Norwegian version of this page

Language Practices of Brazilian Families in Norway (completed)

This PhD project is a subproject of the flagship project Multilingualism and Globalization: Perspectives from Norway.


Rafael Lomeu.

Photo: Nadia Frantsen, UiO.

About the project

In the past decade, the interdisciplinary sub-field known as ‘Family Language Policy’ (FLP) has gained momentum attracting the attention of a number of scholars (Curdt-Christiansen 2009; King 2016; King and Fogle 2006; King et al 2008; Lanza 2007; Li Wei 2012; Schwartz et al 2013; Smith-Christmas 2016). This literature has mainly focused on three broad areas: (i) child agency in parental language policy decisions; (ii) the interaction of family-external and family-internal ideological and discursive practices; and (iii) the link between these processes and childrearing in transnational families (Fogle and King 2013). Expanding on these areas, this project aims to examine the family language policies of Brazilians in Norway, a cohort that may offer a differential contribution to multilingualism studies, but has not yet been studied. In doing so, this project may contribute to theories of language by unveiling the relations between language practices, migration and globalisation, and scrutinising the dynamics of identity negotiation and belonging of intermarried, transnational families.

Employing a linguistic ethnography approach, this project will make use of different research tools (i.e. online questionnaire, semi-structured interview, self-recording, participant observation, field note) to collect data. The questions it sets out to answer are the following:

1 - How is language use negotiated among family members? What tensions in individual practices do we find?

2 - What roles may transnational practices and plans for the future play in the decisions of what languages to use in parent-child interactions? What are the language ideologies that inform these decisions? How can the analysis of language practices among family members contribute to current understandings of mobility and belonging in the context of late-modernity globalization?

3 - In what ways do class, race and gender intersect with participants' migration trajectories and language practices in the home of Brazilian families in Norway?



Curdt-Christiansen, Xiao Lan. 2009. Invisible and visible language planning: ideological factors in the family language policy of Chinese immigrant families in Quebec. Lang    Policy 8: 351–375.

King, Kendall. 2016. Language policy, multilingual encounters, and transnational families. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37(7): 726-733.

King, Kendall & Lyn Fogle. 2006. Bilingual parenting as good parenting: Parents’ perspectives on family language policy for additive bilingualism. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 9: 695-712.

King, Kendall, Lyn Fogle, & Aubrey Logan-Terry. 2008. Family language policy. Language and Linguistics Compass 2: 907-922.

Lanza, Elizabeth. 2007. Multilingualism and the family. In Li Wei and Peter Auer (eds.), Handbook of Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication. Berlin: Mouton de      Gruyter, 45-67

Li Wei. 2012. Special issue: “Language policy and practice in multilingual, transnational families and beyond”. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 33: 1-2.

Schartz, Mila & Anna Verschik. 2013. Successful family language policy: Parents, children and educators in interaction. Dordrecht/New York: Springer. Springer.

Smith-Christmas, Cassie. 2016. Family language policy: Maintaining endangered language in the home. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


December 2016–December 2019

Tags: Multilingual ideologies and language policies
Published Feb. 24, 2017 3:41 PM - Last modified Jan. 24, 2021 5:00 PM