22. Multilingualism and Family Welfare

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Xiao-Lei Wang

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch22

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Wang, X.-L. (2012) Multilingualism and Family Welfare, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch22

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Pace University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382



  • family communication quality;
  • heritage-language learning;
  • multilingualism;
  • multilingual childrearing;
  • multilingual family


The purpose of this chapter is to identify some common issues that may jeopardize the welfare of multilingual families and to suggest strategies that will help overcome the hurdles. It highlights four family-cohesion indicators that may threaten multilingual family well-being: parental differences in childrearing beliefs and practices; family communication quality; time allocation for heritage-language learning and leisure; and parental expectations concerning their children's heritage-language proficiency. Communication is the key to overcoming the obstacles that affect the well-being of multilingual families. Multilingual family communication begins with the planning of childrearing. Specifically, parents need to consider making an active multilingual childrearing plan, negotiating their differences in childrearing practice, family communication styles, and home-language socialization strategies.