07 SES 04 A, Teachers and Intercultural Education
The group of new immigrant students is highly divers: They differ in their migration experience, their socioeconomic, cultural and linguistic background, their language proficiency and level of literacy as well as their legal status. How to include them in the educational system, is part of a general debate on immigration in Germany. The political aim of integrating them quickly into “regular” class (e.g. Erlass NRW 2009) partly conflicts with current practices in school. Concepts vary from teaching new immigrant students in closed intervention classes to integrating them into regular class with different shares of additional or concurrent language lessons. We are interested in how the teachers and students deal with the situation in their class, as we assume it will work as a burning glass on some issues of class room interaction in migrant societies.
From this point of view, we focus on classroom-interaction in multilingual settings and specify two research foci:
1. How do teachers deal with multilingualism in class? Which didactical practices do they use and how are these framed by concepts and attitudes towards teaching new immigrant students?
2. How do students interact amongst each other and with the teacher? What relationships do they establish in multilingual learning groups?
The current discussion partly resembles the debate of the late 1960s when special classes for children of foreign workers were established aiming to create homogeneous learner groups. The figure of the new immigrant student can be analyzed as a traditional construction of othering (Spivak 1985; Reuter 2002) and a reality of everyday school life at once. In organizational terms, these students seem to interrupt the idea and routines of “normal school” (Diehm/ Radtke 1999: 120) where proficiency of German is as “given” as literacy, psychosocial stability and familiarity with institutional routines. Especially for refugee families external circumstances often do not allow matching these requisites.
Defining the education of new immigrant students as a social space, class activities are not only the condition, but also the result of interaction (Bourdieu 2001; Löw 2012; Würmann 2007). Following this idea, it is important to consider that the opportunities to create this space are not unlimited. Institutional conditions, social reality and individual positions structure the opportunities of how class can take place. By focusing on the “doing of class”, social performances and expectations come into view. In this context, language plays a key role. Multilingualism and Translanguaging (Garcia /Wei 2014) are in contrast to the “monolingual habitus of school” (Gogolin 2008) which honours German only. Literacy, Bildungssprache or cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) crucially determine performance at school (Cummins 1991). Thus, we have to take into account the attitude of teachers towards multilingualism.
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