Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Separate and flexible bilingualism in complementary schools: Multiple language practices in interrelationship
Author(s): Creese, Angela
Blackledge, Adrian
Baraç, Taşkin
Bhatt, Arvind
Hamid, Shahela
Wei, Li
Lytra, Vally
Martin, Peter
Wu, Chao-Jung
Yağcioğlu, Dilek
Contact Email:
Keywords: Bilingualism
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2011
Date Deposited: 14-Sep-2018
Citation: Creese A, Blackledge A, Baraç T, Bhatt A, Hamid S, Wei L, Lytra V, Martin P, Wu C & Yağcioğlu D (2011) Separate and flexible bilingualism in complementary schools: Multiple language practices in interrelationship. Journal of Pragmatics, 43 (5), pp. 1196-1208.
Abstract: Sociolinguists have long recognized that language is a social construct, and have found elusive any firm definition of what constitutes a language in relation to overlapping varieties. On the other hand, it is long established that language is recruited by nations, communities and individuals for its symbolic value and distinctiveness. Whereas the first of these positions views language as fluid and changing, with permeable boundaries, the second stresses the fixed, rigid nature of language. This paper describes how these two positions are played out in the multilingual contexts of four English cities, in complementary schools where young students learn Bengali, Cantonese, Gujarati, Mandarin, and Turkish. In the research reported here we observed a broad range of multilingual practices across a variety of settings in schools, and at the boundaries of school and home. From these practices we identify two seemingly contradictory positions in relation to participants' bilingualism: an ideology which argues for 'language separation' and one in which 'flexible bilingualism' flourishes as a practice. These two positions can be said to illustrate the dynamic tension described in sociolinguistic research, which has often viewed language as fluid and overlapping, while at the same time acknowledging language as a social construct which demarcates and reifies identities. The paper looks at how students and teachers simultaneously lived both 'separate' and 'flexible' positions, and navigated between them interactively and discursively. Our analysis suggests that relations between 'language' and 'ideology' are far from straightforward for the young people and teachers in complementary schools. The heteroglossic reality of multilingual practice, with its flexible movement across and between 'languages', is underpinned by the social structures of which such interactions are a part.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.006
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Creese et al 2011.pdfFulltext - Published Version207.58 kBAdobe PDFUnder Permanent Embargo    Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.