A Tale of Three Sisters: Language Ideologies, Identities, and Negotiations in a Bilingual, Transnational Family

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Abstract

This longitudinal case study investigated how linguistic identity was constructed, constrained, and performed by three sisters, aged 1, 12, and 17, within one bilingual, transnational Ecuadorian-U.S. family. Data were collected over 14 months through weekly home visits that included participant observation, informal interviews, and family-generated audio-recordings of home conversations. Ethnographically informed discourse analysis of family interactions and interviews examined how each of the three daughters was positioned and positioned herself discursively as a language learner and user, and how locally held ideologies about language and language learning shaped the ways in which identities and family roles were constructed and enacted. These findings sharpen our understanding of how widely circulating discourses and ideologies of language-and ideologies of language learning in particular-shape family language practices as well as children's ascribed and prescribed identities within the large and growing number of transnational families in the United States and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Multilingual Research Journal
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Ecuador
  • bilingualism
  • identity
  • language ideology
  • sibling
  • transnationalism

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