3. Language and communication in transcultural families

family language policy, transcultural bi/multilingual families, translanguaging, migrant families, language ideology

Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Hadrian Lankiewicz, University of Gdańsk
Małgorzata Machowska-Kościak, Dublin City University

Elizabeth Lanza, Multiling, University of Oslo
Mila Schwartz, Oranim Academic College of Education

Globalization, international mobility and urban development have affected every aspect of human communication and inspired transcultural contacts and relations, including the growing number of transcultural families. Except for language contact, such encounters typically involve clashes of norms, values and traditions, along with negotiation of identities and worldviews. The theme and the title for this section address our interest in scrutinizing the impact of such processes on communication and language use in transcultural bi/multilingual families. Thus, instead of taking a bird’s perspective at the society at large, we focus on the family as the basic unit of social organization, viewed as a dynamic ecosystem. Issues related to the linguistic development of the offspring are one of the most important challenges facing transcultural bi/multilingual families. Concrete decisions and actions often draw on parents’ personal beliefs about the languages that can shape a particular linguistic ideology, which directly influences parents’ language behavior towards their children (Spolsky, 2007). These beliefs may, for example, determine the decisions concerning the learning of particular languages, the methods of teaching them and the order of exposure to particular languages, which ultimately affects language acquisition processes and the shape of communication within the family that may be mono-, bi- or multilingual. Largely, this section aims to contribute to the burgeoning field of family language policy (FLP) and scrutinize issues related to the language ideology and the actual linguistic communication in transcultural families. Continuing the themes raised in the ongoing discussion on FLP (see e.g. Lanza and Wei, 2016; Lanza and Curdt-Christiansen, 2018), the primary emphasis will be placed on how families navigate the use of language in the home and revisit their FLPs given the dynamically changing socio-cultural reality as well as the child agency. In brief, papers in this section shall examine how various types of multilingual transcultural families from Europe and other continents communicate in daily interactions, establish, negotiate and manage their family language policies, as well as trace and interpret changes in language ideologies and practices over time. We invite papers that may include, but are not limited to, the following issues: – family language policy (FLP) – child agency in shaping FLP – language and communication in first-and second-generation migrant families – multilingual familylect/ecolect – pragma- and sociocultural aspects of transcultural family interactions – non-verbal communication in transcultural families – translanguaging in bi/multilingual families – the ecology of language learning and communication in bi/multilingual families – empowerment vs. self-marginalization in the family language use – institutional support for family bi/multilingualism. References: Lanza, E. and L. Wei. (2016). Multilingual encounters in transcultural families. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37(7): 653-654 . Lanza, E. and X. L.Curdt-Christiansen. (2018). Multilingual families: Aspirations and challenges. International Journal of Multilingualism, 15(3): 231-332. Spolsky, B. (2007). Family language management: Some preliminaries. In A. Stavans and I. Kupferberg (eds.), Studies in language and language education: Essays in honor of Elite Olshtain, pp. 429-449. Jerusalem, Israel: Hebrew University: Magnes Press.

  1. “and this computer programme teaches the alphabet in Arabic” – The Role of Technology in the Language Policy of Multilingual Families, Sandra Ballweg
  2. ‘I feel both Polish and Irish’: Family language policy and hybrid Polish-Irish identity construction within Polish migrant families in Ireland, Lorraine Connaughton-Crean
  3. Promoting active adult bilingualism in a minority language context, Colin Flynn
  4. Role of agency and family language policy in language socialisation practices of  Polish families living in Ireland, Malgorzata Machowska- Kosciak
  5. (Trans)languaging of plurilingual speakers in the context of familylect and ecolect, Hadrian Lankiewicz
  6. Paternal agency in heritage language maintenance in Australia – Polish fathers in action, Piotr Romanowski
  7. The role of parental attitudes in acquisition of Welsh as L3 among Polish migrants to Wales, Karolina Rosiak
  8. Private language policies of bilingual couples: Raising children into a second language in Poland, Agnieszka Stępkowska
  9. Three generations of international families as examples of possible tactics in family language policy, Tatiana Strokovskaya
  10. ‘Are we on the same page?’ Parents versus children in shaping FLP, Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej
  11. Institutional agency in fostering children’s and parents’ understanding of the importance of FLP, Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak and Sylwia Adamczak-Krysztofowicz
  12. Non-harmonious early bilingualism through the eyes of mothers, Vitalija Kazlauskiene and Inga Hilbig
  13. “I am very sorry, but by the way, I am working in research and actually lecture in multilingualism”. Perspectives of Professionals in Multilingualism on their own Family Language Policy, Helena Olfert and Sarah Romano-Bottke
  14. Transnational and Transcultural Families in Latvia: De facto Identities, Practices and Educational Choices, Sanita Martena and Heiko Marten