ERG SES C 09, Children and Education
Many children today grow up in multilingual communities characterized by conflicting language ideologies, with majority languages often seen as routes to school and commercial success, and heritage languages seen as carriers of cultural heritage. As language ideology theorists argue, speakers construct values for the languages in contact in their communities through their language practices (e.g., Irvine & Gal 2000). Language ideologies are very significant in terms of linking language and social identities. Irvine and Gal (2000) define language ideologies as “the ideas with which participants and observers frame their understanding of linguistic varieties and map those understandings onto people, events and activities that are significant to them” (p. 35).Hence, as language ideology theorists point out, there are major ideological associations between language, culture and community. Especially close ties between language ideologies and language use and identity construction may become visible in contexts where languages come into contact. Therefore, when we are talking about a linguistic minority group in a majority culture, as in the present study of Turkish immigrant students living and attending school in the US context, we must consider the children’s language practices in terms of how they are responding to the English-only ideologies of the US school context and the Turkish-only ideologies of their home communities.
However, only a small number of studies looked at how young people respond to conflicting language ideologies in their communities through language practices in everyday peer group interactions (Minks 2010; Garrett 2007; Kyratzis, Reynolds, & Evaldsson 2010; Paugh 2005; Reynolds 2010; Schieffelin 2003; Zentella 1997). Drawing on a view which sees children as social actors in socializing other children (Goodwin 2006; Goodwin & Kyratzis 2007), this paper conducts an ethnographic fieldwork on the everyday interactions of peer groups of second generation Turkish heritage children in two Arizona settings; an elementary school, and a Turkish Saturday (heritage language) School, over a year to examine how the children negotiate ideologies and identities in interaction with peers.
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