Advertisement

Language Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 351–375 | Cite as

Invisible and visible language planning: ideological factors in the family language policy of Chinese immigrant families in Quebec

  • Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen
Original Paper

Abstract

This ethnographic inquiry examines how family languages policies are planned and developed in ten Chinese immigrant families in Quebec, Canada, with regard to their children’s language and literacy education in three languages, Chinese, English, and French. The focus is on how multilingualism is perceived and valued, and how these three languages are linked to particular linguistic markets. The parental ideology that underpins the family language policy, the invisible language planning, is the central focus of analysis. The results suggest that family language policies are strongly influenced by socio-political and economical factors. In addition, the study confirms that the parents’ educational background, their immigration experiences and their cultural disposition, in this case pervaded by Confucian thinking, contribute significantly to parental expectations and aspirations and thus to the family language policies.

Keywords

Language ideology Multilingualism Family language policy Chinese language Immigrant families 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baker, C. (2006). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, J. S. (1997). Literacy, culture and identity. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Canagarajah, A. S. (2006). Ethnographic methods in language policy. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 153–169). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Canagarajah, A. S. (2008). Language shift and the family: Questions from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12(2), 143–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clyne, M. (2003). Dynamics of language contact. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Clyne, M., & Kipp, S. (1997). Trends and changes in home language use and shift in Australia. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 18, 451–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, C. (2009). Canada immigration law. http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-education-factor.html. Accessed 18 August 2009.
  9. Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 9, 5–120.Google Scholar
  10. Curdt-Christiansen, X. L. (2004). Growing up in three languages: Triliteracy practices of Chinese immigrant children in Quebec. Unpublished doctoral thesis. McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.Google Scholar
  11. Curdt-Christiansen, X. L. (2006). Teaching and learning Chinese: Heritage language classroom discourse in Montreal. Language, Cultural and Curriculum, 19(2), 189–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Curdt-Christiansen, X. L. (2008). Reading the world through words: Cultural themes in heritage Chinese language textbooks. Language and Education, 22(2), 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Curdt-Christiansen, X. L., & Maguire, M. (2007). Portraits of self and identity constructions: Three Chinese girls’ trilingual textual powers. In D. Thiessen & A. Cook-Sather (Eds.), International handbook of student experience in elementary and secondary school (pp. 517–554). The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. De Houwer, A. (2007). Parental language input patterns and children’s bilingual use. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28(3), 411–424.Google Scholar
  15. De Houwer, A. (2009). Bilingual first language acquisition. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  16. Duff, P., & Uchida, Y. (1997). The negotiation of teachers’ sociocultural identities and practices in post secondary EFL classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31(3), 451–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Emmitt, M., Komesaroff, L., & Pollock, J. (2006). Language and learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Ferdman, B. (1990). Literacy and cultural identity. Harvard Educational Review, 60, 181–204.Google Scholar
  19. Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  20. Gee, J. P. (2005). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Gibbons, J., & Ramirez, E. (2004). Maintaining a minority language: A case study of Hispanic teenagers. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  22. Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing grounded theory: Issues and discussions. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gregory, E. (Ed.). (1997). One child, many worlds: Early learning in multicultural communities. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gregory, E., & Kenner, C. (2003). The out-of-school schooling of literacy. In N. Hall, J. Larson, & J. Marsh (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood literacy (pp. 75–84). New York: Sage Publication.Google Scholar
  25. Grin, F. (2006). Economic considerations in language policy. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 77–94). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Grin, F. (2007). Economics and language policy. In M. Hellinger & A. Pauwels (Eds.), Handbook of language and communication: Diversity and change (pp. 271–298). Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  27. Gumperz, J. J., & Cook-Gumperz, J. (1982). Introduction: Language and the communication of social identity. In J. J. Gumperz (Ed.), Language and social identity (pp. 1–12). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Hornberger, N. H. (Ed.). (2003). Continua of biliteracy: An ecological framework for educational policy, research and practice in multilingual settings. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  30. Hymes, D. H. (1992). Inequality in language: Taking for granted. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 8, 1–30.Google Scholar
  31. Jiahua School. (2003). Jiahua school year book.Google Scholar
  32. Kao, G. (1995). Asian Americans as model minorities? A look at the academic performance of immigrant youth. American Journal of Education, 103, 121–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kao, G., & Tienda, M. (1995). Optimism and achievement: The educational performance of immigrant youth. Social Science Quarterly, 76(1), 1–19.Google Scholar
  34. King, K. A. (2000). Language ideologies and heritage language education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 3(3), 167–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. King, K. A., & Fogle, L. (2006). Bilingual parenting as good parenting: Parents’ perspectives on family language policy for additive bilingualism. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(6), 695–712. doi: 10.2167/beb362.0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. King, K. A., Fogle, L., & Logan-Terry, A. (2008). Family language policy. Language and Linguistics Compass, 2(5), 907–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lee, W. O. (1999). The cultural context for Chinese learners: Conceptions of learning in the Confucian tradition. In D. A. Watkins & J. B. Biggs (Eds.), The Chinese learner: Cultural, psychological and contextual influences (pp. 25–41). Hong Kong: CERC, The University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  38. Legge, J. (1971). Confucians: Confucian analects, the great learning and the doctrine of the mean. (translated by Legge, J.). New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Li, G. (2006). Biliteracy and trilingual practices in the home context: Case studies of Chinese-Canadian children. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 6(3), 355–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Li, G. (2007). Home environment and second language acquisition: The importance of family capital. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(3), 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Louie, V. (2001). Parents’ aspirations and investment: The role of social class in the educational experiences of 1.5 and second-generation Chinese Americans. Harvard Educational Review, 71(3), 438–473.Google Scholar
  42. Maguire, M., & Curdt-Christiansen, X. L. (2007). Multiple schools, languages, experiences and affiliations: Ideological becomings and positionings. Heritage Language Journal, 5(1), 50–78.Google Scholar
  43. Moll, L. C. (1992). Bilingual classroom studies and community analysis: Some recent trends. Educational Researcher, 21(3), 20–24.Google Scholar
  44. Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity and social change. Harlow, England: Longman.Google Scholar
  45. Norton-Peirce, B. (1995). Social identity, investment and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29, 9–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ogbu, J. U. (1995). Cultural problems in minority education: Their interpretations and consequences. Part two: Case studies. Urban Review, 27, 189–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Okita, T. (2002). Invisible work: Bilingualism, language choice and childrearing in intermarried families. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  48. Pakir, A. (1994). Education and invisible language planning: The case of English in Singapore. In T. Kandiah & K. Kwan-Terry (Eds.), English language planning: A Southeast Asian contribution (pp. 158–181). Singapore: Centre for Advanced Studies and Times Academic Press.Google Scholar
  49. Pakir, A. (2003). Language and education: Singapore. In J. Bourne & E. Reid (Eds.), World yearbook of education: Language education (pp. 267–279). London, UK: Kogan Page Publisher.Google Scholar
  50. Pennycook, A. (2002). Mother tongues, literacy and colonial governmentality. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 154, 11–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Phillipson, R. (Ed.). (2000). Right to language: Equity, power and education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  52. Piller, I. (2001). Private language planning: The best of both worlds? Estodios de Sociolinguistica, 2(1), 61–80.Google Scholar
  53. Piller, I. (2002). Bilingual couples talk: The discursive construction of hybridity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  54. Ricento, T. (2006). Language policy: Theory and practice—An introduction. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 10–23). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  55. Ricento, T. (2007). Models and approaches in language policy and planning. In M. Hellinger & A. Pauwels (Eds.), Handbook of language and communication: Diversity and change (pp. 211–240). Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  56. Schecter, S., & Bayley, R. (1997). Language socialization practices and cultural identity: Case studies of Mexican-descent families in California and Texas. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 513–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schiffman, H. (1996). Linguistic culture and language policy. New York: Routeledge.Google Scholar
  58. Schmidt, R. (2006). Political theory and language policy. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 95–110). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  59. Seidlhofer, B. (2003). Controversies in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Schiffman, H. (2006). Language policy and linguistic culture. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 111–125). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  61. Shohamy, E. (2006). Language policy: Hidden agendas and new approaches. London and New York: Routeledge.Google Scholar
  62. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2000). Linguistic genocide in education—or worldwide diversity and human rights?. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  63. Spindler, G., & Spindler, L. (Eds.). (1987). Interpretive ethnography of education: At home and abroad. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  64. Spolsky, B. (2004). Language policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Spolsky, B. (2009). Language management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Stevenson, H., Lee, S., & Stigler, J. (1986). Mathematics achievement of Chinese, Japanese, and American Children. Science, 231, 693–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Street, B. (2001). Literacy and development: Ethnographic perspectives. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Sue, S., & Okzaki, S. (1990). Asian-American educational achievements: A phenomenon in search of an explanation. American Psychologist, 45(8), 913–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Taylor, D., & Dorsey-Gaines, C. (1988). Growing up literate: Learning from inner-city families. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  70. Taylor, I., & Taylor, M. M. (1995). Writing and literacy in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  71. Tollefson, J. W. (1991). Planning language, planning inequality: Language policy in the community. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  72. Tollefson, J. W. (2006). Critical theory in language policy. In T. Ricento (Ed.), An introduction to language policy: Theory and method (pp. 42–59). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  73. van Dijik, T. A. (1998). Ideology: A multidisciplinary approach. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  74. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological process. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Watkins, D., & Biggs, J. (2001). Teaching the Chinese learner: Psychological and pedagogical perspectives. Hong Kong: CERC, The University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  77. Wong-Fillmore, L. (1991). When learning a second language means losing the first. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 6, 323–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English Language & Literature Academic Group, National Institute of Education Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations