Family language policy


This article describes the newly emerging field of family language policy, defined as explicit and overt planning in relation to language use within the home among family members, and provides an integrated overview of research on how languages are managed, learned, and negotiated within families. A comprehensive framework for understanding family language policy is sketched by bringing together two independent and currently disconnected fields of study: language policy and child language acquisition. Within such a framework, this article reviews research on the role of language ideologies in shaping family language practices, and on the connection between different family language policies, such as the one person-one language approach, and child language outcomes. We argue that family language policies are important as they shape children's developmental trajectories, connect in significant ways with children's formal school success, and collectively determine the maintenance and future status of minority languages. © 2008 The Author Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication Title

Linguistics and Language Compass