Family, school, and crossroads

The language regimentation of multilingual repertoires in youth of Moroccan origin in Spain




Family Language Policy, language regimentation, migrant origin youth, plurilingual practices and school, youth Moroccan in Spain


In this article, we analyse the language regimentation of multilingual repertoires and plurilingual practices of young people of Moroccan origin in three different areas of Spain – Barcelona, Galicia, and Madrid. By focusing on the family and the school as two highly interconnected settings (Heller, 2012) which have an impact on their socialisation trajectories and on their development of functional bi/multilingualism – and, thus, on their linguistic practices – we consider, on the one hand, how these young people position themselves regarding multilingualism and the conception of a local and transnational plurilingual speaker and, on the other, how they invest their linguistic repertoire in the transnational space or what Hornberger (2005) calls the ‘implementational spaces’ of multilingual practices. Following a sociolinguistic and discursive critical analysis of the data collected (ethnographic data, the results of several didactic activities, focus groups and interviews), the results point out how family and school discourses surrounding multilingualism contribute to maintaining a situation of multilingualism, which includes both the heritage languages and the institutional and national languages and varieties. Moreover, the results show the ways these plurilingual youth navigate this multilingualism but also how they reconstruct it by deploying hybrid and creative practices.

Author Biographies

Adil Moustaoui Srhir, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Adil Moustaoui Srhir is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Oriental Studies at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. His fields of research are sociolinguistics, language policy and planning. He is interested in issues concerning Family Language Policy and identity within Moroccan multilingual families and youth in Spain.

Júlia Llompart Esbert, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Júlia Llompart is a post-doctoral researcher (Jóvenes Investigadores, PID2020-115446RJ-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Agencia Estatal de Investigación) in the Department of Language and Literature Education, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Her research interests are plurilingual practices, inter- and intragenerational language transmission and teacher training.


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How to Cite

Srhir, A. M., & Llompart Esbert, J. (2022). Family, school, and crossroads: The language regimentation of multilingual repertoires in youth of Moroccan origin in Spain. Sociolinguistic Studies, 16(2-3), 279–300.