Hilmarsson-Dunn, Amanda and Mitchell, Rosamond
Multilingual migrants in England: factors affecting their language use
Becoming Multilingual: Language Learning and Language Policy Between Attitudes and Identities.
Frankfurt am Main, DE,
- Author's Original
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The aim of this study has been to explore how multilingual immigrant students, who are competent in a number of linguistic varieties, experience (and make use of) their multilingualism and express their linguistic identities in educational settings in England. The study was carried out in the context of an EU funded research network, Languages in a Network of European Excellence (see www.linee.info for further details). The research took the form of qualitative interviewing, classroom observation and focus group work in two educational institutions, combined with questionnaires on student and teacher attitudes towards multilingualism. The researchers have endeavoured to explain immigrants’ use and attitudes towards the different languages in their repertoire by referring to social network theory, language hierarchies and educational policies, as well as investigating attitudes of parents, teachers and friends. The findings suggest that many factors combine to explain language attitudes and use, and that students’ multilingualism, although positively valued by the students themselves, is threatened by other values such as the high status of English
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