Practicing Safe Language Socialization in Private and Public Spaces

  • Steven L. ArxerEmail author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
  • Marco Shappeck
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 17)


This chapter centers on both private and public spaces to uncover the ways language capital is generated by older adult learners. In their private, domestic life they may experience a reversal of typical age-based language socialization roles. For older second language learners, their immigrant children and grandchildren are often positioned as linguistic “caretakers” for their parents and elders. This role reversal of language caretakers within a household may lead to poor socio-pragmatic and linguistic input for older language learners if children withdraw from socializing with them in English or offer narrow linguistic input. Older adults may also find themselves in similar role reversals in public settings where they do not have language authority, such as at work. We explore the ways resources tied to conventional family and societal roles are shored up and redeployed with the aid of ESL language resocialization. The ESL classroom offers a range of symbolic and material resources to support older immigrants to regain capital lost due to the rearrangement of familial and public social roles.


Language socialization Communication domains Multilingual society Role strain Elderspeak Kin work Inner speech 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Arxer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria del Puy Ciriza
    • 2
  • Marco Shappeck
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and PsychologyUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Spanish and Hispanic StudiesTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  3. 3.Department of Teacher Education and AdministrationUniversity of North Texas at DallasDallasUSA

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