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Discursive constructions of language and identity: parents' competing perspectives in London Turkish complementary schools

Lytra, Vally. 2012. Discursive constructions of language and identity: parents' competing perspectives in London Turkish complementary schools. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33(1), pp. 85-100. ISSN 0143-4632 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper, I draw on interview data to explore parents' constructions of language and identity in two London Turkish complementary schools. I examine parents' evaluative talk about standard Turkish, Cypriot-Turkish and other regional varieties of Turkish, the cultural values they attach to them and images of personhood these invoke. I demonstrate how parents brought up in Turkey and Cyprus tend to privilege standard Turkish and acknowledge the crucial role Turkish complementary schools play as one of the key vehicles for its spread and promotion. Some parents, however, especially those politically active in promoting Cypriot-Turkish language, culture and history to the British-born generation, voice an alternative discourse where Cypriot-Turkish is intimately linked to their sense of self. Moreover, I investigate parents' perspectives of their children and of their own Turkish language competence in the case of parents brought up in the UK. I illustrate how their Turkish and their children's are compared against a ‘native’ speaker norm firmly located in the countries of origin. The parents' accounts show how different self- and other-ascriptions of proficiency in Turkish are linked to claims of or lack of ‘Turkishness’, largely shaped by their migration histories and narratives, personal and professional transnational experiences.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2011.638076

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
2012Published

Item ID:

9144

Date Deposited:

18 Oct 2013 08:50

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 09:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/9144

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