Chapter Three: Vocal Play in Multilingual Speech and Song
Reveals how children use multilingual resources to play with the sound and meaning of language, creating hybrid forms of speech and song that capture their multiple modes of belonging.
• Vocal play
• Caregiver register
Questions for reflection:
1. How can vocal play facilitate language acquisition?
2. This chapter presents examples of vocal play in baby talk, cursing, ritual games and magic, and tree climbing. Which do you think represents the most creative context for vocal play, and why?
3. How do forms of vocal play enter into your perception of people as charismatic or entertaining? Do you think the capacity to enact vocal play is more an individual or a social trait?
4. In the U.S., competence in multiple repertoires of linguistic creativity (e.g., the ability to speak more than one language or more than one variety of a language) does not necessarily correlate with academic achievement. For example, working class bilingual children are often labelled as educationally “deficient” even though they tend to have a broader range of skills and responsibilities at home than their Anglo peers. Why do you think this is the case?