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Lyn Wright on Rethinking “Family” in Family Language Policy

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Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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The Department of Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck, University of London presents:

Rethinking “family” in family language policy: New kinships, genders, and language socialization processes

Lyn Wright

Department of English, University of Memphis

Recent decades have seen transformations in family structures and kinship relations, largely as an outcome of globalization, transnationalism, and post-industrial societal processes. These changes have included increases in transnational kinship configurations, transnational adoption, same-sex parent families, single-parent families, and grandparents as primary caregivers (Boehm, 2008; Esposito & Biafora, 2007; Poveda et al., 2014). Despite this growing diversity in potential family and kinship arrangements, many if not most studies of bi- and multilingual family language policy continue to focus on middle-class families with two, cis-gender heterosexual parents, or fail to foreground family configurations as an influential aspect of language socialization. Fluidity in family structures and “new” family configurations potentially shape the possibilities for the development of bilingual/multilingual competence and further connect to parental involvement at school as well as children’s identities and belonging. Investigating single parent and LGBTQ identified families is important because such families tend to emphasize social networks outside of the nuclear family unit in caregiving and socialization and thus provide exciting insights into the potential role of the outside community in bilingual development as well as a focus on children’s agency in the family. Future work in this area will focus on different parenting configurations, multiple and complex language ideologies, and the children’s agency in interactional processes in the home with greater attention to contexts out of the home that shape these phenomena.

About the speaker

Lyn Wright (Fogle) is an applied linguist with interests in language learning, language policy, and bi- and multilingualism. Her research investigates the ideological, interactional, and affective aspects of language learning through language socialization and discourse analytic approaches. She is the author of Second language socialization and learner agency: Talk in three adoptive families (Multilingual Matters) and her work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Language, Identity, and Education; Language Policy; and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. She is a former Fulbright Fellow (Russia) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine).


Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm, 5 July, 2017

Venue: B03, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck College, University of London

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Birkbeck, University of London

43 Gordon Square

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WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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