Publication details [#63032]

Slavkov, Nikolay. 2017. Family language policy and school language choice: pathways to bilingualism and multilingualism in a Canadian context. The International Journal of Multilingualism 14 (4) : 378–400.
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Article in journal
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Place, Publisher


This paper reports on a survey with 170 school-age children growing up with two or more languages in the Canadian province of Ontario where English is the majority language, French is a minority language, and numerous other minority languages may be spoken by immigrant or Indigenous residents. Within this context the inquiry focuses on minority language transfer and preservation, drawing on insights from family language policy and choice of language of schooling. It describes the general language-linked characteristics of the households surveyed and debates the strategies and resources that parents may employ in order to place their children along several different bilingual or multilingual pathways. The results point out the importance of the choice of language of communication between parents as a potential modelling and extra input opportunity in the household, in addition to the choice of language employed by each parent to address a child directly. Furthermore, choice of language of schooling is associated with the likelihood of a child developing as a multilingual individual. Increasing access, inclusion and general enrolment in minority language education are seen as a way of enhancing not only the level of bilingualism but also multilingualism in the province.