Constructing classed linguistic practices across borders: Family language policy in South(east) Asian families in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study explores how migrant mothers strategised to construct new class identities and mobilise between different classed communities, and how the children aligned their linguistic practices with language policy, both at home and at the societal level. Drawing on the individual interviews and focus group, this study finds that, while the mothers actively drew on resources (e.g. social-networking, knowledge of governmental policy and languages) from their emigrational experiences to achieve class mobilisation, a bounded view towards cultures may have influenced the family language policy (FLP), in turn constraining their socialisation into mainstream society and leading to class stabilisation. The mothers were found to draw heavily upon their own migrant and social experiences to set up a restrictive FLP that functionalised the contexts of household, school, community, and society. It is therefore argued that the migrant mothers' linguistic and cultural resources should be valued and suppoort is needed to help them develop a more fluid family language policy that better prepare their children for educational success. The findings suggest the agentive role children play in FLP and this points to more school-parent collaboration, and the necessity of providing more space for children to enact their agency and contribute their ideologies. Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Early online dateMay 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2019

Fingerprint

language policy
Hong Kong
linguistics
migrant
Socialisation
study group
stabilization
resources
school
Ideologies
community
networking
mobilization
experience
parents
interview
language
Group
Society

Bibliographical note

Gu, M., & Tong, H. K. (2019). Constructing classed linguistic practices across borders: Family language policy in South(east) Asian families in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/01434632.2019.1622708

Keywords

  • Family language policy
  • Classed linguistic practices
  • Migrant mothers
  • Hong Kong