Material culture of multilingualism and affectivity

Main Article Content

Larissa Aronin


Affectivity is an important dimension in humans’ social and individual lives. It is either a stimulating or hindering aspect of language learning. This article aims to draw attention to material culture as a powerful, but mostly neglected source of data on the use and acquisition of languages, and demonstrates the close and intricate links between affectivity and material culture. It is hoped that revealing these interrelationships will assist in understanding and managing language diversity. It will allow practitioners and teachers to carry out social and private encounters, events and language teaching with more care, understanding and expertise. Researchers will be encouraged to join the investigation of yet one more important facet of multilingualism – material culture.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biography

Larissa Aronin, Oranim Academic College of Education, Tivon

Larissa Aronin is Professor at Oranim Academic College of Education in Israel. She has published in a range of international journals on a wide array of topics connected with multilingualism such as The International Journal of the Sociology of Language, The International Journal of Multilingualism, and Language Teaching. She is the co-author of Multilingualism (John Benjamins, 2012), contributed to The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley Blackwell, to be published in 2013) and co-edited The Exploration of Multilingualism: Development of Research on L3, Multilingualism and Multiple Language Acquisition (John Benjamins, 2009). She is an Advisory Board member of Language Teaching (CUP) and an Editorial Board member of Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching and International Journal of Multilingualism (Routledge).



  1. Appadurai, A. (Ed.). (1988). The social life of things: Commodities in cultural perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Affectivity. (n.d.). In The free dictionary. Retrieved from
  3. Aronin, L. (2004). Multilinguality and emotions: Emotional and attitudinal experiences of trilingual immigrant students towards themselves and languages in multilingual settings. Estudios de Sociolinguistica, 5(1), 59-81.
  4. Aronin, L., & Hufeisen, B. (2012, May). Multilingual practices through material culture in public spaces. Paper presented at the Second LINEE Conference:Multilingualism in the Public Sphere, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  5. Aronin, L., & Ó Laoire, M. (2007, September). The material culture of multilingualism.Paper presented at the Fifth International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism, University of Sterling, Scotland, UK.
  6. Aronin, L., & Ó Laoire, M. (2011, September). Dimensions of multilingualism:Material culture. Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
  7. Aronin, L., & Ó Laoire, M. (2012a). The material culture of multilingualism. InD. Gorter, H. F. Marten, & L. Van Mensel (Eds.), Minority languages in the linguistic landscape (pp. 299-318). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  8. Aronin, L., & Ó Laoire, M. (2012b). The material culture of multilingualism:Moving beyond the linguistic landscape. International Journal of Multilingualism,6(1), 17-36. doi: 10.1080/14790718.2012.679734
  9. Aronin, L., & Singleton, D. (2012). Multilingualism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  10. Baudrillard, J. ([1968]1996). The system of objects. London: Verso.
  11. Baudrillard, J. ([1970]1998). The consumer society. Paris: Gallimard.
  12. Börjesson, K. (n.d.). The affective sustainability of objects; a search for causal connections. Retrieved from
  13. Bronner, S. J. (1985). Visible proofs: Material culture study in American folkloristics. In T. J. Schlereth (Ed.), Material culture: A research guide(pp. 127-153). Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
  14. Coady, M. (2003). English books and Irish aspirations. Language and material artifacts in two Irish medium schools. Journal of Celtic Language Learning,8, 5-23.
  15. Dewaele, J. M. (2010). Emotions in multiple languages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  16. Escamilla, K. (1994). The sociolinguistic environment of a bilingual school: A case study introduction. Bilingual Research Journal, 18(1-2), 21-47.
  17. Fairbrass, F., Fairbrass, R., & Manzoli, R. (1991). I’m too sexy. On Up [CD]. Tug.
  18. Gabryś-Barker, D. (2011). Appraisal systems in L2 vs. L3 learning experiences. International Journal of Multilingualism, 8(2), 81-97.
  19. Gilmore, A. (2007). Authentic materials and authenticity in foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 40(2), 97-118.
  20. Gutterman, D. (n.d.). Emblem of Kafar Kama (Israel). Retrieved from Flags of the World website:
  21. Hatukai, L. (2012). Material items of Circassian culture in Kfar-Kama village. Unpublished presentation. Oranim Academic College of Education.
  22. Johnson, N. B. (1980). The material culture of public school classrooms: The symbolic integration of local schools and national culture. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 11(3), 173-190.
  23. Lotman, Y. (1990). Universe of the mind: A semiotic theory of culture (The second world) (A. Shukman, Trans.). New York: Indiana University Press.
  24. Marshall, H. (1981). Folk architecture in Little Dixie: A regional culture in Missouri. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.
  25. Navaro-Yashin, Y. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15(1), 1-18. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.01527.x
  26. Pavlenko, A. (2005). Emotions and multilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  27. Saussure, F. de ([1916] 1974). Course in general linguistics (W. Baskin, Trans.). London: Fontana/Collins.
  28. Scheirer, J., & Picard, R. W. (2000). Affective objects (MIT Media Laboratory Perceptual Computing Section Technical Report No. 524). Retrieved from
  29. Schlereth, T. J. (Ed.). (1985). Material culture: A research guide. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
  30. Turkle, S. (Ed.). (2007). Evocative objects: Things we think with. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  31. Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.
  32. Zaborowsky, R. (2011). Nicolai Hartmann’s approach to affectivity and its relevance for the current debate over feelings. In R. Poli, C. Scognamiglio, & F. Tremblay (Eds.), The philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann (pp. 159-176). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.