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Multilingualism from a lifespan perspective: case studies from a language workshop for Spanish seniors in Saint-Denis, France
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
International Journal of Multilingualism (Full Text) vol. 11 no. 1 (2014)
In socio- and applied linguistic research, age tends to be accounted for as fixed, biographical information, and individuals in later life have rarely been considered more than marginally. In this paper, I attempt to address this oversight by presenting data from multilingual subjects over the age of 65 as they take part in a language and literacy course for senior citizens. I account for their age not as a fixed category or an index of deterioration, but as a reflection of ongoing processes of personal, social and historical dimensions that can be measured in terms of the lifespan, a concept prevalent in the field of social gerontology. Keeping in mind the core elements of what I propose as a lifespan perspective timescales, life events, language ideologies and linguistic repertoires I conduct discourse analysis on their metalinguistic conversations to illuminate the subjective and phenomenological factors that have shaped and that continue to shape their linguistic repertoires and the ideologies that inform the ways in which they make use of them.
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