[lg policy] bibitem: Family language policy in mixed marriages: who is in control? A case study of families on intercultural marriages in Perth

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 1 15:02:15 UTC 2013

Family language policy in mixed marriages
who is in control? A
case study of families
on intercultural marriages
in Perth
 Name of Author 1
Kyoko Kawasaki
Curtin University
 Name of Author
University of Western Australia
  Proposed Program Stream:
Communication, Language, and Education


 From the interview of Japanese women migrants in Perth in intermarried
relationships withpartners whose first language is notJapanese, this study
explores the language use in the day-to-day domestic environment. The
project employs the concept of the family language policy andexamines what
the families’ language policies are, what factors contribute to their
policies, and how and why they adhere to or change the policies. Families
do not usually state their languagepolicies explicitly, but whether
intentionally or unintentionally, people make decisions on theirlanguage
use in each speech community and those decisions become the community’s
language policies.

Spolsky (2007) says that there are three components in language policy
whether it is
national policy or family policy: practices, beliefs, and management.
 Our study focuses on the
sphere of the family and
attempts an ethnographic investigation into the language use in the
domestic relationships through exploring the three domains Spolsky
These three
domains do not operate separately but are intertwined and shape each other.
 The study identifies key factors t
hat influence the family language policy. For many women, the
strongest internal factor within the family is the belief on ‘elite
bilingualism’ that one should
speak two languages perfectly as a native speaker to be a bilingual
(Heller, 2007). This belie
can both encourage and discourage the bilingualism (or multilingualism)
within the family. The
strongest external influence on the family language policy is the status of
English, that is, its
dominance in the society and its social and economic mobility
. Yet, the family language policy
also shows fluidity and variations, and they are related to individuals’
migrant identities. The
study discusses how their migrant identities shape their beliefs, practices
and management of the
family language policy, and
how the language use influences their identities at the same t
Heller, M. (2007). Bilingualism as ideology and practice. In M. Heller
(Ed.), Bilingualism: a
social approach (pp. 1
22). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Spolsky, B. (2007). Towards a T
heory of Language Policy. Working Papers in Educational
Linguistics, 22(1), 1

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