Building Bridges between Multilingual Families and schools: Developing New Theoretical and Methodological Frameworks.

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In many parts of the world, school populations have become increasingly diversified in language and culture. While educational policies in general may embrace and celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, practices in reality tend to devalue linguistic diversity by demanding students to learn ‘mainstream language only’ in order to fit in the existing educational system. Immigrant families are often caught in the middle regarding how to use (maintain) their own language and culture to support their children’s academic development, and how to educate their children in the dominant societal/school language with which they are not familiar. In this workshop, I focus on how language policies at home and school can be bridged to provide conducive learning environments for immigrant students to develop their multiple languages and academic literacy. Using examples from existing research projects (e.g. FamilyLanguagePolicy, Curdt-Christiansen, Li Wei & Zhu Hua, 2017; Cunningham, 2019; Bezcioglu-Goktolga & Yagmur, 2019), this presentation discusses how schools and immigrant families can tap into children’s linguistic and cultural resources to facilitate their academic development. specifically, I will demonstrate how research contributes to communications between schools and parents through discussions of family language policy and school policy, what research say about parents’ involvement and engagement in their children’s schooling from language socialisation perspective, and in what ways research reveals teacher ideologies about immigrant students and parents. This workshop identifies new theoretical and methodological approaches to studying differences in language and educational practices between immigrant families and schools. It emphasises how language policy in education can work jointly or separately with family language policy to overcome multiple lines of differences in educational practices between mainstream schools and immigrant families.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021
EventInternational Symposium on Bilingualism ISB13 -
Duration: 10 Jul 202114 Jul 2021


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Bilingualism ISB13
Abbreviated titleISB13
Internet address


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