Child language brokering and multilingualism in Catalonia: language use and attitudes in a bilingual region

Gema Rubio-Carbonero*, Mireia Vargas-Urpí, Judith Raigal-Aran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Children and young people from migrated families often learn host languages faster than their parents might do, and from very young ages they help their parents, families or community members by translating or interpreting, known as child language brokering (CLB). Language brokers need to mediate with different languages in different contexts and are more likely to become aware of the different status of the languages they use or are in contact with than other non-brokers from a migrant background. This article studies the phenomenon of CLB in Catalonia, a bilingual region, from a sociolinguistic perspective. It seeks to understand the linguistic reality of these language brokers, and their attitudes towards the different languages they speak. The results show a complex sociolinguistic picture in which language brokers are clear archetypes of multilingualism, and the tensions and preferences towards each of the languages spoken. It also reflects on the key role CLB plays in the maintenance and revitalization of heritage language(s) and culture(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2021

Keywords

  • Catalonia
  • Child language brokering
  • language attitudes
  • language use
  • multilingualism

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