The Interrelationship of Family Language Policies, Emotions, Socialisation Practices and Language Management Strategies

Karpava, Sviatlana orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8416-1431 (2022) The Interrelationship of Family Language Policies, Emotions, Socialisation Practices and Language Management Strategies. Journal of Home Language Research, 5 (1). ISSN 2537-7043

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Multilingual families in immigrant/minority language contact settings face various challenges that are related to their affective and emotional domains, as well as to their well-being. This study investigated the interrelationship of the family language policies (FLPs), emotions, socialisation practices and language management strategies of immigrant Russian and mixed-marriage families in Cyprus. The participants were eighty multilingual families from low-middle-high socio-economic backgrounds, including two- and one-parent families who resided in rural or in urban areas. Forty were mixed-marriage (Russian wife and Greek Cypriot husband) families and 40 were Russian-speaking (both spouses Russian) immigrant families who resided in Cyprus. Data sources included a questionnaire about the families’ general backgrounds, the parents’ socio-economic status, their linguistic behaviour and their children’s language proficiency, and semi-structured interviews with the mothers focused on their FLP, home language development and socio-emotional well-being. An analysis of the diverse family types revealed both differences and similarities amongst Russian speakers in Cyprus and their FLPs. Russian speakers incorporated a wide range of language repertoires in their everyday lives. Multilingualism and the maintenance of the Russian language and culture were usually encouraged, as was the development of the children’s Russian-language literacy, and the parents often used the one-parent-one-language (OPOL) approach at home. In many cases, FLPs were characterised by translanguaging to enhance dynamic multilingualism and emotional well-being at home. However, not all of the efforts resulted in successful language transmission, which may have been due to individual and/or societal differences and family configurations.

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