Family language policy in tension: Conflicting language ideologies and translanguaging practices in multilingual families

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Bilingualism


Aims and objectives:

This paper highlights the conflicting language ideologies and translanguaging practices of a transcultural (Korean/Canadian) Korean/English-speaking family residing in South Korea through the lens of family language policy.


This paper draws on qualitative case study methods. Data collected consisted of interview data, language portraits, audio and video recorded family discussion of the language portraits, familial meals, and board/card game playing, as well as participant journal entries. The data from this paper comes from a larger project.

Data and analysis:

Data were gathered from four members of a multilingual family residing in South Korea. Data were coded and analyzed iteratively using thematic analysis.


Findings from this paper suggest that language ideologies among multilingual family members vary due to the influence of local language ideologies and individual language experiences; this can lead to a disconnect between language practices and language ideologies and a multilingual identity in children.


To my knowledge, this paper is the first study to use a family language policy lens in a transcultural multilingual family in South Korea. In addition, the study utilized unique data collection activities such as the video-recorded discussion of family member language portraits.


This paper argues for parents in multilingual families to take a translanguaging stance when considering their language policies in the home to support their children’s multilingual identities. This is the first paper to take this stance by involving all family members, and by using multiple sources of data, including language practices. Furthermore, this paper takes a critical approach to the lens of family language policy.