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Roberts, T. (2023). Family language policy in Swedish-English families: Rhizomatic conceptualisations. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS, 11(2), 312-340
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Family language policy in Swedish-English families: Rhizomatic conceptualisations
2023 (English)In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED LINGUISTICS, ISSN 2192-9521, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 312-340Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although past research has established that family language policies are composed of numerous complex, entangled, heterogenous elements, as of yet, most works grounded within this research paradigm do not attempt to fully embrace this complexity. This article argues that the complexity can be more fully engaged with by conceptualising a family language policy as a rhizomatic system which consists of a multiplicity of temporary assemblages. Drawing on video recordings, interviews, and stimulated recall protocols from a project on the dimensions of language in Swedish-English families, this article aims to consider how interactional episodes within these families can be viewed as an assemblage of material elements, experiences, agential forces, and conceptual discourses. It is argued that through the analysis of multiple assemblages, and through the consideration of the connectivity between such assemblages, that a holistic picture of the rhizomatic structure that is a family language policy begins to be built.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Walter de Gruyter, 2023
Keywords
rhizome, assemblage, family language policy, bilingualism
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-94989 (URN)10.1515/eujal-2022-0042 (DOI)000986730500001 ()2-s2.0-85161349086 (Scopus ID)
Note

Publicerades som manuscript med titeln: Family language policy in Swedish-English families: Rhizomatic conceptualisations

I Tim Roberts avhandling med titeln: Language practices in Swedish-English families

Available from: 2023-06-01 Created: 2023-06-01 Last updated: 2023-12-11Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2023). Language, identity, and the body in relation to others: Sensemaking in a new migratory space. In: Maria Kuteeva & Caroline Kerfoot (Ed.), Dynamics of multilingualism: Spatialised repertoires and representations in unstable times. Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language, identity, and the body in relation to others: Sensemaking in a new migratory space
2023 (English)In: Dynamics of multilingualism: Spatialised repertoires and representations in unstable times / [ed] Maria Kuteeva & Caroline Kerfoot, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study considers how linguistic and spatial repertoires are experienced and understood by English-origin adults who now reside in Sweden. These individuals come from a space where they are familiar with the social rules and language practices but have entered a new space where this is not the case. Particular focus is given to the role that lived experiences of language play in the construction of participants’ repertoires, and most importantly, how lived experiences moderate the availability and accessibility of an individual’s acquired repertoire. The study locates itself within the phenomenological tradition that draws on the idea of the intersubjective nature of perception and aims to uncover how an individual perceives and makes sense of language and identity in this context. Equally relevant, and also borrowed from phenomenology, is the notion of the ‘body image’, which is seen as being formed from the social, relational, and inter-human interactions of a subject, and importantly for this study is the idea that the body image is key in understanding current interactional practices as well as expectations of interaction and wider ideologies of communication. In order to access participants’ experiences, I draw on biographical interviews in which participants elaborate on their past and present lives. The findings show that participants consistently compare their body-in-relation-to-others that they come into contact with in the new space. In order to do this, participants construct homogenous groups of ‘Swedes’ and ‘immigrants’, who in turn become enregistered with specific ideologies of communication. Additionally, participants construct spaces of potentialities regarding how they desire for their children to embody ‘Britishness’, which is closely linked to managing their children’s linguistic repertoires, and spaces of constraint, where participants consider how the local environment restricts their ability to deploy their entire communicative repertoire.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2023
Keywords
bilingualism, identity, body image, phenomenology, repertoire
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92752 (URN)
Note

Pre-print.

Available from: 2022-12-20 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2024-05-10
Roberts, T. (2023). Language practices in Swedish-English families. (Doctoral dissertation). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language practices in Swedish-English families
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines the family language practices of Swedish-English families using an interdisciplinary and mixed-method approach. The principal aim is to empirically document what these practices are, as well as how practices interact with various ideological, conceptual, and contextual factors.

The dissertation is composed of four empirical studies and a comprehensive summary with seven chapters. In order to engage with the complex, multidimensional nature of bilingual family language practices, the empirical studies adopt four different theoretical and methodological frameworks. Study I uses a large-scale quantitative approach to investigate the connection between declared family language practices and macro societal factors. Study II adopts a conversation analytic approach to examine the local sequential context of family language practices. Study III uses a rhizomatic discourse analytic approach, which considers how family language practices can be conceptualised as an assemblage of semiotic resources, objects, space, and time. Finally, Study IV focuses on the affective and psychological dimensions of language practices by adopting an interpretative phenomenological approach that explores participants’ thoughts, feelings, and their lived experiences with language.

The chapters of the comprehensive summary discuss the four empirical studies in relation to an expanded theoretical framework and in relation to each other. Although the epistemological and theoretical perspectives adopted in the four studies are different, they all consider how language practices are fundamentally situated in the local context of occurrence. Each study illuminates a portion of this local context, which, when triangulated, leads to a richer understanding of language practices than would be obtained with a single approach alone. In addition, the findings emphasise and exemplify how the context-sensitive dimensions of agency, identity, and emotion are inherently connected to language practices in bilingual families.

Abstract [en]

What are the language practices in Swedish-English families? Why are these practices the way they are? Answering questions like these is surprisingly complex and requires investigation from multiple angles. This dissertation addresses the abovementioned questions through the adoption of an interdisciplinary and mixed-method approach, which centres on uncovering the family language practices of Swedish-English families in situ. In addition, the analyses relate these language practices to the views and past experiences of family members. The data consists of video recordings of everyday family life, interviews with family members, and language practice questionnaires. Findings reveal that the language practices of Swedish-English families appear to be influenced by socioeconomic status, family constellation, family relationships, activities of everyday life, epistemic orders, space, time, as well as family members’ thoughts, feelings, and desires. The dissertation offers a multidimensional approach to engaging with the full complexity of family language practices in bilingual families.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2023. p. 109
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2023:3
Keywords
family language policy, bilingualism, conversation analysis, rhizome, linguistic repertoires, Swedish, English
National Category
Specific Languages General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92753 (URN)978-91-7867-334-6 (ISBN)978-91-7867-335-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-01-31, Sjöströmsalen, 1B 309, Karlstad, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-01-10 Created: 2022-12-20 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2022). Homework in a bi-national family: The mobilisation of others in resolving language-related epistemic issues. Linguistics and Education, 69, 101034-101034, Article ID 101034.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Homework in a bi-national family: The mobilisation of others in resolving language-related epistemic issues
2022 (English)In: Linguistics and Education, ISSN 0898-5898, E-ISSN 1873-1864, Vol. 69, p. 101034-101034, article id 101034Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study adopts a conversation analytic approach to present a close analysis of the sequential organisa-tion of a parent-child homework activity in a Swedish-English bi-national family. Families formed withinmigration contexts are increasingly common in an ever-globalised world, but current research has notfully investigated how parent-child homework practices are affected by parents who possess differinglevels of expertise in the societal language. This article examines a number of episodes where the pro-gressivity of a homework activity is halted due to language-related epistemic issues. More specifically,these halts in progressivity are caused due to the homework tasks being written in Swedish in combina-tion with the English mother’s lack of language expertise in Swedish. The episodes exemplify how theseepistemic deadlocks are resolved through the mobilisation of a more knowledgeable party, the Swedishfather, who orients to translation as a trouble resolution tool which facilitates epistemic progression andthe progressivity of the homework activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022
Keywords
bilingualism, conversation analysis, epistemics, homework, Sweden.
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
English; Swedish
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89958 (URN)10.1016/j.linged.2022.101034 (DOI)000800016900002 ()2-s2.0-85127343277 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-05-25 Created: 2022-05-25 Last updated: 2022-12-20Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2022). Homework in a transnational family: Mobilizing others to resolve language-related epistemic issues. In: : . Paper presented at American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference (AAAL) 19-22 Mars, Pittsburg.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Homework in a transnational family: Mobilizing others to resolve language-related epistemic issues
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation adopts a conversation analytic approach and presents excerpts from a detailed analysis of the sequential organization of a parent-child homework activity in a Swedish-English transnational family. The data analyzed come from participant-recorded videos, which are part of a larger ethnographic project on language practices in bilingual families in Sweden. An implicit policy in Sweden exists in which parents are expected to assist with their children’s homework (Forsberg, 2007), but the knowledge required for this assistance is not necessarily possessed in full by parents in transnational families. Such families are increasingly common in an ever-globalized world, but current research has not fully investigated how parent-child homework practices are affected by parents who possess differing levels of expertise in the societal language. Drawing upon work on epistemics in interaction (Heritage, 2012), a number of sequences are examined where the progressivity of the homework activity is halted due to language-related epistemic issues. More specifically, these halts in progressivity are caused due to the homework tasks being written in Swedish in combination with the English mother’s lack of language expertise in Swedish. The sequences exemplify how these epistemic deadlocks are resolved through the mobilization of a more knowledgeable party (Betz, Taleghani-Nikazm, & Golato, 2020), the Swedish father. Upon his mobilization, the Swedish father orients to translation as a trouble resolution tool which facilitates epistemic progression and the progressivity of the homework activity. The presentation addresses how such mobilizations are dependent on participants’ monitoring of the local epistemic ecology, as well as the larger activity trajectory, and how both of these are intimately connected with co-participants’ linguistic abilities. Furthermore, the presentation comments on how the close analyses of bilingual parent-child homework sequences can reveal educational inequalities which may otherwise remain hidden.

National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-89171 (URN)
Conference
American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference (AAAL) 19-22 Mars, Pittsburg
Available from: 2022-03-22 Created: 2022-03-22 Last updated: 2022-03-30Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2021). Conceptualising Family Language Policy as a Rhizomatic Structure. In: : . Paper presented at Second international symposium on family language policy, INALCO, Paris, France, November 29-30. Paris
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualising Family Language Policy as a Rhizomatic Structure
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A broad corpus of research on the field of family language policy (FLP) has highlighted the entanglement between socioeconomic, sociopolitical, sociocultural, and sociolinguistic factors with interactional practices in the home domain (Curdt-Christiansen, 2018; Curdt-Christiansen and Huang, 2020; Soler and Roberts, 2019 etc.) Attempting to holistically understand the relationship between a FLP and its many constitutive parts can therefore be a challenging process. In this presentation, I discuss how this evident complexity might be brought together through the implementation of a rhizomatic approach (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987; Pietikäinen, 2015). The metaphor of the rhizome articulates a view of the world as a complex and non-hierarchical network; it rejects essentialist categorisations such as languages existing as predefined systems, and sees social life as fluid and enmeshed with the environment. I believe that conceptualising family language policy in this way allows for a more comprehensive framing and understanding of how a FLP is formed at a certain time and space through the intra-action of family members and their socio-material worlds.

I aim to exemplify some of the possibilities of this approach using data from my doctoral project on the language practices of Swedish-English families. The project draws on family-recorded videos of their everyday lives, interviews, and retrospective analyses through stimulated recall procedures. The setting is relatively novel from a FLP perspective as the Swedish sociolinguistic milieu in which these families find themselves makes for a context where traditional majority versus minority language dynamics differ from many other international settings (e.g. in contexts where a ‘foreign’ language does not have parity in terms of prestige with the local language) and is therefore a unique site for examining the relationship between societal forces and their influence on home language regimes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris: , 2021
Keywords
rhizome, assemblage, agency, linguistic ethnography, family language policy
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-87995 (URN)
Conference
Second international symposium on family language policy, INALCO, Paris, France, November 29-30
Available from: 2022-01-05 Created: 2022-01-05 Last updated: 2022-03-01Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2021). Homework in a transnational family: Mobilizing others to resolve language-related epistemic issues. In: : . Paper presented at NORDISCO, the 6th Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Homework in a transnational family: Mobilizing others to resolve language-related epistemic issues
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper adopts a conversation analytic approach and presents two excerpts from a detailed analysis of the sequential organization of a parent-child homework activity in a Swedish-English transnational family. The data analyzed come from participant-recorded videos, which are part of a larger ethnographic project on language practices in bilingual families in Sweden. An implicit policy in Sweden exists in which parents are expected to assist with their children’s homework (Forsberg, 2007), but the knowledge required for this assistance is not necessarily possessed in full by parents in transnational families. Drawing upon work on epistemics in interaction (Heritage, 2012), a number of sequences are examined where the progressivity of the homework activity is halted due to languagerelated epistemic issues. More specifically, these halts in progressivity are caused due to the homework tasks being written in Swedish in combination with the English mother’s lack of language expertise in Swedish. The sequences exemplify how these epistemic deadlocks are resolved through the mobilization of a more knowledgeable party (Betz, Taleghani-Nikazm, & Golato, 2020), the Swedish father. Upon his mobilization, the Swedish father orients to translation as a trouble resolution tool which facilitates epistemic progression and the progressivity of the homework activity. The presentation addresses how such mobilizations are dependent on participants’ monitoring of the local epistemic ecology, as well as the larger activity trajectory, and how both of these are intimately connected with co-participants’ linguistic abilities.

National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Pedagogy
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-87201 (URN)
Conference
NORDISCO, the 6th Nordic Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction
Available from: 2021-11-17 Created: 2021-11-17 Last updated: 2021-12-29Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2021). Interaction orders in bilingual families and their connection to lived experiences of language.. In: : . Paper presented at Language as a Means of Intercultural Communication, Kherson National Technical University, Ukraine, May 20–21, 2021..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interaction orders in bilingual families and their connection to lived experiences of language.
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drawing on ethnographic data from two projects on the home language practices of bilingual families living in Sweden, I aim to show how these practices are intimately connected with the family members’ historical bodies (Scollon & Scollon, 2004), in particular, their lived experiences of language (Busch, 2017). I consider how such past lived experiences impact family members’ current interpretation of conceptual discourses in place, as well as their language ideologies, which in turn influence their enacted linguistic repertoires. I further consider how family members’ shifting chronotopic identities (Blommaert & De Fina, 2016), can be traced to lived experiences with language at specific points in space and time. Although often considered in relation to the individual, I also aim to highlight how within the family context, lived experiences with language are frequently co-constructed between family members due to the parallel, intimately connected life trajectories that are often seen within members of the same family.

National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-84813 (URN)
Conference
Language as a Means of Intercultural Communication, Kherson National Technical University, Ukraine, May 20–21, 2021.
Available from: 2021-06-22 Created: 2021-06-22 Last updated: 2021-10-28Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2021). The Social Underpinnings of Language Practices in Swedish-English Families. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 20(1), 155-193
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Social Underpinnings of Language Practices in Swedish-English Families
2021 (English)In: Nordic Journal of English Studies, ISSN 1502-7694, E-ISSN 1654-6970, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 155-193Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By means of a large-scale quantitative approach, this study examines the declared family language practices of Swedish-English bilingual families living in Sweden, and how an array of family-external and family-internal social factors correlate with divergences in these practices. For the purpose of this study, a Swedish-English bilingual family consists of two parents, one of which is an L1 English speaker, and the other is an L1 Swedish speaker, as well as their children. The data comes from a digital questionnaire completed by 438 families, which was analysed using non-parametric statistics. The results show that despite a preference for English amongst the parents in these families, their children are more likely to use Swedish in sibling interaction, which can be regarded as an indication of the influence of wider society on home language practices. The results also show that a number of social factors correlated with a divergence in declared language practices in these families, namely, parental occupation, the migratory history of the family, parent’s marital status, family involvement in parent-child English speaking groups, and whether the mother or the father was the L1 English speaker. Other typically cited social factors, such as parental education level, showed no significant correlation with declared language practices in these families. The study comments on raising bilingual children in a context where both languages are valued in society, and the implications for this internationally. The study also exemplifies the complex, context sensitive situation that is encountered when attempting to fully understand family language policies more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborgs universitet, 2021
Keywords
family language policy, bilingual families, home language, Sweden
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-84816 (URN)2-s2.0-85110678626 (Scopus ID)
Note

10.35360/njes.550

Available from: 2021-06-22 Created: 2021-06-22 Last updated: 2022-12-20Bibliographically approved
Roberts, T. (2021). Understanding Complexity in The Family Language Policy of Swedish-British Families. In: : . Paper presented at National Forum for English Studies.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Complexity in The Family Language Policy of Swedish-British Families
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Family Language Policy (FLP), the explicit planning as well as the implicit, covert and unarticulated measures regarding management of languages in the family domain, has received increased scholarly attention in the last decade. Many past studies draw on Spolsky’s (2004) tripartite model of language policy, which views language policy as the culmination of language practices, language ideologies, and language management. Others have drawn on Curdt-Christiansen’s (2009) model of FLP, which considers socioeconomic, sociopolitical, sociocultural, and sociolinguistic factors and their influence on FLPs. Despite this, most past studies do not attempt to fully integrate all of these areas into their analyses. In this presentation, I propose adopting assemblage theory (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) as a means for analysing and combining these complex, ongoing and intertwined processes, which ultimately combine to create a FLP. I draw on video-ethnographic and interview data from Swedish-British families in order to show how key moments from the data can be understood as the assemblage of diverse elements. In keeping with the theme of the conference, I pay particular attention to how recent global developments such as Brexit play a mediating role in these assemblages, and thus in the FLPs of Swedish-British families.

Keywords
family language policy, bilingual families, assemblage
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
English
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-83763 (URN)
Conference
National Forum for English Studies
Available from: 2021-04-23 Created: 2021-04-23 Last updated: 2021-09-30Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3706-9880

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