31 SES 09, Language in Transnational Educational Fields between Brazil and Europe
Over 50% of the Brazilians abroad are women (IBGE, 2011). This proportion appears to be even higher if we consider the number of mothers whose children attend Brazilian Portuguese language lessons in community schools, i.e. schools created by groups of migrants to maintain their linguistic and cultural heritage (Sneddon, 1997). In the UK, Brazilian families of different economic and educational background have made efforts to preserve the use of Portuguese through community schools (also known as complementary schools) since the late 1990s (Souza, 2010). There are schools in which the majority of the mothers are Brazilian migrants married to fathers of different nationalities, thus the relevance of the role these women play in the maintenance of their language. This article explores how linguistic and cultural identities are affected upon migration and how the sense of identity (i.e. the positions occupied by individuals in social contexts) impacts on family language planning (i.e. the choices made by parents in relation to what language to use, when and to whom in raising their children). It draws on data from my doctoral study and addresses the implications of migratory flows for mothering by asking the following two questions: (1) How are the linguistic and cultural identities of a group of Brazilian mothers affected by migration to the UK? and (2)What is the impact of these mothers' sense of identity on their family language planning?. Social psychology (e.g. Tajfel, 1978) and poststructuralism (e.g. Norton, 2000; 2013) constitute the theoretical background to this article, which is presented in two parts. Firstly, the linguistic and the cultural identities of the participant mothers are examined. Secondly, links are made between these identities and the participants' language planning. The analysis is situated within the family domain and centres on issues of motherhood and family language planning. To conclude, I argue that language choice seems to be essential to these mothers in maintaining their sense of group identity as much as in having a positive sense of motherhood. The importance of language to these transnational mothers has proven to affect the language planning in their families as much as to influence the ever growing number of complementary schools (Souza & Barradas, 2014) contributing to the language education of their children in England.
IBGE (2011) Censo 2010: Mais da metade dos emigrantes brasileiros são mulheres. [2010 Census: More than half of the Brazilian emigrants are women]. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Available from http://saladeimprensa.ibge.gov.br/noticias?view=noticia&id=1&busca=1&idnoticia=2017 [Accessed on 30th April 2014]. Norton, B. (2000) Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity and educational change. London: Longman. Norton, B. (2013) Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation. London: Longman. Sneddon, R. (1997) Working towards partnership: parents, teachers and community organisations. In: J. Bastiani (ed.) Home-School Work in Multicultural Settings. London: David Fulton, pp. 145-155. Souza, A. (2010) ‘O Papel da Família e de Organizações Civis no Ensino de Português para Crianças (Anglo) Brasileiras’ [The Role of Families and Community Organizations in the Teaching of Portuguese to (Anglo)Brazilian Children]. In Revista Travessia, vol 66, 55-64. Available from http://www.youblisher.com/p/548876-Travessia-Revista-do-Migrante-numero-66 [Accessed on 30th April 2014]. Souza, A. & Barradas, O. (2014) ‘Português como Língua de Herança: Políticas Linguísticas na Inglaterra’ [Portuguese as a Heritage Language: Language Policies in England]. In Revista SIPLE, vol 6, article 1. Available from http://www.siple.org.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=297:portugues-como-lingua-de-heranca-politicas-linguisticas-na-inglaterra&catid=69:edicao-6&Itemid=112 [Accessed on 30th April 2014]. Tajfel, H. (1978) The social psychology of minorities. London: Minority Rights Group.
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