1st Edition

Language Brokering in Immigrant Families Theories and Contexts

Edited By Robert S. Weisskirch Copyright 2017
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    Language Brokering in Immigrant Families: Theories and Contexts brings together an international group of researchers to share their findings on language brokering—when immigrant children translate for their parents and other adults. Given the large amount of immigration occurring worldwide, it is important to understand how language brokering may support children’s and families’ acculturation to new countries. The chapter authors include overviews of the existing literature, insights from multiple disciplines, the potential benefits and drawbacks to language brokering, and the contexts that may influence children, adolescents, and emerging adults who language broker. With the latest findings, the authors theorize on how language brokering may function and the outcomes for those who do so.

    Part I: Frameworks of Language Brokering 

    1. A Developmental Perspective on Language Brokering Robert S. Weisskirch 

    2. New Approaches to Studying Language Brokering from a Communication Perspective Jennifer A. Kam, Lisa M. Guntzviller, and Cynthia Stohl 

    3. Outcomes of Language Brokering, Mediators, and Moderators: A Systematic Review Yishan Shen, Kelsey E. Tilton, and Su Yeong Kim 

    Part II: Family Dynamics 

    4. Friendly Takeover: Predictors and Effects of Language Brokering Among Diaspora Immigrants in Germany Peter F. Titzmann and Andrea Michel 

    5. Understanding Language Brokering and Self-Perceptions Among Young Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel Olga Oznobishin and Jenny Kurman 

    6. Arab Americans' Brokering in a Context of Tension and Stereotypes: "It's Just a Head-Cover. Get Over It!" Afaf Nash 

    7. Adolescent Language Brokering for Immigrant Chinese Parents in Canada Josephine M. Hua and Catherine L. Costigan 

    Part III: Applied Contexts and Settings 

    8. Immigrant Internetworks: Language Brokering and Internet Use Shu-Sha Angie Guan 

    9. Theorizing Child Language Brokering: The Example of Brokering in Health Care Settings Guida de Abreu and Lindsay O’Dell 

    10. Cognitive, Socioemotional, and Developmental Neuroscience Perspectives on Language Brokering Vanessa R. Rainey, Valerie Flores-Lamb, and Eva Gjorgieva 

    11. Young Adult Language Brokers’ and Teachers’ Views of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Brokering in School Sarah Crafter, Tony Cline, and Evangelia Prokopiou 

    Part IV: Parents’ Roles and Emerging Adult Language Brokers 

    12. Immigrant Parents’ Language Brokering Practices: A Taxonomy of Interlingual and Intralingual Brokering Jin Sook Lee and Meghan Corella 

    13. Turning Points and Tensions: Emerging Adulthood for Language Brokers Lisa M. Dorner 

    14. Future Directions for Language Brokering Research Robert S. Weisskirch


    Robert S. Weisskirch, MSW, Ph.D. is a Professor of Human Development in the Liberal Studies Department at California State University, Monterey Bay.

    'Children's language brokering is often crucial to their immigrant families' social incorporation trajectories. In this rich volume, Weisskirch draws together scholars from across disciplines, methodologies, and indeed the globe, to give this topic the foundational text it deserves and to provide exciting new avenues for where researchers might go next.' - Vikki Katz, Rutgers University

    'Weisskirch has compiled an excellent set of chapters that, together, provide a refreshing perspective on an inevitable experience that immigrant families face as they transition to new lands. The volume is a must-read for scholars and practitioners dedicated to understanding how the nuances of immigration manifest in the lives of youth and parents across multiple settings and, importantly, across developmental periods.' - Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Arizona State University

    'Language Brokering in Immigrant Families is the first of its kind. The contributors to this volume provide in-depth analysis, theoretical and empirical contributions, and ideas for further study about language brokering, an understudied yet relevant area in today’s discussion about immigration.' - Alejandro Morales, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    'This volume provides an innovative account of language brokering, its functions within immigrant families, and its effects on the well-being and development of children, adolescents, and emerging adults. Is language brokering helpful or harmful for young people? The answer is "both" and "it depends" – and this volume provides many detailed reasons why.' - Seth J. Schwartz, University of Miami

    'This groundbreaking volume brings together a wide range of research from across disciplines and around the world to address multiple dimensions of immigrant child language brokering—a ubiquitous and yet still largely invisible phenomena that shapes immigrant youth development. The authors raise critical questions for policy, practice, and theorizing and collectively make evident just how multi-dimensional and variable this practice is.' - Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, University of California, Los Angeles