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  • 1.
    Roberts, Tim
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).
    Soler, Josep
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Language practice and ideology in trans-national multilingual families: Focus on English2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Past research into English as a lingua franca (ELF) has primarily focused on the domains of academia and business (e.g. Kankaanranta and Louhiala-Salminen 2010; Mauranen 2012), with little focus on the use of ELF in the family context (see, however, Pietikäinen 2014). In parallel to that, Family Language Policy (FLP) has emerged as a field of interest bridging the areas of language acquisition and language management (e.g. King et al. 2008; Schwartz 2010). However, in the majority of the cases, research on FLP has been concerned with the maintenance of migrant or minority languages. As a consequence, the lingua franca use of English in multilingual families has not featured prominently in FLP research.

    In this presentation we consider ELF in the family context and present preliminary findings from a series of semi-structured interviews taken from our study focusing on transnational intermarried couples who reside in Sweden. We examine the role that ELF and other languages play in the lives of these families with regards to intrafamilial and extrafamilial language use. The results highlight the complex multilingual lives of the informants and give insight into how different language ideologies manifest themselves in the family context. Furthermore, we relate our findings to Blommaert & Backus (2011) and consider what it means to ‘know’ a language in the context of enhanced complexity, superdiversity and transnational mobility.

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