multilingualism; digitally mediated communication, family, speech communities, research protocols
Åsa Palviainen, Dept. of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä
Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen, Department of Education, University of Bath
Communication within contemporary families is increasingly and to a significant extent mediated through technological devices and digital applications. The everyday reality of many multilingual families is permeated by technology, and although there is a growing emphasis on, for example, understanding how multilingual family practices intersect with transnationalism, globalization and digital media (King & Lanza, 2019:717--718), empirical research is still scarce. This thematic session consists of three papers which have as their joint focus digitally mediated communication in multilingual families in three national contexts. In the first paper, “Multilingual Digital Practices in Transnational Families”, Janina Iwaniec and Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen explore multilingual and multiliteracy practices in digital applications, such as Wechat, WhatsApp and Skype, of a group of transnational families from the Polish and Chinese communities in the UK. The use of social media is shown to be a powerful tool to socialise children into multilingual practices and thus enable them to engage in both heritage language and cultural activities. In the second paper, “Family talk in transition: bilingual practices in authentic WhatsApp family chats”, Tiina Räisä and Åsa Palviainen examine how a number of Swedish-Finnish bilingual families in Finland make use of their linguistic and multimodal resources to negotiate choice of language(s), bilingual identities and to intensify emotional bonds between family members. In the third and last paper, “Digital school-home interaction as a means for inclusion in a multilingual context? Lithuanian migrant workers in Norway”, Hilde Thyness demonstrates how digitally mediated contact between Lithuanian speaking homes and Norwegian schools may lead to equality and inclusion as well as to inequality and exclusion. The three papers together show the increased mediatization of the family institution and provide empirical examples of how language is mediated, negotiated and developed through digital means.
King, K., & Lanza, E. (2019). Ideology, agency, and imagination in multilingual families: An introduction. International Journal of Bilingualism, 23(3), 717-723. doi:10.1177/1367006916684907
Multilingual Digital Practices in Transnational Families, Janina Iwaniec and Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen
Family talk in transition: bilingual practices in authentic WhatsApp family chats, Tiina Räisä and Åsa Palviainen