Romanian migrant families in Castelló de la Plana (Spain)

Parental language ideologies and practices


  • Carla Amorós-Negre University of Salamanca



Language ideologies, Family Language Policy, Ethnography of Language Policy, Romanian migration, Multilingualism, Castelló de la Plana (Spain), Spanish, Catalan/Valencian, and Romanian


This article adopts the critical and ethnographic language policy approach (McCarty, 2011; Johnson and Ricento, 2013) to unveil the family language policy adopted by first-and second-generation Romanian parents in a diasporic context, Castelló de la Plana, the capital city of the Castelló province (Spain). The study focuses particularly on parents’ language ideologies and practices regarding the acquisition and use of Spanish, Catalan, and Romanian. The analysis of parental policies is pursued through 15 semi-directed interviews about life experiences produced in ethnographic research. By drawing on biographical narratives, I examine in detail how parents ground their position regarding language choices, transmission, or interruption of the home language and how multilingualism is perceived and valued by different generations. I conclude that first- and second-generation migrant parents mobilise different language ideologies in relation to the use of the heritage language and the translingual practices they deploy. I also report on the tensions migrant families experiment regarding languages in this neoliberal economic governmentality (Martín Rojo, 2019) and how language policy at the family level sometimes supports and reproduces the institutional discourses and hegemonic nation states’ policies and at other times challenges them.

Author Biography

Carla Amorós-Negre, University of Salamanca

Carla Amorós-Negre has a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics and is Associate Professor of General Linguistics in the Department of the Spanish Language of the University of Salamanca, Spain. Her main areas of scholarly interest include sociolinguistics, language policy and planning, language standardisation, and applied linguistics. She is director of the Master’s Degree programme ‘Máster Universitario en Lengua y Cultura Hispánicas’ (MULCH), as well as co-director of the Master’s Degree programme ‘La Enseñanza de Español como Lengua Extranjera’ (MUSALE).


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How to Cite

Amorós-Negre, C. (2022). Romanian migrant families in Castelló de la Plana (Spain): Parental language ideologies and practices. Sociolinguistic Studies, 16(2-3), 257–278.