Bilingual Pre-Teens: Competing Ideologies and Multiple Identities in the U.S. and Germany, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bilingual Pre-Teens

Competing Ideologies and Multiple Identities in the U.S. and Germany, 1st Edition

By Janet M. Fuller


178 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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This volume examines the connection between socio-economic class and bilingual practices, a previously under-researched area, through looking at differences in bilingual settings that are classified as "immigrant" or "elite" and are thus linked to socio-economic class categories. Fuller chooses for this examination bilingual pre-teen children in Germany and the U.S. in order to demonstrate how local identities are embedded in a wider social world and how ideologies and identities both produce and reproduce each other. In so doing, she argues that while pre-teen children are clearly influenced by macro-level ideologies, they also have agency in how they choose to construct their identities with relation to hegemonic societal discourses, and have many other motivations and identities aside from social class membership which shape their linguistic practices.


"Fuller’s book shows how a single practice—code switching among elementary school children in school—can assume different forms and have dramatically different meanings in two different historical and ideological contexts. Her analysis of elite bilingualism in a German school—and its comparison to a US Latino site--will help US scholars of bilingualism to see the historical and political particularity of the bilingual situations most studied in the US, that of the immigrant second generation." – Benjamin Bailey, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

"Due to its clear focus, this book caters to an audience interested in sociolinguistics, language and identity, discourse analysis, bilingual education, and linguistic ethnography. It would also be helpful for students seeking an understanding of sociolinguistic research methodologies." - Haomin Zhang, LINGUIST List

Table of Contents

Selected Contents: 1. Introduction: Bilingual discourse, identities and ideologies 2. Normative monolingualism in the USA: immigrant bilingualism and the stigmatization of Spanish 3. Amigos amid Americanos: a linguistic ethnography of a Spanish-English transitional bilingual education classroom 4. Language ideologies in Berlin, Germany: normative monolingualism and elite bilingualism 5. Speaking your mother tongue in the fatherland: a linguistic ethnography of a German-English dual language classroom 6. Conclusion

About the Author

Janet M. Fuller Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Women’s Studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sociolinguistics

This series is our home for innovative research in the field of sociolinguistics. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into this important and evolving subject area.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration