Language Learning and Language Policy between Attitudes and Identities
Edited By Konrad Bergmeister and Cecilia Varcasia
AMANDA HILMARSSON-DUNN / ROSAMOND MITCHELL - Multilingual Migrants in England: Factors Affecting their Language Use - 65
AMANDA HILMARSSON-DUNN / ROSAMOND MITCHELL Multilingual Migrants in England: Factors Affecting Their Language Use 1. Introduction In order to fulfil the aim of this research, the researchers investigated students’ attitudes, behaviours and beliefs in relation to their own mul- tilingualism and the school context in which they function, including: which languages multilingual students use with their teachers, friends and family at home and school; how multilingualism influences interactions with monolingual native English speakers and other multilingual students and teachers; students’ attitudes towards the different languages they know. Social network theory has often been applied to research on language use in multilingual communities. In LINEE, we were interested in ex- ploring how far network theory could be applied to the multilingual- ism of migrants in England, while also referring to results from part- ner projects in Italy and Austria. However, we have found it necessary to draw on other concepts and factors to explain contemporary mi- grants’ language attitudes and behaviours, for example the relative perceived status of different languages; attitudes of migrant students’ families and teachers; and underlying policy for languages and migra- tion in the UK and EU. 66 Amanda Hilmarsson-Dunn / Rosamond Mitchell 2. Literature review 2.1. Social networks and factors affecting participation in these networks Milroy’s work on social network theory suggests that a close network structure, where speakers can form a cohesive group resisting linguis- tic pressure from outside the group, facilitates language maintenance (Milroy, 1987: 182). On the other hand, if the group is less...
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