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Language choices of siblings in Italian/English families

posted on 2017-12-03, 16:10 authored by Daniela Paníco
Paper presented at ITML3

Within the framework of language socialization and Family Language Policy studies, this qualitative study explores the language choices of bilingual siblings and their parents in Italian/English families residing in Sydney. The main source of data is video recordings of naturally occurring parent-children and child-to-child interactions during every day routines (i.e., family mealtimes and sibling playtime) in the home environment. The analysis of recurrent interactional practices is performed according to a conversational analytical approach. The focus of this presentation is on the language choices negotiated during the mealtime conversations of a ‘one-person-one-language’ family. More specifically, the analysis of sequences of bilingual exchanges involving the children and the minority language parent provides insights into the relationship between the parental strategies aiming to heritage language maintenance and the responsiveness of the children. The early findings show the dynamic ways in which family language policy is interactionally constructed and instantiated as well as the challenges of intergenerational language transmission in bilingual families with more than one child.