Language Policy

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 351–375

Invisible and visible language planning: ideological factors in the family language policy of Chinese immigrant families in Quebec

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10993-009-9146-7

Cite this article as:
Curdt-Christiansen, X.L. Lang Policy (2009) 8: 351. doi:10.1007/s10993-009-9146-7


This ethnographic inquiry examines how family languages policies are planned and developed in ten Chinese immigrant families in Quebec, Canada, with regard to their children’s language and literacy education in three languages, Chinese, English, and French. The focus is on how multilingualism is perceived and valued, and how these three languages are linked to particular linguistic markets. The parental ideology that underpins the family language policy, the invisible language planning, is the central focus of analysis. The results suggest that family language policies are strongly influenced by socio-political and economical factors. In addition, the study confirms that the parents’ educational background, their immigration experiences and their cultural disposition, in this case pervaded by Confucian thinking, contribute significantly to parental expectations and aspirations and thus to the family language policies.


Language ideologyMultilingualismFamily language policyChinese languageImmigrant families

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.English Language & Literature Academic Group, National Institute of Education Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore