07 SES 12 B, Recent Studies on New Migration of Families from Greece – A Challenge for Migration Societies and Education Systems?
As a result of recent, ‘crisis-led’ immigration from Greece, the number of Greek children in state Luxembourgish schools has increased and Greek families are faced with the challenge of the multilingual Luxembourgish system comprising Luxembourgish, German and French as principal languages of instruction as well as foreign languages including English, and, in certain types of schools, Spanish, Latin or Italian. The present study which is informed by the framework of Family Language Policy (Curdt-Christiansen, 2009; Spolsky, 2004) aims to explore how Greek pupils and their parents cope with the institutionalized multilingualism of Luxembourgish education. This contribution draws on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork among four transnational Greek families whose children attend public Luxembourgish schools. Preliminary findings show that three out of the four families under study value their children’s knowledge first of German and French and second of English and Greek. Parents’ discourse resonates with disillusionment and lack of hope towards the idea of return to Greece and they express aspirations of social mobility for their children, which can be attained only through mastery of ‘important’ European languages such as German, French and English. Furthermore, while parents from all four families highlight the importance of Greek language maintenance, only one family applies a consistent language maintenance policy.
Curdt-Christiansen, X. L. (2009). Invisible and visible language planning: Ideological factors in the family language policy of Chinese immigrant families in Quebec. Language Policy, 8(4), 351–375. Spolsky, B. (2004). Language Policy. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
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