Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139


This article reports on a study which investigated the language lives of Afrikaans-speaking South African immigrants in New Zealand. Particularly, it focuses on their awareness of and attitudes to language policy in both South Africa and New Zealand, and how these influence their own and their family’s language practices. Narrative interviews with 28 participants living in towns and cities across New Zealand reveal that while living in South Africa they were generally aware of macro-level language policies in the country, and were able to articulate how these policies influenced language practices at work and within their families. The absence of an explicit national language policy in New Zealand means that these immigrants, on arrival in New Zealand, base their understanding of the linguistic context in the country on the language practices that they observe in their day-to-day lives. It is these observations which guide their decision-making with regard to their own and their family’s language practices.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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