A growing body of literature has addressed the ‘complex layers and nuances of today’s multilingual, mobile and global society’ [Barakos & Selleck, 2019, Elite multilingualism: Discourses, practices, and debates. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40(5), 361]. Heller [2010. The commodification of language. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 101–114] argues that the globalised new economy is bound up with transformations of language and identity in many different ways [e.g. Bauman, 1997. Postmodernity and its discontents. London: Routledge; Castells, 2000. The information age: Economy, society and culture (3 vols). Oxford: Blackwell; Giddens, 1990. The consequences of modernity. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University California Press]. This paper examines how these themes play out in Wales, in the relative value placed on Welsh and English by ‘new’ or ‘learner’ speakers of Welsh. These ‘new’ or ‘learner’ speakers have learnt a minority language often through non-traditional routes and this article seeks to understand what linguistic varieties are capitalised by these learners, how they characterise their own language knowledge, and how these ‘new speakers’ position themselves in relation to mobility and the new globalised economy. Additionally, the paper seeks to explore how disparities in terms of access to resources can impact on new speakers’ trajectories–in other words, how different routes to bilingualism are perceived as opening or closing metaphorical doors.
Selleck, C. (2020). Global ambitions and local identities: New speakers’ access to linguistic markets and resources. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 33(4), 451-466. https://doi.org/10.1080/07908318.2020.1726375