Social and Affective Factors in Home Language Maintenance and Development

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Social and Affective Factors in Home Language Maintenance and Development  



The ReN on “Social and Affective Factors in Home Language Maintenance and Development” has three main aims:

  1. Research:
    To foster collaborations and exchange between scholars working in the field of social and affective factors in home language maintenance and development.
  2. Dissemination:
    To disseminate research findings on the importance of home language maintenance and development to stakeholders including Departments of Education, policy makers, childcare centres, schools, parents, minority language-speaking communities and the mainstream society.
  3. Advocacy:
    To lobby for the recognition and uptake of research findings and to provide expert advice to stakeholders. This might include submissions to senate inquiries, support and advice to communities on grass-roots initiatives, amongst other activities.

The ReN is designed on a wide scope which includes both formal (within school systems) and informal (e.g. community-based grass-roots) initiatives with the aim of researching and promoting home language maintenance and development. We aim to increase cross-fertilisation of the formal and informal streams.

Since its inception in 2015, the ReN has been very active in the three areas, as summarised in what follows:


Members were active as keynote speakers, conference organisers and presenters, bloggers, public workshop presenters, and have published extensively during this period. In addition to individual outcomes, the ReN has organised workshops and symposia in the major international conferences (such as AILA Word Congress, International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB), American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, International Congress of Linguists, Sociolinguistics Symposium (SS)) as well as annual dedicated ReN events. For a detailed list of related ReN events, please see the ReN’s event listing. The ReN’s work over the years has also resulted in a number of international collaborations that led to joint grant applications, publications, and research projects.

An open access journal with close connections to the research network was launched at the First International HOLM Network Conference in Berlin in 2016, titled Journal of Home Language Research (Stockholm University Press). The overwhelming majority of the editorial board and the editorial team are ReN members. For more information on the journal and how to submit, see

The Handbook of Home Language Maintenance and Development: Social and Affective Factors, edited by the ReN co-chairs, has been published by de Gruyter Mouton in its prestigious series Handbooks of Applied Linguistics. This is the first volume that brings together the different strands in research on social and affective factors in home language maintenance and development, ranging from the micro-level (family language policies and practices) to the meso-level (community initiatives) and the macro-level (mainstream educational policies and their implementation). The volume showcases a wide distribution across contexts and populations explored. Contributors, mostly ReN members  from around the world, represent different research paradigms and perspectives, providing a rounded overview of the state-of-the-art in this flourishing field.

The ReN has also a very strong presence in the fully open access book series Current Issues on Bilingualism (Language Science Press) as series editors and editorial board members. This book series is completely free for both authors and readers, and publishes cutting-edge research on individual and societal bilingualism. Instructions for submission can be found on the series’ website through the link above.


The ReN’s website has been launched and is available to the public. The website includes information on relevant conferences, publications, and research projects developed by ReN members, as well as on outreach activities undertaken and links to related sites.

A Facebook page designed as the public face of the ReN was established under the name Home Language Maintenance. Aiming to disseminate research findings among teachers, families and policy makers, the page is attracting a very healthy number of visitors.

One outreach activity of note is the development of free workshops on the benefits of bilingualism, delivered to migrant and refugee parents and carers, as well as to teachers and child care workers in schools and public institutions.


Most advocacy activities to date have been conducted at the individual level by ReN members. At the upcoming dedicated ReN event, members will explore opportunities to coordinate advocacy activities at a global level.


At present, the ReN membership comprises over 200 researchers from 35 countries. For a detailed list of members and their affiliations, see our member directory.

Network Coordinators:

  • Andrea Schalley, Karlstad University, Sweden
  • Dr Susana Eisenchlas, Griffith University, Australia

Contact information

Convenors can be contacted at, or through the HOLM ReN website at Applications for membership can be submitted by completing this form.