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-  How do mobility and on-going changes in sociocultural contexts impact on family language policies?

-  How is FLP shaped, established, negotiated and enacted in day-to-day interactional and digital practices?

-  What are the similarities and differences in FLP across different transnational and multilingual communities?

The FLP project can shed light on what types of FLP promote or discourage multilingual development, what kind of sociocultural and linguistic milieu in communities support social cohesion and identity construction, and what policies at educational and national levels provide conducive environments for heritage language maintenance and literacy development. The outcomes will have an impact on the public at large with regard to the socioeconomic value of multilingualism, the advantages of protecting linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as the cultural and emotional significance of minority language practices in private domains.

We have selected three ethnolinguistic communities from Asian (Chinese), European (Polish) and African (Somali) background for their distinctive sociopolitical contexts of migration, demographic characters and multilingual histories. Through community profiling, we will gain further insights into the different migration experiences, linguistic and educational backgrounds and resettlement patterns that strongly influence their attitudes and ideologies towards developing the different languages in their life. Table 1shows the demographic information about the communities. For more information about each community, please tap on an appropriate subsection. 

Table 1: Demographic & linguistic information about the communities in Greater London (2011 Census data)


The project aims to explore​ what types of Family Language Policy (FLP) exist in the UK at the national level, how FLP is shaped, established, and implemented at the community level, and what practices are managed and how they are negotiated at the family level. Employing a multi-level, multi-community and multi-type family design, the FLP project  involves non-transnational and transnational families across three ethnolinguistic communities - Chinese, Polish and Somali. As the first systematic study of FLP in the UK, it will develop new understandings of how sociocultural changes, linguistic development and migration history impact on the decision-making processes of FLP. Our research questions include:

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