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Tue, Apr 21


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[Webinar] Practicing classed linguistic practices across borders: Family language policy in ethnic minority families

Dr. Michelle GU Department of English Language Education, Education University of Hong Kong

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Time & Location

Apr 21, 2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

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About the Event

Taking ethnic minority mothers and children as a transnational social class, this study explores how migrant mothers strategized to construct new class identities and mobilize between different classed communities through their linguistic and cultural repertoire, and how the children aligned their linguistic practices with language policy, both at home and at the societal level. It is found that, while the mothers actively drew on resources (e.g., social-networking, knowledge of governmental policy and languages) from their emigrational experiences to achieve class mobilization, a bounded view towards cultures may have influenced the family language policy, in turn constraining children’s acculturation and socialization into mainstream society and leading to class stabilization. The mothers were found to draw heavily upon their own migrant and social experiences to set up a restrictive family language policy that functionalized the contexts of household, school, community, and society. It is therefore argued that ideological spaces (Hornberger, 2006) should be opened up to value migrant mothers’ linguistic and cultural resources and to help them develop a more fluid family language policy that better prepares their children for educational success and acculturation. This points to more school-parent collaboration and information exchange, and the necessity of providing more space for children to enact their own agency and contribute their own ideologies.


Hornberger, N. H. (2006). Voice and biliteracy in indigenous language revitalization: Contentious educational practices in Quechua, Guarani, and Maori contexts. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 5(4), 277–292.

GU Mingyue Michelle is an Associate Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include language-in-education policy, linguistic ideology, multilingualism and mobility, minority education, and internationalization in higher education. She has published widely in the above fields with over 40 articles in journals such as Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, British Journal of Educational Research, Language Teaching Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Migration and Ethnic Studies, Higher Education, Computer Assisted Language Learning, Journal of Pragmatics and so on. She received the Research Excellence Award in 2017 and Young Researcher Award in 2015 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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