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Language practices in Swedish-English families
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3706-9880
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92753ISBN: 978-91-7867-334-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-335-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-92753DiVA, id: diva2:1720947
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
List of papers
1. The Social Underpinnings of Language Practices in Swedish-English Families
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
2. Homework in a bi-national family: The mobilisation of others in resolving language-related epistemic issues
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
3. Family language policy in Swedish-English families: Rhizomatic conceptualisations
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
4. Language, identity, and the body in relation to others: Sensemaking in a new migratory space
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: 2024-05-27

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