Cline, T., Abreu, G. d., O'Dell, L. and Crafter, S. (2010) Recent research on child language brokering in the United Kingdom. MediAzioni Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies on Language and Cultures.10, pp. 105-124. 1974-4382.
Cline, T., Abreu, G. d., O'Dell, L. and Crafter, S.
Recent patterns of migration and population change in the UK have led in some places to a need for child language brokering (CLB). Although there is only limited evidence on CLB in the UK, the research that has been published indicates the diversity of the phenomenon and suggests its frequency and significance in the lives of some families. In this paper we review a range of small scale studies from different research centres to illustrate that diversity. The research has highlighted ways in which language brokering often elides into cultural brokering with young children playing a brokering role within as well as outside their families. An important line of enquiry has been research on the CLB process itself, but detailed studies of how children and young people respond to the challenges of translation in different settings remain elusive, as do studies of the impact that the activity has on their interactions with others. A key issue for the children and parents involved is others’ perceptions of and reaction to CLB, including not only the professionals and officials with whom they deal but also their peers at school and elsewhere who are not involved in language brokering. Ultimately CLB is of theoretical interest not only for the light it throws on children’s language learning and acculturation but also for the challenge it presents to traditional notions of child development and family roles