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Heritage languages and socialization: An introduction



Heritage languages have been a topic of specific, continual interest since the 1970s, when they received recognition from the political and educational spheres in the United States and Canada. This interest is made evident in the journal of the United States House of Representatives session on July 31st, 1974, wherein the following was stated on the topic of “Bilingual Education”: Recognizing […] (2) that many of such children have a cultural heritage which differs from that of English-speaking persons; (3) that a primary means by which a child learns is through the use of such child’s language and cultural heritage; (4) that, therefore, large numbers of children of limited English-speaking ability have educational needs which can be met by the use of bilingual educational methods and techniques. (United States House of Representatives 1975 [1974]: 1201) In the same decade, the number of course offerings designed specifically for minority language speakers grew exponentially, particularly in North America (Lynch 2014; Valdés Fallis 1977, 1978), while social psychology began to include language as an aspect of social heritage (Lindesmith et al. 1975). These confluences led to the foundation of a specialized academic field generally known as heritage language acquisition. Although research has been carried out on a multiplicity of languages (Cummins and Danesi 1990), particular attention, since the earliest stages of the field, has been paid to Spanish (Evans 1989).
Francisco Moreno-Fernández* and Óscar Loureda Lamas
Heritage languages and socialization: an
Heritage languages have been a topic of specic, continual interest since the 1970s,
when they received recognition from the political and educational spheres in the
United States and Canada. This interest is made evident in the journal of the United
States House of Representatives session on July 31st, 1974, wherein the following was
stated on the topic of Bilingual Education:
Recognizing [] (2) that many of such children have a cultural heritage which diers from that
of English-speaking persons; (3) that a primary means by which a child learns is through the use
of such childs language and cultural heritage; (4) that, therefore, large numbers of children of
limited English-speaking ability have educational needs which can be met by the use of bilingual
educational methods and techniques. (United States House of Representatives 1975 [1974]: 1201)
In the same decade, the number of course oerings designed specically for minority
language speakers grew exponentially, particularly in North America (Lynch 2014;
Valdés Fallis 1977, 1978), while social psychology began to include language as
an aspect of social heritage (Lindesmith et al. 1975). These conuences led to the
foundation of a specialized academic eld generally known as heritage language
acquisition. Although research has been carried out on a multiplicity of languages
(Cummins and Danesi 1990), particular attention, since the earliest stages of the eld,
has been paid to Spanish (Evans 1989).
As is well known (Montrul and Polinsky 2021), the heritage language eld is as
dynamic as it is complex. This is evidenced by the variety of denitions that have
been proposed for the very term heritage language. Some of these have centered
around language itself (Montrul 2015: 1516), while others have focused on speakers
(Rothman 2009; Valdés Fallis 2000: 156). Likewise, heritage languages have been
studied through the lens of the acquisition of linguistic form and function, as well as
through the study of communication practices and, quite frequently, through
*Corresponding author: Francisco Moreno-Fernández, Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Spanish
Studies, Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, E-mail:
Óscar Loureda Lamas, Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Spanish Studies, Universität Heidelberg,
Heidelberg, Germany, E-mail:
Journal of World Languages 2023; 9(1): 114
Open Access. © 2023 the author(s), published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
pedagogy, didactics, and evaluation. For example, Agnes Weiyun He, one of the top
specialists in the social study of heritage languages, has taken a distinct interest in
educational contexts (He 2011). Of course, most people will also be aware of debates
surrounding the need to maintain heritage languages or else they will inevitably be
lost (Peyton et al. 2001), as well as their importance in relation to identities (He 2006).
In any case, the topic of heritage language socialization is far from exhausted, and a
focus on merely the social aspect of heritage language acquisition, use, maintenance,
and attrition or loss, oers a wide array of opportunities for further development.
The concept of socializationhas been widely debated over the past century in
the elds of sociology, psychology, and social psychology. In general, the concept has
been used to refer to the development process by which children gain recognition as
members of a shared social order, one which involves both parents and classmates
(people), and schools and other agents (institutions). Following from Rapley and
Hansen (2006), socialization has been understood in two essentially diverging ways.
The rst explains socialization as a process of learning or internalizing the values,
attitudes, and norms of a given culture or social setting, and of enacting culturally
congruent social roles and appropriate practices within them. This frame is best
explained by the denition given by Maccoby (2007: 13), who says that socialization is
the process by which we teach the skills, behavioral patterns, values, and motiva-
tions necessary to function competently within a given cultural framework.
The second approach to socialization interprets it as part of the development of
areective self, mediated by language (Mead 1934). This interpretation is akin to the
sociology of Bourdieu (Bourdieu and Passeron 1977), which looks not only into the
relationship between social gures and institutions, but also the linguistic interactions
shaping that very relationship. In other words, while the rst approach tends to see
socialization as something that happens to people, the second understands it as a
process in which individuals subjected to socialization are, at the same time, active
participants in it. To that eect, selfand society,identityand culture, are not
seen as binaryoppositions. Instead, each term coproduces the other, by way of largely
linguistic resources, an argument we also nd in ethnomethodology (Goman 1961)
and discursive psychology (Potter 2004).
It is this second approach that has been predominant in the eld of language
socialization(Duranti et al. 2011). In line with research on language acquisition, this
eld studies the interactions involved in the conguration and development of lin-
guistic repertoires, which enable children to integrate and gain recognition as
members of their respective communities. Within the domains or settings where
these interactions take place, two stand out as singularly important, always with
childhood development as the primary source of interest: home and school. That
said, growing attention is being paid to other realms of social interaction, such as
political communication, professional dialogue, and mass media.
2Moreno-Fernández and Loureda Lamas
Language socialization, including socialization relative to heritage languages, is
a multi-layer process involving the establishment of a two-way communicational
ow. As such, socialization can be a result of the use of a language, at the same time as
it is the very vehicle that enables the use of that language to begin with (Schieelin
and Ochs 1986: 163). This means that language both conditions and is an essential
piece of socialization. But at the same time, socialization conditions the use, function,
and form of the language itself. This two-way current takes on special signicance
when we turn our focus to heritage speakers. It is evident in every setting, including
school, where heritage language students contribute to the socialization process to
the same degree that socialization opens a door for them to use their languages
(He 2011: 605). In other words, the acquisition or development of language and
socialization are mutually constitutive processes which contribute to the repro-
duction of social order, along with the beliefs, values, and ideologies that sustain it
(Ochs and Schieelin 2011: 10).
The social settings in which heritage languages are used, developed, or disap-
pear may originate in a wide range of populational phenomena or events, such as the
imposition of a majority language by one population onto another or others, thereby
turning them into minority languages. Of all the phenomena capable of producing
heritage language speakers, migration is one of the most noteworthy.
Research on language socialization has focused largely on how immigrants
negotiate their participation in new communities and social institutions, and how
this inuences them (Baquedano-López and Figueroa 2011: 536537). It also looks at
the various pressures faced by immigrants, whether in their workplaces, in educa-
tional institutions, or even among their peers (Buriel 1993; Delgado-Gaitán 1993;
Goldenberg and Gallimore 1995). Likewise, much attention had been paid to the
transition between home and school (Azmitia and Brown 2002; Suárez-Orozco et al.
2008), as these are the two realms with the greatest inuence in the sociolinguistic
development of an immigrant (Baquedano-López and Figueroa 2011: 537538).
Nonetheless, among groups of immigrants, involvement with regional centers,
circles of friends, volunteer groups, charitable, educational, or recreational organi-
zations, and social networks of all types tends to play a decisive role in the processes
of integration and socialization within a host community. These organizations
always have a linguistic aspect, as they bring together people from a similar back-
ground and can help to maintain a heritage language (Guardado 2018). Speakers of
minority languages or language varieties will nd, in these spaces of socialization, an
environment of communication and the reinforcement of their racial, ethnic, or
religious identities.
In this respect, generation is a decisive factor in the process of socialization. A
linguistic analysis of various generations of immigrants brings to the fore three
interesting concepts. The rst is heritage speakers, a label that corresponds to
Editorial 3
members of the second-generation or beyond. The second concept is the 1.5 Gen-
eration, which refers to the descendants of rst-generation immigrants who arrive
in their host country as children. This concept arose through studies on Asians in the
United States, in an attempt to characterize the children who arrived with their
parents and grew up in their host country without receiving clear social categori-
zations as either members of the rst or second generation (Ryu 1991). Later de-
nitions have added further nuance to this concept (Bolzman et al. 2017; Waters 2014)
and the phenomenon of heritage languages is especially complex and interesting
in this generation. The third concept worth mentioning is third culture kids
(Guardado 2018). This label is applied to individuals who have spent a signicant
period of time in two or more cultural and ethnic settings, combining characteristics
of both into a so-called third culture (Fail et al. 2004).
Likewise, the integration process is strongly intertwined with socialization.
Successive generations of immigrants may undergo integration or adaptation pro-
cesses where language takes on a singular, decisive character. Integration entails an
adjustment between an immigrant population and a host, or resident, population
that enables the intersubjective construction of the social reality of both, and which
leads to shared values, whether these stem from the resident population or the
immigrant population. Integration is a bidirectional process that is continually
refreshed and renewed, through which resident populations as much as immigrant
populations organize their activity within a host community.
Immigrant integration can be divided into various levels (or phases, if they take
place successively): survival integration, work or school integration, social integra-
tion, and identarian integration (Moreno-Fernández 2009). In situations where the
migratory and majority language cohabitate in the destination country, migrant
families face the challenges that come with the conciliation of linguistic integration
into the host society, on the one hand, and the transmission of their heritage lan-
guage at home, on the other (Muñiz 2009; Torres 2019). In these contexts, parents
make decisions about how to handle the language at home. These decisions depend
largely on their attitudes and expectations about the heritage language and its
intergenerational transmission. As gestured at above, our knowledge of the process
of language socialization in general, and the socialization of heritage language
speakers in particular, has grown with the increase in studies and analyses in
various elds. Still, there is one aspect that has been paid little attention that deserves
to be kept in mind, because it can serve as a broader framework for the domains in
which heritage languages are used and set their roots. This aspect is that of the
geographical spaces where the socialization of immigrants and their descendants
take place, with urban spaces of particular note.
Urban spaces act as centers of social, cultural, and economic exchanges in
modern migration. For example, in Europe, Spanish-speaking migrants, who have
4Moreno-Fernández and Loureda Lamas
received little analytical attention, are most concentrated in urban areas with pop-
ulations greater than 500,000: roughly 30% of Spanish-speaking migrants in Europe
reside in ve urban centers (Milan, London, Paris, Berlin, and Zurich). This phe-
nomenon is replicated in certain countries, especially in central and western Europe,
such as Germany, where 32% of Spanish-speaking migrants are concentrated in
urban centers with populations greater than 500,000. This concentration has only
continued to grow, with 60% of year-to-year variations taking place in these centers
and their peripheries.
Cities and their respective metropolitan areas are also capable of attracting new
ows of migrants because of their opportunities for personal and professional
development. This means that they quickly create interrelated groups and networks
of signicant size, which in turn become a high priority for political and adminis-
trative action. Setting aside familial bonds, the communication chains between
recently arrived migrants and migrants from the same place who have resided in a
given center for a longer period of time can create new migratory ows, because this
dynamic minimizes risks and fosters integration. Networks of migrants from the
same country or linguistic-cultural community form a social capital that acts as a
support system in the various phases of migration: in the selection of a destination as
a knock-on eect created by channels of information about the opportunities in a
given region; in the arrival phase, by providing information about the necessary
procedures (e.g. bureaucracy, housing, work); and in the settlement phase, as agents
for social integration (e.g. associationism, the maintenance of traditions) (Calero and
Rohlo2016; Sevillano Canicio 2014). In this last sense, associations between the
Spanish-speaking community are a positive factor for language maintenance, as
community initiatives either directly demand, support, or enact education programs
for Spanish as a heritage language (Loureda et al. 2020: 7377).
Likewise, urban spaces favor the pull a family might feel to communicate in
a non-majority language in their place of residence, the availability of academic
oerings for the reinforcement of competence in such language, and the ability to
socialize in that language in external spaces. As a result, quantifying them and
describing their structure can help us to understand the dynamics of heritage lan-
guage conservation. There are some interdisciplinary methods well-suited to the
task, such as language demographics, combining geographical, sociological, and
linguistic data, all of which are necessary to rene our analysis of the relationships
between cultures and societies. A demolinguistic study considers individual reasons
within the maintenance of linguistic-cultural identity and the ability to maintain
communication with an individuals family in their country of origin and their
community of Spanish speakers. Whats more, factored into these analyses are
reasons derived from the construction of urban plurilingual spaces in their host
community. This dynamic allows us to label urban spaces as favorable for the
Editorial 5
maintenance of Spanish as a migratory and heritage language, as is reinforced by the
prevalence of educational programs for Spanish language and culture.
With immigrant populations of varying sizes and densities establishing sym-
metrical and asymmetrical relationships with resident populations whether these
are native or historically migratory we can see urban spaces as the framework for
the development and construction of use settings or spaces that enable language
socialization. Among these spaces, home and school are especially noteworthy, but
they arent alone. Lets take a more detailed look at some of these spaces or contexts.
(1) Family
Family, or rather, the family household, is a key element in generational
replacement and therefore, the transmission of language to subsequent generations
(Curdt-Christiansen and Silver 2012). In fact, it could be said that family is the primary
site of socialization for heritage language speakers. Still, home and family congu-
rations are not static, and are subject to demographic changes conditioned by forces
that inuence language transmission processes. For example, data shows that
Western societies are seeing a decline in household size and in the number of
households with married couples, meanwhile non-familial households are slowly on
the rise. Within the potential diversity of a household, every family creates its own
language policiesand the conditions in which interactions between children and
their guardians take place (De Houwer 2020). More than just language acquisition
itself, this also plays a role in the transmission of linguistic attitudes and ideologies.
In contexts where the majority language is not the same as the language in their
country of origin, migrant families become an especially interesting lens through
which heritage language transmission is studied. Its here that the rst, and some-
times only contact with that language takes place, and where the younger genera-
tions linguistic repertoire will be congured (Blommaert and Backus 2013). Within
this conguration, a decisive role is played by a familys stance on interactions
(in one or more languages) within the home, via the space they grant to the majority
language, the attitudes they take towards language alternation or mixing, and the
social value they place on each (Lanza 2021). Each of these questions will arise and
nd some resolution, whether consciously or unconsciously, in an immigrant family.
In many cases, they make conscious decisions about languages and the varieties that
are to be used at home in family interactions, not unlike decisions about what is
appropriate and inappropriate (Schiman 1996).
Nonetheless, communication outside the home can also be heavily conditioned
by a familys language policies. Adults often condition contact with other families
and circles of friends, in much the same way that they involve their family members
in various types of activities, whether religion, sports, leisure, or cultural activities,
and other activities related to their heritage language and culture. Put simply,
6Moreno-Fernández and Loureda Lamas
heritage language speaker socialization is not limited to the family environment
(Curdt-Christiansen and Silver 2012; Fishman 2001).
(2) School
School is undoubtedly the other key environment when it comes to the language
socialization of children and teenagers. Their communication with each other and
their teachers, and the language of the materials and resources, are fundamental not
just in terms of language acquisition but also the transmission and potential adoption
of social ideologies, identities, and values. Importantly, there is an intermediate
phase in the process of school socialization with a particular relevance: the transition
from home to school. This transition can be either harmonious or disruptive (Suárez-
Orozco and Suárez-Orozco 2001). When it is immigrant children experiencing school
socialization, the transitional process frequently takes on a disruptive character
from a social, cultural, and, of course, linguistic perspective. This is true even when
immigrant children speak the majority language, but in a variety that is not the norm
in the host community.
However, bringing family languages into school can contribute to a students
integration and academic success. There is a positive eect when immigrant children
feel their heritage language is well-received at school, whether through the accep-
tance of its use in the classroom, access to content in that language, or the imple-
mentation of targeted bilingual programs. However, the process can only have that
positive eect when paired with an appropriate attitude from parents, teachers, and
classmates who speak the majority language. When the socioeconomic perception of
migrants or the ideologies, beliefs, and attitudes about them are negative, it may not
be sucient to provide linguistic continuity. Though if a school oers the resources
for a continuity, in some way or another, this means that its ideologies, attitudes, and
beliefs are favorable to the adaptation and integration of migrants, and to the
recognition of their identity.
School adaptation is a process of accommodation that works multi-directionally
and dynamically, and only guarantees success when there is harmony between all
the involved parties (children, teachers, school, and family). As such, it would be a
mistake to consider school integration as solely a matter of academic performance or
the individual qualities of young students. Studies carried out on the transition and
acculturation of young immigrants have helped to create models of various forms of
adaptation. Berry et al. (2006) performed a comparative study across thirteen
countries and found a strong link between the form in which acculturation takes
place for young people and the process of their psychological and sociocultural
adaptation. According to these authors, acculturation, understood as the reception
of and adaptation to another culture, has four fundamental proles: integration
(positive psychological and sociological adaptation), ethnic (poor psychological and
Editorial 7
sociocultural adaptation), national (moderately negative psychological and socio-
cultural adaptation), and diuse (negative adaptation). Their results show that there
is no incompatibility between the conservation of personal identity and the estab-
lishment of bonds with the majority community.
(3) Centers and groups
For immigrants, transitional processes from their culture and language of origin to
those of the majority in the host community are hardly limited to school. An immi-
grant family may be located near various centers, clubs, associations, cooperatives,
circles, and groups of varying natures, where they can broaden their circle of
relationships and their opportunities for social interaction. As a result, these centers
act as a space for linguistic socialization, whether theyre oriented towards culture,
art, religion, sports, or work, among other things.
When these centers and groups have been created by people with a migratory
background and are oriented to receive other people with that background, new
immigrant families can go to them for a space that favors the recognition and main-
tenance of their identity of origin, including their native or heritage language. But these
specic sorts of centers can also fulll a double purpose: on the one hand, they oer a
ships and interactions among people with a migratory background. On the other, they
oer a space for cultural and linguistic socialization, as well as one that can help people
transition into the culture and language of the host community (Guardado 2018).
Likewise, as spaces for socialization, centers and groups attended by immigrant
families or some of their members can act as a setting for the reproduction of
ideologies, values, opinions, and attitudes, with relevance in various spheres of
society, such as work or politics. Depending on their nature, these factors can just as
easily encourage adaptation or integration into a host community as they can disrupt
it, in much the same way that they can favor adaptation through the construction of a
dual identity or act as the decisive factor of inadaptation through the rejection of that
(4) Workplace
The workplace is another space for socialization that has been paid relatively little
attention in terms of its relevance to the linguistic and cultural adaptation and
integration of immigrant populations. In a sense, the transitional process from
family to work by adults mirrors that of children and teenagers to school, in that
there are patterns of acquisition and reproduction for ideologies and opinions that
can take place at any age. Interactions among coworkers, along with the hierarchies,
values, and codes in eect at each workplace, not to mention the age of the workers
themselves, lead to dierent dynamics.
8Moreno-Fernández and Loureda Lamas
Linguistic interactions within workplaces have characteristics not shared by
interactions within families, schools, or social centers. For one thing, businesses,
corporations, or institutions often turn to professional lexicons, institutional dis-
courses, and group linguistic markers that make socialization a much more complex
process, because they have to be balanced with lexicons and discourses outside of
work (Roberts 2010: 214). But the mastery of these linguistic and lexical resources is
absolutely necessary, both in terms of an immigrants adaptation and of the
improvement of their status and work conditions. Additionally, all this must be seen
through a lens in which the mastery of language(s) is increasingly important in the
working world, particularly in the service sector and in businesses or institutions
that require internationalization for their development (Heller 2010).
Nonetheless, the existence of codes, values, and attitudes specic to every
workplace doesnt mean that each component manifests continually or statically.
When these environments include migrants, and when they make room for multi-
lingualism, whether for professional or personal reasons, communication dynamics
become more intense and more complex. In some cases, these dynamics can bring
about internal tensions between new employees and veterans (Gershon 2015),
between residents and immigrants, between speakers of some languages and others.
Just as these conditions evolve, so too do the internal dynamics of every work group.
This Special Issue of the Journal of World Languages oers a series of articles
which take up some of the most important issues in heritage speaker socialization
and language. Maria Polinsky, in the rst article, discusses the status of Spanish in
bilingual contexts. The discussion centers around the issues of the baseline (the
language that serves as input to the bilingual upbringing), minimal exposure
required for the acquisition of a language as a native one, and sociolinguistic models
that allow for discontinuity in a given language community.
Adopting a transnational perspective, Óscar Loureda Lamas, Francisco Moreno-
Fernández, and Héctor Álvarez Mella present a quantication of heritage speakers in
Europe and outline linguistic and demographic proles directly related to various
processes of socialization. In this way, they attempt to show how demolinguistic
analyses can contribute to our understanding of the social realities of a language.
Héctor Álvarez Mella, Charlotte Blattner, and Ana Gómez-Pavóns article dis-
cusses family expectations with respect to the intergenerational transmission of
Spanish and explores attitudes towards heritage languages and educational pro-
grams. They present the results of an exploratory study undertaken in Germany to
look into the primary arguments made by families when it comes to including
heritage language courses or bilingual educational spaces in their approach to lan-
guage at home. Their analysis reveals the importance of Spanish in terms of family
cohesion and shows how language socialization practices are a valid alternative for
Spanish-speaking families.
Editorial 9
Marcela Fritzler has written an article to present the earliest results of a larger
study about the specic characteristics of the Spanish-speaking community, the
presence of Spanish as a heritage language, the resources and instruments used to
transmit this language, and the level of interest in developing it in Israel. Marcela
Fritzlers article reects on the possibility of preserving a heritage language in future
adults by keeping in mind the heavy weight of the Hebrew language as the dominant
language in Israeli society. Her conclusions point as much to the need for language
maintenance to be part of a family strategy as the importance of appropriate bilin-
gual educational policies, which make space in the classroom for a familys cultural
María Luisa Parra Velascos article, while not eschewing family strategies,
focuses more clearly on schools. Her article presents an analysis of a longitudinal
study on four Latino students who attended a transitional bilingual kindergarten in
Boston, in the United States. María Luisa Parra Velasco argues that the use and
development of Spanish in children cannot be fully understood if it is seen only as an
individual skill, and not as an intrinsic component of broader dynamic processes of
socialization of which English also forms a part, and in which both teachers and
parents participate. The data presented by María Luisa Parra Velasco oers an
integrated perspective on the use of Spanish in the school adaptation process, as
these children learn English over the course of kindergarten.
Andrew Lynch, meanwhile, explores the presence of heritage languages in
workplaces in the United States, specically Miami. Miami has one of the highest
rates and recognition of English-Spanish bilingualism, and as a result, there are more
opportunities for socialization. Andrew Lynch discusses personal stories of linguistic
socialization in workplaces among adults who are heritage speakers of Spanish. His
article shows that, in the vast majority of workplaces in Miami where Spanish is
actively spoken, there is no standardized rule or practice regarding the use of the
language. The experiences he analyzed highlight the potential of workplaces as a
space to generate more positive attitudes towards Spanish in adults, and to motivate
heritage speakers into a more active use of their language.
Finally, María Clara von Essen presents an analysis of linguistic socialization in a
community that has received migrants who speak a dierent modality of the same
language. It could be said that her study deals with the socialization of speakers of
heritage dialects. To that end, María Clara von Essen combines ethnographic and
quantitative analyses based on information from Argentinian immigrants in the
Spanish city of Málaga, where Spanish is spoken in its Andalucian modality. Her
analysis tackles the complex interactions between the accommodation or acquisition
of a second dialect, language socialization, ideologies, family language politics, and
identity. In her conclusions, María Clara von Essen shows that family language
policies congure their childrens development, correlate with their formal success
10 Moreno-Fernández and Loureda Lamas
in school, determine their maintenance of the heritage modality, and even aect
their sense of identity. More concretely, it is the language policies of mothers, along
with their attitudes towards the varieties of language theyre in contact with, that
condition the social and scholarly development of their children.
Each article here, both individually and as part of the whole, shows the many
methodological dierences entailed in the study of linguistic socialization. Obtaining
access to household information the private lives of families can be dicult, as
can peer into school and workplace dynamics. Every family, every school, every
classroom, every job has its own patterns. Interactions in each place obey distinct
criteria, because there are innumerable social microparameters conditioning
socialization, and more particularly, the maintenance or disappearance of a heritage
language or variety. Whats more, neither the situations nor the settings (e.g. family,
school, work) of immigrants are stable or continuous, and that dynamic quality can
make for radical changes in the conditions of socialization.
This multifarious reality explains why it is so hard to make methodological
decisions in studying the socialization of heritage language speakers. Ethnographic
or qualitative approaches, focus groups, analysis of social networks or individual
narratives, and case studies are all valid techniques in one situation or another, but
they are not always interchangeable. Nor should we forget about quantication,
which can aid us in constructing a macro-perspective that doesnt interfere with the
observations of qualitative data. Conventional research strategies propose the
discernment of the relative importance of individual and environmental factors or
variables involved in human development and socialization patterns. The issue,
however, is not just in discerning the importance of each factor, but in identifying the
factors themselves in closed, private environments. While socialization, as a generic
social phenomenon, poses many sizable methodological obstacles, those obstacles
are all the larger and more numerous when it comes to immigrant socialization, and
in particular, the socialization of immigrants who are speakers of a heritage lan-
guage or variety.
Azmitia, Margarita & Jane R. Brown. 2002. Latino immigrant parentsbeliefs about the path of lifeof
their adolescent children. In Josena M. Contreras, Kathryn A. Kerns & Angela M. Neal-Barnett (eds.),
Latino children and families in the United States: Current research and future directions,77105.
Westport, CT: Praeger.
Baquedano-López, Patricia & Ariana M. Figueroa. 2011. Language socialization and immigration. In
Alessandro Duranti, Elinor Ochs & Bambi B. Schieelin (eds.), The handbook of language socialization,
536563. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
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Berry, John W., Jean S. Phinney, David L. Sam & Paul Vedder (eds.). 2006. Immigrant youth in cultural
transition: Acculturation, identity and adaptation across national contexts. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates.
Blommaert, Jan & Ad Backus. 2013. Superdiverse repertoires and the individual. In Ingrid de Saint-Georges
& Jean-Jacques Weber (eds.), Multilingualism and multimodality,932. Leiden: Brill.
Bolzman, Claudio, Laura Bernardi & Jean-Marie Le Go(eds.). 2017. Situating children of migrants across
borders and origins: A methodological overview. Dordrecht: Springer.
Bourdieu, Pierre & Jean-Claude Passeron. 1977. La Reproduction. Éléments dune theorie du système
denseignement. Paris: De Minuit.
Buriel, Raymond. 1993. Childrearing orientations in Mexican American families: The inuence of
generation and sociocultural factors. Journal of Marriage and Family 55(4). 9871000.
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The field of family language policy has flourished in recent years addressing an ever-increasing breadth of transnational populations, family types, and linguistic configurations. Furthermore, diverse established and innovative methodological approaches have unlatched the door to enhanced understandings of family multilingualism. A focus on ethnographic approaches is in line with current trends in sociolinguistic enquiry, providing deep insight into multilingual families, as demonstrated by this thematic issue on ‘Exploring the multilingual family repertoire: Ethnographic approaches’, edited by Luk Van Mensel and Maartje De Meulder. An underlying current in the studies of this special issue is the notion of the family as a space, negotiated through the multilingual family repertoire – multilingual practices that embrace the speakers’ lived experiences. This concluding discussion analyzes the ways in which the four articles address the family as a multilingual space and highlights some of the more salient aspects that deserve further attention, looking beyond at new potential approaches to critically addressing family multilingualism.
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Chapter 18. The goal of this chapter is to provide a review of psycholinguistic research on adult heritage speakers. The review is fairly comprehensive, especially with regard to studies that used real-time experimental measures (e.g., eyetracking, self-paced reading, and other reaction time methods), but we have not included unpublished work, our coverage of research using offline methods such as judgments is selective, and there is much greater emphasis on comprehension than on production.
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De Houwer, Annick (2020), Why do so many children who hear two languages speak just a single language? Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht 25: 1, 7-26. Jahrgang 25, Nummer 1 (April 2020), ISSN 1205-6545 25 Jahre ZIF-ein Grund zum Feiern! Themenschwerpunkt: Mehrsprachigkeit in der Familie Abstract: Twenty years ago De Houwer (1999) asked why young children reared with two languages speak just a single language. At the time, there was little research that could address the question. This contribution reviews research from the last two decades that either directly or indirectly addresses the problem of single language use by bilingually raised children. Amongst others, it focuses on the role of parental input patterns, the quantity and quality of language input, parental discourse strategies, the role of institutions such as day care centers and preschools, and child agency. Vor zwanzig Jahren stellte De Houwer (1999) die Frage, warum junge Kinder, die in zwei Sprachen erzogen wurden, nur eine Sprache sprechen. Zu jener Zeit gab es kaum Forschung, die dieser Frage nachging. Dieser Beitrag blickt zurück auf die Forschung der letzten zwei Jahrzehnte, die direkt oder indirekt das Problem der Einsprachigkeit bei zweisprachig erzogenen Kindern behandelt. Besprochen werden, u.a., die Rolle der sprachliche Input-Muster der Eltern, die Quantität des Inputs, die elterlichen Diskursstrategien, die Spracheinstellungen von Kindern und die Rolle von Institutionen wie Tagesstätten und Vorschulen.
Heritage speakers are native speakers of a minority language they learn at home, but due to socio-political pressure from the majority language spoken in their community, their heritage language does not fully develop. In the last decade, the acquisition of heritage languages has become a central focus of study within linguistics and applied linguistics. This work centres on the grammatical development of the heritage language and the language learning trajectory of heritage speakers, synthesizing recent experimental research. The Acquisition of Heritage Languages offers a global perspective, with a wealth of examples from heritage languages around the world. Written in an accessible style, this authoritative and up-to-date text is essential reading for professionals, students, and researchers of all levels working in the fields of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, education, language policies and language teaching.
This paper proposes an identity theory of Chinese as a Heritage Language (hereafter CHL) development, based on the characteristics of the Chinese as a Heritage Language learner and drawing insights from Language Socialization, Second Language Acquisition, and Conversation Analysis. It posits that CHL development takes place in a three-dimensional framework with intersecting planes of time, space, and identity. Temporally, CHL development recontextualizes the past, transforms the present and precontextualizes the future. As such, it fosters rooted world citizenry with appreciation of and competence in Chinese language and culture. Spatially, it transforms local, independent communities into global, interdependent communities. A learner’s CHL development depends on the degree to which s/he is able to find continuity and coherence in multiple communicative and social worlds in time and space and to develop hybrid, situated identities and stances.