Multilingualism in the Australian Suburbs

A framework for exploring bilingual identity

  • Ruth Fielding

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Ruth Fielding
    Pages 1-15
  3. Ruth Fielding
    Pages 67-102
  4. Ruth Fielding
    Pages 103-132
  5. Ruth Fielding
    Pages 133-154
  6. Ruth Fielding
    Pages 155-182
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 229-230

About this book


This book introduces a framework for examining bilingual identity and presents the cases of seven individual children from a study of young students’ bilingual identities in an Australian primary school. The new Bilingual Identity Negotiation Framework brings together three elements that influence bilingual identity development – sociocultural connection, investment and interaction. The cases comprise individual stories about seven young, bilingual students and are complemented by some more general investigations of bilingual identity from a whole class of students at the school. The framework is explained and supported using the students’ stories and offers readers a new concept for examining and thinking about bilingual identity. This book builds upon past and current theories of identity and bilingualism and expands on these to identify three interlinking elements within bilingual identity. The book highlights the need for greater dialogue between different sectors of research and education relating to languages and bilingualism. It adds to the increasing call for collaborative work from the different fields interested in language learning and teaching such as TESOL, bilingualism, and language education. Through the development of the framework and the students’ stories in this study, this book shows how multilingual children in one school in Australia developed their identities in association with their home and school languages. This provides readers with a model for examining bilingual identity in their own contexts, or a theoretical construct to consider in their thinking on bilingualism, language and identity.


Australian education Bilingual Education Bilingual Identity Negotiation Framework Bilingual children identity Bilingual education identity Bilingual identity construction Childhood Language Education Language Education Language Education Framework Language education in australia Multilingualism Primary Education Primary Language Education Ruth Fielding Transformative Pedagogies Transformative pedagogy education

Authors and affiliations

  • Ruth Fielding
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts & DesignUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia

Bibliographic information