chapter  18
14 Pages

A Critical Linguistic Ethnographic Approach to Language Disabilities in Multilingual Families


This chapter examines the challenges, opportunities and implications of critical linguistic ethnographic research relating to language disability in multilingual families. The chapter discusses what linguistic ethnographic research would look like for multilingual families with children who have biologically-based di culties learning to talk and communicate. The fi rst section deals with traditional approaches to researching contexts with language disability and then points to the need for ethnographic research. Some key ideas of critical linguistic ethnography (LE) are presented and I outline the advantages of adopting a critical perspective for the fi eld of multilingual language disability. Subsequent sections discuss the challenges, at di erent stages of the research process, for researching the language and communicative socialisation of children with language disabilities in multilingual settings. The chapter concludes with the implications of critical linguistic ethnographic research for understanding and explaining communication practices in contexts of multilingual language disability.