Academic Mothers’ Definitions of Bilingualism, Bilinguality, and Family Language Policies

Tijana Hirsch 1  and Orly Kayam 1
  • 1 Wingate Academic College, Tel Aviv, Israel

Abstract

Bilingual partnerships (Piller & Pavlenko, 2004) and transnational families (Hirsch & Lee, 2018) are on the rise. With mothers spending more time with their children at home, even in dual career partnerships (Hochschild & Machung, 1989), the labor of family language policy (FLP) implementation often falls on them. While increasingly more new hires in academia are women (Finkelstein, Seal, & Schuster, 1998), only 31% of them are mothers (Perna, 2003). In this work, we examine the dominant discourses regarding bilingualism and FLP among academic mothers who find themselves at an intersection of multiple and often competing social positions. Data was collected from 46 academic mothers residing in linguistically-different host societies but all whom gather in an online community they have co-created. Data collection procedure included 22 open-ended questions exploring bilingualism and FLP orientations. Iterative and recursive content analysis was performed, yielding thematic patterns centering around language ideologies, practices, and bilinguality.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Agar, M. (1994). Language shock: Understanding the culture of conversation. New York, NY: William Morrow and Co.

  • Baym, N. K. (1998). The emergence of on-line community. Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, 35–68.

  • Baym, N. K. (2000). Tune in, log on: Soaps, fandom, and online community (Vol. 3). SAGE.

  • Burton, P. (1994). Women and second language use: An introduction. In P. Burton, K. K. Bloomfield, L. (1933). Language history: From language (1933 Ed.). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

  • Dyson, and S. Ardener (eds.), Bilingual Women: Anthropological Approaches to Second-language Use (pp. 1–29). Oxford and Providence, RI: Berg.

  • Bourdieu, P. (1977). The economics of linguistic exchanges. Information (International Social Science Council), 16(6), 645–668.

  • Buchanan, E. A. (2000). Ethics, qualitative research, and ethnography in virtual space. Journal of Information Ethics, 9(2), 82.

  • Cherny, L. (1999). Conversation and community: Chat in a virtual world. Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 185–222.

  • Correll, S. (1995). The ethnography of an electronic bar: The lesbian café. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 24(3), 270–98.

  • Crawford, J. (1992). Hold your tongue, bilingualism and the politics of “English Only.” Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.

  • de Valck, K. K. (2005). Virtual communities of consumption: Networks of consumer knowledge and companionship (No. 50).

  • Edwards, J. (1985). Language, society and identity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell (in association with Andre Deutsch).

  • Fernback, J. (2007). Beyond the diluted community concept: A symbolic interactionist perspective on online social relations. New Media & Society, 9(1), 49–69.

  • Finkelstein, M. J., Seal, R. K., & Schuster, J. H. (1998). The new academic generation: A profession in transformation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift: Theoretical and empirical foundations of assistance to threatened languages (Vol. 76). Multilingual Matters.

  • Gajjala, R. (2004). Cyber selves: Feminist ethnographies of South Asian women. Rowman Altamira.

  • Gal, S. (1978). Peasant men can’t get wives: Language change and sex roles in a bilingual community. Language in Society, 7(1), 1–16.

  • García, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Grosjean, F. (1982). Life with two languages: An introduction to bilingualism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Grosjean, F. (2006). The bilingual is not two monolinguals in one person. World Englishes: Critical Concepts in Linguistics, 4, 202–213.

  • Guignard, F. P. (2015). Moving my brain to Canada: Motherhood and international mobility as an academic career requirement. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, 6(2).

  • Hamers, J. F. (1981). Psychological approaches to the development of bilinguality. Elements of Bilingual Theory. Bruselas: Vrije Universiteit te Brussels.

  • Hamers, J. F., & Blanc, H. A. (1989). Bilinguality and bilingualism. Cambridge.

  • Harvey, P. (1994). The presence and absence of speech in the communication of gender. Bilingual Women: Anthropological Approaches to Second Language Use, 44–64.

  • Hill, J. (1987). Women’s speech in modern Mexicano. In S. Phillips, S. Steele, & C. Tanz (Eds.), Language, Gender and Sex in Comparative Perspective (pp. 121–160). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

  • Hine, C. (2008). Virtual ethnography: Modes, varieties, affordances. The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods, 257–270.

  • Hirsch, T. (2017). An ethnographic study of transnational family language policy in Facebook communities across time [Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara].

  • Hirsch, T., & Lee, J. S. (2018). Understanding the complexities of transnational family language policy. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 39(10), 882–894.

  • Hochschild, A., & Machung, A. (1989). The second shift: Working parents and the revolution at home. London, England: Penguin.

  • Hoffman, D. L. (2014). Investigating phenomenological translanguaging among deaf adult bilinguals engaging in reading tasks. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University.

  • Holliday, A. (2006). Native-speakerism. ELT Journal, 60, 385–387. doi:10.1093/elt/ccl030

  • Holliday, A. (2013). ‘Native speaker’ teachers and cultural belief. In S. Houghton & D. J. Rivers (Eds.), Native-Speakerism in Japan: Intergroup Dynamics in Foreign Language Education (pp. 17–27). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

  • Holliday, A. (2015). Native-Speakerism: Taking the concept forward and achieving cultural belief. In A. Swan, P. Aboshiha, & A. Holliday (Eds.), (En)Countering Native- Speakerism (pp. 11–25). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137463500_2

  • Inbar-Lourie, O. (2005). Mind the gap: Self and perceived native speaker identities of EFL teachers. In L. van Lier (Ed.), Non-Native Language Teachers (pp. 265–281). New York, NY: Springer US. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/0-387-24565-0_14

  • Kayam, O., & Hirsch, T. (2014). Socialization of language through family language policy: A case study. Psychology of Language and Communication, 18(1), 53–66.

  • King, K. A., & Fogle, L. W. (2016). Family language policy. Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, 1–13.

  • Kirsch, C. (2012). Ideologies, struggles and contradictions: An account of mothers raising their children bilingually in Luxembourgish and English in Great Britain. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15(1), 95–112.

  • Kanayama, T. (2003). Ethnographic research on the experience of Japanese elderly people online. New Media & Society, 5(2), 267–288.

  • Kozinets, R. V. (1998). On netnography: Initial reflections on consumer research investigations of cyberculture. ACR North American Advances.

  • Kużelewska, E. (2016). Language policy in Switzerland. Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, 45(1), 125–140.

  • Lanza, E., & Wei, L. (2016). Multilingual encounters in transcultural families. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37(7), 653–654.

  • Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

  • Lysloff, R. T. A. (2003). Musical community on the Internet: An online-ethnography. Cultural Anthropology, 18(2), 233–63.

  • Madge, C. and O’Connor, H. (2006). Parenting Gone Wired: Empowerment of New Mothers on the Internet? Social & Cultural Geography, 7(2) April: 199–220.

  • Mackey, W. F. (1970). A typology of bilingual education. Foreign Language Annals, 3(4),596–606.

  • Markham, A. (1998). Life online: Researching real experience in virtual space. AltaMira Press.

  • Okita, T. (2002). Invisible work: Bilingualism, language choice and childrearing in intermarried families (Vol. 12). John Benjamins Publishing.

  • Patton. M. (1980). Qualitative evaluation methods. Beverly Hills, California: SAGE.

  • Pavlenko, A. (2001). Bilingualism, gender, and ideology. International Journal of Bilingualism, 5(2), 117–151.

  • Pavlenko, A. (2002). Poststructuralist approaches to the study of social factors in language learning and use. In V. Cook (Ed.), Portraits of the L2 User (pp. 277–302). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

  • Perna, L. W. (2003). The status of women and minorities among community college faculty. Research in Higher Education,44(2), 205–240.

  • Piller, I. (1999). “Something tattooed on my forehead”: Gendered performances and perceptions of linguistic and national identity. In Wahrnehmung und Herstellung von Geschlecht (pp. 117–126). VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

  • Piller, I. (2002). Bilingual couples talk. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

  • Piller, I., & Gerber, L. (2018). Family language policy between the bilingual advantage and the monolingual mindset. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1–14.

  • Piller, I. & Pavlenko, A. (2004). Bilingualism and gender. In T. Bhatia & W. Ritchie (Eds.), Handbook of Bilingualism (pp. 489–511). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

  • Spitzmüller, C., & Matthews, R. A. (Eds.). (2016). Research perspectives on work and the transition to motherhood. New York: Springer.

  • Spolsky, B. (2001). Language in Israel: Policy, practice and ideology. Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics, 1999, 164.

  • Spolsky, B. (2012). Family language policy – The critical domain. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(1), 3–11.

  • Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the Screen: Identity in the Life of the Internet. Simon & Shuster, New York, 196.

  • Uhlenberg, P., & Cooney, T. M. (1990). Male and female physicians: Family and career comparisons. Social Science & Medicine, 30(3), 373–378.

  • Valdés, G., González, S. V., García, D. L., & Márquez, P. (2003). Language ideology: The case of Spanish in departments of foreign languages. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 34(1), 3–26.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (1998). Ideology: A multidisciplinary approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

  • Walters, K. (1996). Gender, identity, and the political economy of language: Anglophone wives in Tunisia. Language in Society, 25(4), 515–555. doi:10.1017/S0047404500020807

  • Wang, W. (2012). The rise of intermarriage. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

  • Ward, K., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2004). Academic motherhood: Managing complex roles in research universities. The Review of Higher Education, 27(2), 233–257.

  • Wei, L. (2012). Language policy and practice in multilingual, transnational families and beyond. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(1), 1–2.

  • Weinreich, U. (1968). Languages in contact. The Hague: Mouton.

  • Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning as a social system. Systems Thinker, 9(5), 2–3.

  • Whitty, M. T. (2003). Cyber-flirting: Playing at love on the Internet. Theory & Psychology, 13(3), 339–357.

  • Williams, C. (1994). Arfarniad o ddulliau dysgu ac addysgu yng nghyd-destun addysg uwchradd ddwyieithog [An evaluation of teaching and learning methods in the context of bilingual secondary education] [Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Wales, Bangor].

  • Zentella, A. C. (1987). Language and female identity in the Puerto Rican community. Women and Language in Transition, 167–179.

  • Zubrzycki, K. (2019). Am I perfect enough to be a true bilingual? Monolingual bias in the lay perception and self-perception of bi- and multilinguals. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 57(4), 447–495.

  • AAPOR: American Association for Public Opinion Research (see: https://www.aapor.org/Standards-Ethics/Institutional-Review-Boards/IRB-FAQs-for-Survey-Researchers.aspx#separate%20consent)

  • AOiR: Association of Internet Researchers, (https://aoir.org/ethics/)

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search