‘I need to learn Vietnamese to speak to my grandma’: the place of family relationships in family language policy

Thi Minh Thu Bui, Anna Filipi, Marianne Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study focuses on family relationships and their potential to successfully impact family language policy. The interview data with two bilingual Vietnamese immigrant families in Australia were analysed to show examples of successful versus unsuccessful family language policy practices. Using Bourdieu’s (1986) notion of capital, the study explored the reciprocal relationships between family relationships (family social capital) and the children’s language competence (linguistic capital) through the families' accounts of their language use and practices, and the children’s aspirations for their future languageuse. Findings point to the significant role in fostering connectedness among family members, and its importance to home language interaction within immigrant families. The study reinforces the role of the family context as an important environment that influences immigrant children’s positive bilingual development.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • capital
  • children’s voice
  • Family language policy
  • family relationships

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