Pentecostal and Catholic migrant churches in London – the role of ideologies in the language planning of faith lessons

Souza, Ana; Kwapong, Amoafi and Woodham, Malgorzata. 2012. Pentecostal and Catholic migrant churches in London – the role of ideologies in the language planning of faith lessons. Current Issues in Language Planning, 13(2), pp. 105-120. ISSN 1466-4208 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

The former British Labour Government acknowledged that religious practices play an important role in the development of children's identities [DCFS. (2009). Your child, your schools, our future: building a 21st century schools system. London: HMSO; DfES (2007). Curriculum review: Diversity and citizenship. London: HMSO]. However, little is known about the ways in which these identities develop in faith settings. This article aims to address language planning in faith lessons of ethnic churches and to reflect on how their language planning dynamics create (or not) opportunities for the children to develop their cultural, linguistic and religious identities. With this purpose, the article reports on part of two investigations of religious settings in the development of children's literacy and identity. The specific language ideologies of these migrant churches are explored mainly through an examination of the qualitative semi-structured interviews with their faith leaders, and comparisons are made to Pentecostal and Catholic leaders of Brazilian migrant groups; newcomers to the UK and with numbers on the rise. It is argued that, although a group's theological orientation is linked to the language ideologies of faith leaders, linguistic and cultural identities play an important role in the (unplanned) language planning of ethnic churches.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain (ESRC) for the project Becoming literate in faith settings: Language and literacy learning in the lives of new Londoners (2009–2013) (RES-062-23-1613), from which this article draws some of its examples. A team of 11 members is involved in this project: Eve Gregory, John Jessel, Charmian Kenner, Vally Lytra, Mahera Ruby, Ana Souza, Olga Barradas, Halimun Chowdhuri, Amoafi Kwapong, Arani Ilkuberan and Malgorzata Woodham. The authors have been working on the 'Becoming literate in Faith Settings: Language and literacy learning in the lives of new Londoners' project (ESRC, 2009–2013, RES-062-23-1613) at the Educational Studies Department, Goldsmiths, University of London, England under the direction of Professor Eve Gregory. The authors thank the faith leaders and the teachers from the Brazilian, Ghanaian and Polish communities in London, UK for kindly sharing their experiences with them.


faith lessons, ethnic churches, Brazilian, Ghanaian and Polish migrants, Pentecostalists and Catholics in the UK

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies
Educational Studies > Centre for Language, Culture and Learning


May 2012Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

29 Aug 2014 12:45

Last Modified:

24 Sep 2014 09:33

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)