respondents were divided into three different groups based on their language use: Korean, international (with the addition of English), and Japanese. The findings indicate that the heritage language use at home rather than whether they went to a Korean or non-Korean school had a significant impact on their self-assessment and on the use of honorifics in Korean. https://waseda.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=pages_view_main&active_action=repository_view_main_item_detail&item_id=67279&item_no=1&page_id=15&block_id=22
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In today's world, when the global movement occurs, there are more and more mixed families interacting in two or more languages. Children born in such families have the opportunity to learn the mother tongues of both parents and become bilingual or multilingual. Whether this can work often depends on the family language policy. The latter is often influenced by a variety of factors, therefore its success depends not only on internal choices, but also partly on external factors. This article provides an overview of research by various authors, which present family language policy strategies. The aim of the study is to find the factors that determine the choice of those strategies and their success. The study revealed that family language policies are influenced both by the family's internal choices, for example, the desire that the children would know the language of one parent or both parents, that they would talk to relatives, would know parents’ culture through language, and by external factors, such as the norms of the society in which they live, integration processes or the conditions for learning the language. A key element in determining the success of family language policy is the consistent adherence to one or more of the strategies chosen.
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Family language policy (FLP) has been establishing itself as a field in the past decade. Yet, much of the scholarly debate around family multilingualism has remained within the boundaries imposed by Western-centric epistemologies. In order to address this issue, this article reviews FLP studies published between 2008 and 2017, and discusses accomplishments and limitations of recent publications. The main argument presented here is that a critical approach to family multilingualism might contribute to the development of FLP in an unexplored direction. More specifically, this paper shows how drawing on a decolonial approach allows for an express engagement with debates that have only been marginally tapped into in current FLP scholarship, for instance, the intersectional dimension of social categorisations such as social class, race, and gender. Furthermore, a decolonial approach provides a robust frame to examine transnational practices by reconciling perspectives that tend to privilege either the material basis of the economic relations of production, or the cultural domain as a locus where these relations gain meaning. Finally, a decolonial approach to family multilingualism takes a step towards redressing the extant underrepresentation of southern theories in sociolinguistics.
Thesis
Thanks to the French-German Agenda 2020, many new French-German day-care centres have opened in the region of the Upper Rhine, guaranteeing an early bilingual and bicultural upbringing.The present thesis elaborates an inventory of the contents, strategies and language practices offered in the respective structures and, even more important, of the linguistic and cultural interactional competencies that can actually be acquired by the children visiting these day-care centres.For this purpose, the present thesis analyses different corpora such as the legal framework for early childhood care in France and Germany, the websites of the French-German day-care centres of the Upper Rhine, the interviews made with the centres’ employees and directors, and, last not least, the field notes taken in 3 centres that have been visited as well as 28 hours of audiorecorded caretaker-child interactions. In so doing, it uses an ethnolinguistic research design in order to identify fields of tension as well as the synergies to be exploited.
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This study examines the speech of a Thai mother who chose to use Japanese to her child from birth. Video data from ages 1;2 to 2;6 revealed that, despite the mother's avowal to speak Japanese, her native Thai and her L2, English, were occasionally used. She reverted to Thai most often and made use of Thai baby words and discourse particles which led to some limited production by the child. The mother's Japanese input was mostly accurate with a low percentage of errors. The rate of child errors was even lower than the rate of maternal errors. Particle use errors were proportionately higher than most other errors types for both mother and child. Analysis of this error type showed that both mother and child errors were characteristically different, indicating that maternal errors did not influence child errors. These findings suggest that nonnative maternal input did not adversely affect the accuracy of the child's early production of Japanese.
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The objectives of this study were twofold: (1) Determine the English proficiency of English second-language learners (ELLs) at the end of preschool as referenced to monolingual norms, and in particular, to determine if they showed an asynchronous profile, that is, approached monolingual norms more closely for some linguistic sub-skills than others; (2) Investigate the role of home language environment in predicting individual differences in children's English proficiency. Twenty-one ELL children (mean age = 58 months) from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds with diverse first-language backgrounds participated in the study. Children's English proficiency was measured using a standardized story-telling instrument that yielded separate scores for their narrative, grammatical and vocabulary skills. A parent questionnaire was used to gather information about children's home language environments. The ELL children displayed an asynchronous profile in their English development, as their standard scores varied in terms of proximity to monolingual norms; narrative story grammar was close to the standard mean, but mean length of utterance was below 1 standard deviation from the standard mean. No differences were found between the story-telling scores of the Canadian-born and foreign-born children, even though Canadian-born children were exposed to more English at home. Implications of the findings for clinicians and educators working with young ELLs are discussed.
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The early course of language development among children from bilingual homes varies in ways that are not well described and as a result of influences that are not well understood. Here, we describe trajectories of relative change in expressive vocabulary from 22 to 48 months and vocabulary achievement at 48 months in two groups of children from bilingual homes (children with one and children with two native Spanish-speaking parents [ns = 15 and 11]) and in an SES-equivalent group of children from monolingual English homes (n = 31). The two groups from bilingual homes differed in their developmental trajectories, in their English and Spanish skills at 48 months, and in the relation between language use at home and their vocabulary development. Children with two native Spanish-speaking parents showed steepest gains in total vocabulary and were more nearly balanced bilinguals at 48 months. Children with one native Spanish- and one native English-speaking parent showed trajectories of relative decline in Spanish vocabulary. Use of English at home was a significant positive predictor of English vocabulary scores only among children with a native English-speaking parent. Implications for optimizing school readiness and supporting heritage language maintenance among children from immigrant families are discussed.
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While the benefits of bilingualism have been widely acknowledged, parents face many hurdles raising children bilingually. Factors such as consistency in language use, family, school, and social support networks, issues of ethnic and social identity, and the prestige value of language have contributed to successful bilingualism. This paper presents a case study exploring the maintenance of German in an English-dominant environment, the strategies the mother employed in fostering German, and how her strategies influenced the children's perceptions of German. The findings offer insights into nurturing bilingualism, particularly when community and school do not support the heritage language.
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Two separate studies examined older siblings' influence on the language exposure and language development of U.S.-born toddlers who were being raised in bilingual homes. The participants in Study 1 were 60 children between 16 and 30 months who had heard English and another language at home from birth; 26 had older siblings and 34 did not. The participants in Study 2 were 27 children, assessed at 22 and 30 months, who had heard English and Spanish from birth; 14 had school aged older siblings and 13 did not. Both studies found that older siblings used English more in talking to the toddlers than did other household members and that toddlers with older siblings were more advanced in English language development. Study 2 also found that the presence of a school aged older sibling increased mothers' use of English with their toddlers and that toddlers without a school aged older sibling were more advanced in Spanish than the toddlers with a school aged older sibling. These findings contribute to a picture of the complex processes that shape language use in bilingual homes and cause variability in young children's bilingual development.
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Researchers have studied family language planning within bilingual family contexts but there is a dearth of studies that examine language planning of multilingual parents who raise their children in one of the world's lesser spoken languages. In this study I explore the ideologies and language planning of Luxembourgish mothers who are raising their children bilingually in Luxembourgish and English in Great Britain, where there is no Luxembourgish community to support them and where a monolingual discourse prevails. All mothers strongly identified with Luxembourgish, aimed at developing active bilingualism and recognised their role in ensuring exposure to Luxembourgish. However, five mothers choose a one-person-two-languages model which limits exposure to Luxembourgish. The article illustrates the extent to which the mothers’ management of their own and of the children's language use is mediated by their ideologies, experiences of multilingualism and their interactions in a large monolingual setting.
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The English second language development of 19 children (mean age at outset = 5 years, 4 months) from various first language backgrounds was examined every 6 months for 2 years, using spontaneous language sampling, parental questionnaires, and a standardized receptive vocabulary test. Results showed that the children's mean mental age equivalency and standard scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Third Edition nearly met native-speaker expectations after an average of 34 months of exposure to English, a faster rate of development than has been reported in some other research. Children displayed the phenomenon of general all-purpose verbs through overextension of the semantically flexible verb do, an indicator of having to stretch their lexical resources for the communicative context. Regarding sources of individual differences, older age of second language onset and higher levels of mother's education were associated with faster growth in children's English lexical development, and nonverbal intelligence showed some limited influence on vocabulary outcomes; however, English use in the home had no consistent effects on vocabulary development.
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For the monolingual population, research has shown that vocabulary knowledge is closely related to reading achievement. However, the role of vocabulary has not been studied as extensively in the bilingual population. It is important to look at vocabulary to better understand reading achievement in the bilingual population in the United States. This study investigated the predictors of Spanish and English vocabulary for 96 fifth-grade Latino English language learners. Our results suggest that becoming or staying proficient in English did not require parental use of English in the home. However, proficiency in Spanish required both instructional support at school and social support at home; it is likely that the low social status of Spanish is related to its greater dependence on home support.
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Sudden shifts in a community's linguistic usage patterns afford sociolinguists interested in “explaining” linguistic changes a tempting opportunity. In cases of gradual shift, it is easier to understand change as the result of myriad social and linguistic factors and pressures, each contributing incrementally to the final result. With sudden change, on the other hand, we are more tempted to look for the one cause or factor tipping the linguistic balance. But, even in cases where rapid shift is clearly a response to a particular social change – for example, Dorian's account of shift away from Gaelic as the Scottish Highlands became less isolated (1981:51), or Tabouret-Keller's of shift in response to ongoing industrialization (1972) – there is still a complicated web of social, linguistic, and ideological factors at work. Thus Dorian notes that “English seemed to have come quickly to eastern Sutherland, but the climate which led to its rapid adoption had been centuries in the making” (1981:51). Dorian's caveat is even more clearly a propos where there is no sudden social shift corresponding with a change in language use. The Scottish Gaelic speakers of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, experienced a rapid language shift during the 1930s and 1940s. Their case is an excellent example of linguistic “tip”, as Dorian first defined it: “A language which has been demographically highly stable for several centuries may experience a sudden ‘tip’, after which the demographic tide flows strongly in favor of some other language” (1981:51).
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This chapter focuses on the process of negotiating family language policy (FLP) in face-to-face social interactions of bilingual English-Chinese families in Singapore. By observing and studying literacy events around daily homework routines, this chapter attempts to understand how FLP is established and realized in everyday interactional practices among family members. It further explores how parents, especially mothers, use different strategies deliberately or unintentionally to negotiate the ‘rules of speaking’ or ‘code of speaking’ in order to raise bilingual children in a multilingual society where English increasingly is gaining both political and social functions in public and private spheres. With focus on the micro-conversational sequences of homework talk, this study outlines the home linguistic environments that are either conducive or ineffective in language maintenance and bi/multilingual development in relation to the powerful macro sociopolitical forces. Through comparative analysis of three English-Chinese bilingual families, this study reveals the similarities and differences in the parental ideological positions as these are manifested in the parents’ various guiding strategies and different degrees of language control and involvement in their children homework sessions.
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Immigrants to Australia in exogamous relationships with English native-speakers are among the most disadvantaged when it comes to retaining and promoting their first language within the family. In the first few years of their settlement, they may be struggling to learn English at the same time as they are acculturating to a new environment and, often, negotiating a new relationship. Their partners may not speak their first language, and their children will have the seductions of English – a language of both local and global relevance – both inside and outside the home. Moreover, decisions about what language(s) to learn and use in the family can be influenced by macro social questions such as their relative status and the attitudes of the community, as well as to individual factors of proficiency in each language, living circumstances and the nature of family relationships and attitudes. In this chapter, we explore how these factors interact in early settlement to influence the use of the immigrant’s heritage language. The data are drawn from a large-scale longitudinal qualitative study of immigrants to Australia in the first 5 years of their settlement. Based on semi-structured interviews with 13 newly arrived immigrants living with English-native-speaking partners and their children, our analysis focuses on the factors that seem to enhance their chances of success in maintaining and building the use of their first language with their children. We explore how successful they have been and consider the implications for educators, counsellors parents and researchers involved in supporting this crucial aspect of early settlement.
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Family language policy refers to explicit and overt decisions parents make about language use and language learning as well as implicit processes that legitimize certain language and literacy practices over others in the home. Studies in family language policy have emphasized the ways in which family-internal processes are shaped by and shape societal level realities. By examining the interview discourse of 11 transnational adoptive parents about their language and education decisions for older, native Russian-speaking adoptees, this article shows how parents draw on categorizations and descriptions of their children to explain their language and education policies. The parental ethnotheories embedded in these categorizations represent a mediating link between societal level discourses on adoptive parenting and adoptees and parents’ individual language planning decisions. The data from transnational adoptive parents presented here indicate that, although adoptive parents’ language policy decisions were reflective of larger discourse processes in society such as monolingual normativity, parents themselves saw their FLP decisions in relation to their children’s particular cognitive and emotional capacities, educational needs, and desire to form a family bond.
This paper investigates how parents explain, frame and defend their particular family language policies. We focus here on 24 families who are attempting to achieve additive Spanish-English bilingualism for their children, an aim which in many cases requires parents to use and to teach a language that is not their first language, nor the primary language of the home or wider community. We explore how parents make these decisions; how parents position themselves relative to ‘expert’ advice and other members of their extended families; and how these decisions are linked to their identities as ‘good’ parents. Our data suggest that parents draw selectively from expert advice and popular literature, using it to bolster their decisions in some cases while rejecting it in others. Extended families, in contrast, generally were raised in the interview discourse as points of (negative) contrast. Overall, we find that parents primarily relied on their own personal experiences with language learning in making decisions for their children. Our data further suggest that family language policies for the promotion of additive bilingualism have become incorporated into mainstream parenting practices, but also that these parents' efforts could be better supported.
Article
In this paper, I look at how multilingual parents attempt to transmit and maintain their native languages at home with their children. The 18 multilingual families in my study spoke mostly English at home even when both parents shared the same non-English language as their native language. My findings suggest that the children in these families are often the ones who decide what the family's home language will be. The parents' educational and socioeconomic statuses also influence the shift toward English language usage because poor and less-educated parents have few resources to help them with home language maintenance.
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Working-class and middle-class mothers of Cuban heritage were questioned about their modes of accommodation to America in terms of language proficiencies Specifically, they were asked about their own language fluency, in both Spanish and English, and that of their children The focus was on the within-family dynamics of the accommodation process, and the links between mothers' and children's language fluencies and children's school performance Two distinct patterns emerged For working-class mothers, the emphasis was more on encouraging their children to learn English in order to ‘succeed’ in America, especially in schoola ‘subtractive’ form of bilingualism and biculturalism where advances in English appear to be at the expense of Spanish fluency and heritage culture maintenance In contrast, for middle-class mothers, success was associated more with the encouragement of Spanish competence, not English-a form of‘additive’bilingualism where the heritage language and culture are protected as the process of Americanization runs its course
Article
Cross-native/community language (CNCL) families are defined as those in which the parents have different native languages, one of which is the major language of the community. The present study compares how bilingualism is perceived and how languages are used in two different groups of CNCL families: Japanese-non-English CNCL families and Japanese-English CNCL families. An analysis of the data collected via a questionnaire survey found some differences between the two groups. Regarding perception of bilingualism, it was found that more Japanese-English families than Japanese-non-English families think that bilingualism in their native languages is perceived positively by mainstream Japanese. As a basis for such perceptions, some subjects claim to detect a certain hierarchy of language esteem among mainstream Japanese. In regard to language use among family members, it was found that the non-Japanese parent's native language is less used by children as well as Japanese parents in the Japanese-non-English families than in Japanese-English families. It was also found that while none of the Japanese-English families use languages other than the parental native languages, Japanese-non-English families employ, either exclusively or complementarily, a language not native to either of the parents, especially when the non-Japanese parent is involved.
Article
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Japanese media devoted considerable attention to the issue of “Asian brides”, who married Japanese through introduction. This paper compares the overlapping yet differing representations of the brides by marriage agencies, by rural public bodies, and in the media. It aims to identify the way in which Japan made sense of the sudden increase of foreign spouses of Japanese, and to provide a better understanding on the discursive conditions immigrant wives faced in Japan. In the promotional rhetoric by marriage agencies and rural public bodies, the brides were rendered non-threatening to the prospective husbands, with their racial markers being either understated or overstated to maximize their marriageability. The media constructed an image of marriages between disadvantaged “Asian” women and rural farmers, and successfully placed them outside the framework of homogenised middle-class identity. The portrayals revealed the complexity of changing gender, race, and class relations in Japan.
Article
This paper examines efforts to reverse language shift in two indigenous communities of southern Ecuador. The ongoing decline and rapid pace of extinction of many of the world's languages have received increasing amounts of attention. Yet while the linguistic and social processes of language loss and language death have been extensively investigated and analysed, relatively little work of similar scope and detail has addressed the processes of and prospects for language revitalisation. The paper presents findings from ethnographic work which investigated language use, language attitudes, and language instruction in two Andean communities which are attempting to revitalise their once native Quichua. The study finds that for different reasons in neither community is Quichua transmission occurring successfully and reveals how and why communities which are socially, economically, and culturally secure are most likely to be supportive of and participate in language revitalisation efforts.
Article
This investigation examined the impact of maternal language and children's gender on bilingual children's vocabulary and emergent literacy development during 2 years in Head Start and kindergarten. Seventy-two mothers and their children who attended English immersion programs participated. Questionnaires administered annually over a 3-year period revealed that mothers increased their usage of English to their children. In addition, more mothers of sons reported using "More or All English" with their children than mothers of daughters. Growth curve modeling indicated that increased usage of English did not impact children's English vocabulary or emergent literacy development. However, increased usage of English slowed the growth of children's Spanish vocabulary. Despite differences in mother-to-child language usage, gender did not impact growth in either language. These findings provide evidence that maternal usage of Spanish does not negatively affect children's developing English vocabulary or emergent literacy abilities. Maternal usage of Spanish appears necessary to maximize children's developing Spanish vocabulary.
This paper examines the language use of a small group of interlingual families of a Japanese parent and a Filipino parent with their offspring living in Japan and qualitatively explores possible explanations for their particular language use. Although the data collected from the subject group are limited, the data analysis does reveal some interesting features regarding language use among the family members: a less frequent use of the Filipino parent's native language(s) in comparison to the Japanese parent's native language and the employment of a language other than either parent's native language(s). These features in the present group greatly contrast with those of the Japanese–English interlingual families that the author previously investigated. Coupled with findings from the author's previous studies, findings from the present study suggest that the how and why of language use in interlingual families might be language-sensitive and not necessarily straightforward reflections of such linguistic considerations as the relative language proficiencies of the family members or access to a language community in the close vicinity.
Article
In our internationalizing world, even countries that have had a reputation of being so‐called ‘homogeneous’ are facing cultural diversification within. Though Japan is a country often described as homogeneous or, at least, homogeneously minded, with the inflows of new types of foreigners, it is presently experiencing what has been dubbed the process of ‘internal internationalization.’ Such new forms of diversity trigger the formation of new social alignments, and challenge existing categories of the Different. This paper takes the Japanese example as a case in point to re‐examine the social nature of the construction of difference.
Article
It is well known that in the bilingual upbringing of a child the rule "one person—one language” plays an important role. However, the descriptions of this subject are often simplified, as if the observation of this rule will automatically result in a linguistic success. This “Case Study” is an example that great internal and/or external difficulties can prevent the development of the bilingualism of a child.
Article
Fishman's Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS) emphasizes the family in maintaining the heritage languages of immigrant communities. This study uses interview data from Sri Lankan Tamil communities in the U.S.A., U.K., and Canada to explain how families account for the rapid loss of Tamil in the diaspora. It shows how the positive valuation of English since British colonization, the need to make up for past deprivations because of caste, religious, and gender inequality, the pressure for migrants to join the social mainstream, and the need to resolve intergenerational tensions influence the family to forego language maintenance goals. The findings encourage us to situate the family in macro-social institutions, power, and history in order to understand the prospects for language maintenance. The article provides an inside view of the Sri Lankan Tamil migrant families to explain how they resolve the tensions of valuing cultural identity and yet disregarding heritage language proficiency.
Article
This ethnographic inquiry examines how family languages policies are planned and developed in ten Chinese immigrant families in Quebec, Canada, with regard to their children’s language and literacy education in three languages, Chinese, English, and French. The focus is on how multilingualism is perceived and valued, and how these three languages are linked to particular linguistic markets. The parental ideology that underpins the family language policy, the invisible language planning, is the central focus of analysis. The results suggest that family language policies are strongly influenced by socio-political and economical factors. In addition, the study confirms that the parents’ educational background, their immigration experiences and their cultural disposition, in this case pervaded by Confucian thinking, contribute significantly to parental expectations and aspirations and thus to the family language policies.
Article
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Washington, 1994. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [62]-64).
Immigrant parents' attitudes toward their children's bilingual development: The case of Brazilians in Japan
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Table 9-18. Marriages by nationality of bride and groom: Vital statistics in Japan
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Zainichi gaikokujin no haha oya hoken souron [An overview of health services for foreign mothers in Japan
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Bilinguality and bicultural children in Japan: A pilot survey of factors linked to active English-Japanese bilingualism
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