The role of Welsh language media in the construction and perceptions of identity during middle childhood

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Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2017
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Abstract

The aim of this research was to identify the role that minority language media plays in the construction and perceptions of identity during middle childhood, focusing on 10 to 12-year-old bilingual children in Wales. Often referred to as the ‘transition phase’, this period represents an important developmental milestone in the context of identity formation, where ‘the individual who was a child is now en route to becoming an adult’ (Durkin 1995: 508). The focus of this work is to attain a better understanding of how young [Welsh/English] bilingual children in Wales navigate these multiple identities.
In order to achieve the aims of this research, the focus was placed on language and identity in relation to children’s use of and engagement with minority-language media. For many bilingual communities, there is a natural interaction that occurs between both languages through code-switching (cf. Wei, 2000). For multilingual children and young people, issues of cultural belonging and cultural identity can add to issues and challenges of self-representation and identity. Language competencies can vary and, for many, confidence in their own language ability can determine language use.