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ven. 08/06/2018 Axe DENDY- Séminaire Acquisition Bilingue du Langage Présentation de Cathy Cohen and Anna Ghimenton 'A longitudinal and multidimensional account of language practices: What factors account for changes in the family language policies?'
10h30 - 12h00
ISH - Ennat Léger

Family language policy (FLP) has been defined as “explicit and overt planning in relation to language use within the home among family members” (King, Fogle & Logan-Terry 2008, 907). Yet, language practice patterns are not static and may evolve over time between different family members, in response to changing language contact and exposure patterns (Spolsky 2008). For this paper, we draw from data collected in an ongoing five-year longitudinal study exploring the impact of exposure and input in bilingual acquisition and development in French-English bilingual children (middle to high SES families) in the Anglophone section of an international state school in France. To enter the school, children require at least near-native English proficiency, while non-French-speaking children attend French as a foreign language classes for several hours a week. Participants are drawn from two classes: 1) 21 children in 1st grade; 2) 33 children in 5th grade. Three main family profiles are present in the sample: 1) children with two Anglophone parents (EE); 2) children with two Francophone parents who have lived in an English-speaking environment before returning to France (FF); 3) children with one Anglophone and one Francophone parent (EF). Certain children have had bilingual exposure from birth whilst others started with monolingual exposure and came into contact with a second language at a later stage in their development. Parent questionnaires provide data on family background and children’s language exposure from birth. Parents are also asked to self-evaluate their language skills in French and English. Individual interviews with parents provide crucial insights into family dynamics and factors which may lead to changes in language choice and interactional strategies. Semi-structured interviews with each child provide further data on participants’ language biographies (Simon 2014) and current language strategies with family members. This paper aims at exploring the different factors influencing the FLPs from children’s birth to the present within the different family profiles. We focus on how each member of the family (fathers, mothers and children) negotiates and contributes to the shifts in language practices. For instance, we question how language use patterns evolve and how these changes may be accounted for.


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