ERG SES C 12, Language and Education
Addressing current discussions on language education in Europe, plurilingualism has been increasingly remarked as a value, a competence and, therefore, a recommended guide to language planning and policy efforts by different States. The aim is that individuals can develop the ability to use more than one language through the activation of their personal linguistic and cultural repertoires in different communication settings (Beacco et al., 2010). Under this view, languages are portrayed as not only pragmatic tools of communication but also as ways to construct / categorize the reality, taking part of identity and cultural construction processes. Besides, protection and promotion of a largely plurilingual world (Calvet, 1999) are seen as ways to cultivate linguistic, cultural and environmental diversity of communities. Particularly in educational context, plurilingualism has been associated to the potential of counteracting hegemonic social processes, allowing all students’ languages “to become valuable resources to themselves and to their communities” (Hornberger & Hult, 2008, p. 284).
All these assumptions are present in different policy documents of supra-national entities such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Union (EU) through the Council of Europe. UNESCO conventions and declarations (e.g. UNESCO, 1996; UNESCO, 2002; UNESCO, 2005) and some representative documents of educational language policies in European context (e.g. R(82)18, R(98)6, CM/Rec(2008)7E) highlight attitudes and values of openness towards diversity of languages and cultures as issues to be cultivated in multiple areas of society. To formal education is given a significant role in the promotion of intercultural values and in the preparation of individuals to lifelong language learning, since the early years.
Taking into account this framework, particular demands become associated to the planning and implementation of a plurilingual education, among others, a) a request for a greater diversification of languages offered in the curricula designed by the educational systems and, also, for a better coordination in the teaching of such languages; b) an increased emphasis on humanistic and social nature of education in languages, displaying the political dimension of Didactic of Languages (Alarcão & Araújo e Sá, 2010; Alarcão, 2010; Pinho, 2008); and c) an enhancement of the “experiential curriculum” (Beacco et al., 2010) as a wide background of the scholar curriculum, both equally important to the re-construction of personal linguistic and cultural repertoires of individuals. In this scenario, pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures (Candelier, 2005) emerge as guidelines to the implementation of plurilingual education as collaborative projects among teachers towards a more integrated management of language teaching (Beacco & Byram, 2007; Little, 1990; Teruggi, 2013).
In sum, the claim for a plurilingual education is marked by a blurring-of-boundaries (Andrade & Araújo e Sá, 2001; Araújo e Sá, 2008) which is manifested in articulations between formal and non-formal learning experiences, between the languages in school curriculum and between the working methods of teachers. Those attributes bring specific requirements to the language teaching, particularly to the coordination among teachers of different languages. By addressing this issue, it is our aim to portrait language departments of several public schools in Portugal, looking for patterns of interaction among language teachers. In latter analysis, this study intends to discuss which place plurilingual education, as a teaching collaborative project, can take in Portuguese schools *.
* This study is part of a PhD project about teacher collaboration and possible contexts of curricular articulation in languages education, supported by Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal (Reference: SRFH/BD/72518/2010).
Alarcão, I. (2010). A constituição da área disciplinar de Didáctica das Línguas em Portugal. Linguarum Arena, 1(1), 61-79. Alarcão, I., & Araújo e Sá, M. H. (2010). Era uma vez… a Didáctica de Línguas em Portugal – Cadernos do LALE (Série Reflexões, n.º 3). Aveiro: CIDTFF, Universidade de Aveiro. Andrade, A. I., & Araújo e Sá, M. H. (2001). Para um diálogo entre as línguas: da sala de aula à reflexão sobre a escola. Inovação, 1 (1-2), 149-168. Araújo e Sá, M. H. (2008). Percursos em Didáctica de Línguas: do triunfo do particularismo à transposição de fronteiras. In I. Bonin, C. Traversieni, E. Eggert, & E. Péres (Org.), Atas do XIV ENDIPE – Trajetórias e processos de ensinar e aprender: lugares, memórias e culturas (s/p). Porto Alegre: PUCRS. Beacco, J-C., & Byram, M. (2007). From linguistic diversity to plurilingual education – Guide for the development of language education policies in Europe. Estrasburgo: Conselho da Europa, Language Policy Division. Beacco, J-C. et al. (2010). Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education. Estrasburgo: Conselho da Europa, Language Policy Division. Calvet, L.-J. (1999). Pour une écologie des langues du monde. Paris: Plon Candelier, M. (2005). Cohésion sociale, compétence plurilingue et plurielle: quelles didactiques? Revue Les Langues Modernes – Les langues pour la cohésion sociale, 4, 35-45. Hornberger, N., & Hult, F. (2008). Ecological language education policy. In B. Spolsky, & F. Hult (Ed.), The handbook of educational linguistics (pp. 280-296). Oxford: Blacwell Publishing. Little, J. W. (1990). Teachers as colleagues. In A. Lieberman (Ed.), Schools as collaborative cultures: creating the future now (pp. 165-193). New York: The Falmer Press. Pinho, A. S. (2008). Intercompreensão, identidade e conhecimento profissional na formação de professores de línguas. Tese de Doutoramento (não publicada). Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro. Teruggi, L. (2013). Lingua materna, lingua seconda e lingua straniera. In G. Langé (Org.), Il curricolo verticale di lingua straniera – I Quadreni della Riccerca (pp. 19-24). Torino: Loescher Editore. UNESCO (2005). Convenção sobre a proteção e promoção da diversidade das expressões culturais. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001502/150224por.pdf, in 17 Nov. 2013. UNESCO (2002). Declaração universal sobre a diversidade cultural. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001271/127160por.pdf, in 17 Nov. 2013. UNESCO (1996). Declaração universal dos direitos linguísticos. Retrieved from http://www.dhnet.org.br/direitos/deconu/a_pdf/dec_universal_direitos_linguisticos.pdf, in 17 de Nov. 2013.
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