Re-conceptualizing mother tongue tuition of Estonian abroad as a transnational phenomenon

Maarja Siiner
2017 Eesti Rakenduslingvistika Ühingu Aastaraamat  
The governmental initiative called the Compatriots Programme, which supports language tuition in Estonian schools and societies abroad, reveals an increased interest in developing intergenerational language transmission in the growing Estonian diaspora. This transnational language political activity signals a new era in language policy, where nation states are increasingly decentralized by migration. The evaluation of the program furthermore reveals that organizing such schools requires a
more » ... ls requires a willingness to take language political agency, typically conducted by well-educated and well-integrated resourceful transnational multilingual parents. The present article outlines the results of an ethnographic study of the process of establishing the Estonian School in Copenhagen. This step has demanded a change in the mindset still prevailing in Estonia that language political activities, such as planning language acquisition, are solely the responsibility of the state. Since the prevailing language ideology in Denmark is not favorable towards multilingualism in migrant languages, intergenerational language transmission furthermore presupposes a feeling of ownership of the language and high language self-esteem.
doi:10.5128/erya13.11 fatcat:5r3lmt4a6navhdgl5axmwuytfq