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The Language Management Approach

A Focus on Research Methodology


Edited By Lisa Fairbrother, Jiří Nekvapil and Marián Sloboda

The chapters in this volume reflect the variety of methods that researchers have recently applied in their investigations of "behavior toward language", or language management. The innovative methods introduced in the volume will appeal to researchers interested in different types of introspective interview methodology and discourse analysis, and to those looking for ways of linking language policy to everyday social interactions. The broad spectrum of themes taken up by the authors include the practices of language cultivation agencies, the use of first and second languages in educational contexts, attitudes toward language varieties, the use of language in immigrant communities, and the processes underlying literary criticism.

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Methodological considerations for the study of accustomed language management: An ethnographic approach (Hidehiro Muraoka / Sau Kuen Fan / Minjeong Ko)


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Hidehiro Muraoka, Sau Kuen Fan and Minjeong Ko

Methodological considerations for the study of accustomed language management: An ethnographic approach

Abstract This chapter aims to discuss the methodology suitable for the study of accustomed language management, focusing on evaluations made by migrants towards their own language use. It is hypothesised that due to prolonged exposure to contact situations, evaluations are accumulated and some of these evaluations may trigger the development of principles for future language use or accustomed pre-adjustments. Therefore, there is clearly a need to further explore the evaluations of migrants towards language use which take place in the language management processes towards contact situations. It is suggested that the ethnographic approach (cf. Hymes 1974; Duranti 2009; Blommaert 2010) which places a special focus on how language is used in different contexts is beneficial in order to look at the trajectory of language management from a diachronic point of view and that can help us to find out the characteristics of accustomed language management. The findings of three case studies suggest that a migrant’s current linguistic repertoire is a direct reflection of the trajectory of his/her language management from a diachronic point of view. It is argued that the characteristics of migrants’ evaluations give us hints about the direction of language adjustments made by migrants, particularly in societies at an early stage of globalisation.

Keywords accustomed language management, evaluations, contact situations, ethnographic approach, language biography interview, interaction interview

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