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Translanguaging in the Family Context: Evidence from Cyprus, Sweden and Estonia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch, and German. Dalarna University, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 32019 (English)In: Vestnik Rossijskogo Universiteta Družby Narodov: Seriâ Lingvistika, ISSN 2312-9182, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 619-641Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to highlight translanguaging practices in the home among bilingual/multilingual Russian-speaking children and their parents in Cyprus, Sweden and Estonia. Multilingual families are the focus of our research: 50 in Cyprus, 20 in Estonia and 50 in Sweden. Using parental written questionnaires with the focus on general background, socio-economic status and language proficiency, as well as oral semi-structured interviews and ethnographic participant observation, our study attempts to describe how family language policy is managed through translanguaging and literacy activities in multilingual Russian-speaking families in three different cultural and linguistic environments. Our results show both differences and similarities among Russian-speakers in the three countries, not only in their family language practices, but also in their attitudes towards the fluidity of language, language repertoires, translanguaging and Russian-language literacy. Russian-speakers incorporate a wide range of language repertoires in their everyday lives. Sometimes, such language contacts generate power struggles and the language ideological dimension becomes a key terrain to explore how speakers feel about the need to effectively attain a degree of multilingualism. Multilingualism and the maintenance of the Russian language and culture are usually encouraged, and parents often choose the one-parent-one-language approach at home. However, not all families make conscious choices regarding specific language management and may have laissez-faire attitudes to the use of languages in the family. We show how family language use and child-directed translanguaging can support, expand and enhance dynamic bilingualism/multilingualism, and reinforce and integrate minority language in a wider context: societal and educational.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 23, no 3, p. 619-641
Keywords [en]
code-switching, bilingualism, multilingualism, minority language, Russian
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179729DOI: 10.22363/2312-9182-2019-23-3-619-641ISI: 000509125800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-179729DiVA, id: diva2:1411608
Available from: 2020-03-04 Created: 2020-03-04 Last updated: 2020-03-04Bibliographically approved

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