Macquarie University
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"We really believe that we have given our children a gift": discourses on bilingual child-rearing in an online parenting forum

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:05 authored by Livia Gerber
Parental decisions of bilingual child-rearing are influenced by prevailing language ideologies and popular discourses on the advantages of bilingualism. This study seeks to explore the ideologies underpinning parental decisions on family language policies in a predominantly English monolingual environment. Focussing on how the notion of 'good' parenting is linked to bilingualism as a child-rearing strategy, the discursive construction of bilingual parenting is explored in one of the largest online parenting communities in Australia,, using critical discourse analysis. This is a 'mainstream' forum that is not a priori concerned with language. The corpus consists of 15 discussion threads totalling 266 comments posted between 2007 and 2014 by parents and carers seeking and giving advice on bilingual child-rearing. Findings suggest that due to the increasing valorisation of bilingualism in general discourses, bilingual family language policies, such as the 'one parent - one language' strategy, have beome incorporated into mainstream parenting strategies. Overall, this study finds that parents are often faced with contradictory bilingual child-rearing realities that inform their language-related parenting decisions. The research extends existing literature on how the monolingual mindset operates on an individual level, and has implications for language policy at individual, institutionl and state levels.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Methodology -- 4. Creating bilingual advantages via monolinual practices -- 5. Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 71-77

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ingrid Piller


Copyright Livia Gerber 2015. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (vi, 220 pages)

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