Family language policy on holiday: four multilingual signing and speaking families travelling together

Annelies Kusters, Maartje De Meulder, Jemina Napier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Most FLP research focuses on intrafamily communication (1FLP) and how this is impacted by larger contexts. But what happens when different multilingual families interact intensively on a daily basis? This article analyses language use during a holiday in India in and between four deaf-hearing befriended families, and how this evolved over the twelve days of the trip (4FLP). Three of the four families are our (the authors’) own. The family members originate from the UK, Belgium, Denmark and India. All families use more than one language at home (at least one sign language and one spoken language), and all family members are fluent signers. We ask: how does intrafamilial FLP (1FLP) at home inform interfamilial FLP (xFLP) on holiday? And how does interfamilial contact on holiday inform intrafamilial FLP during that same holiday? The data discussed in the article is organised along different multilingual practices, some of them general to multilingual interactions and others specific to multilingual signers: language mixing, switching and learning, language brokering, speaking and signspeaking. The findings reveal rich complexities of interfamilial language practices which inform thinking on FLP and multilingualism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-715
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number8
Early online date24 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • deaf
  • holiday
  • multilingualism
  • senses
  • sign language
  • signspeaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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