Family language policy and school language policy: Can the twain meet?

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This commentary outlines the key conceptualisations and core questions related to multilingual children’s language and literacy development across different migration contexts. Addressing various language and educational ideologies held by parents and teachers, it highlights the interactions between families, schools and the wider society. In order to better understand how and why heritage languages are difficult to maintain and develop in migration contexts. The commentary sets the group of papers in this special issue in the disciplinary contexts of family language policy and school language policy. It emphasises how families, as private domains, are situated in dynamic social systems, and how migrant children’s language development, including their heritage language development, is influenced by many factors such as society’s attitude towards minority languages, the educational system, language programmes and linguistic input from both home and school. The commentary highlights the key claims put forward by the contributors and concludes that home and school can work together for the educational and social wellbeing of multilingual and migrant children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-475
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number3
Early online date18 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • Family language policy
  • language programme
  • linguistic input
  • literacy development
  • migrant children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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