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ERIC Number: EJ1201422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Language Use and Investment among Children and Adolescents of Somali Heritage in Sweden
Palm, Clara; Ganuza, Natalia; Hedman, Christina
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v40 n1 p64-75 2019
This article explores language use and investment among Somali-speaking children and adolescents in Sweden, through group interviews and survey data. Our findings indicate that there are incentives to invest in Somali language learning considering the reported language use patterns and the expressed positive attitudes towards Somali mother tongue instruction. The Somali language was perceived to be 'naturally' linked to Somali identity and to being able to claim 'Somaliness', not only by the adolescents but also by the surroundings. Thus, advanced Somali language proficiency was perceived as necessary for being able to pass as 'culturally authentic' (Jaffe, A. [2012]. "Multilingual Citizenship and Minority Languages." In "The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism," edited by M. Martin-Jones, A. Blackledge, and A. Creese, 83-99. London: Routledge). Furthermore, being perceived as unproficient in Somali or unable to transmit the language to future generations was experienced as guilt-provoking. Nevertheless, the adolescents articulated a compliance with the dominant linguistic order in Sweden, and their school's assimilatory language rules ('Swedish-only'). This compliance was associated with good manners and moral behaviour, thus reflecting the potentially harmful and pervasive nature of assimilatory language ideology and policy for individual students. The findings exemplify in many ways the struggles it entails to maintain and develop a minoritised language in a majority language context and the complex 'ideological enterprise' of language learning with its educational and ethical dilemmas.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden