Unspoken dialogues between educational and family language policies: Language policy beyond legislations

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Abstract

Linguistic assimilation has historically been a cornerstone for nationalistic sentiments in countries with a history of colonization and immigration, such as the United States. The purpose of this article is to examine connections between language policies in four immigrant families and educational language policies at two public elementary schools, in the context of an English-only state policy and larger sociohistorical language ideologies in the United States. The findings showed that these connections between family and school language policies were dynamic. Although the children, parents, and school staff viewed bilingualism as a resource and paid minimal attention to the state language policy, language beliefs and practices at schools and homes increasingly prioritized English. By attending school, the children communicated these orientations between schools and homes through their increasing preference for English. The increasing dominance of English ultimately fulfilled the goal of English-only state policy, albeit gradually and unintentionally. These findings do not merely reflect an adherence to the state language policy, but rather to the hegemony of societal language ideologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100876
JournalLinguistics and Education
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Additive bilingualism
  • Educational language policy
  • Family language policy
  • Heritage language
  • Language governmentality
  • Orientations to language planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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