31 SES 02, Monolingual Habitus / Multilingual Realities. Research for the Mobilisation of Multilingualism in Education: from Family to Classroom Practices (I/II)
Western education systems have traditionally depended on the fundamental myth of homogeneity of language and culture in a ‘national’ democracy. The monolingual habitus of the classroom - derived from the Bourdieuian “habitus” that refers to the embodiment of social structures that are reproduced through social practices (Bourdieu 1977) - is reflected in educational norms, structures and content of teaching that perpetuate assumptions about language and learning implicit in the idea of a national language (Gogolin 1994). This notion of normality has dramatically failed to reflect or accommodate the multicultural and multilingual realities of contemporary classrooms across Europe. Under the conditions of globalisation, encounters with multilingualism are part of everyday life. The ability to communicate in several languages is becoming increasingly important for participation within and across diverse democracies. The facilitation of individual multilingual competences and the establishment of conditions that are favourable for multilingualism are thus important tasks for education.
This overall symposium (divided into two smaller symposia) regards multilingualism as a resource for both the individual and society, which can be harnessed through empirical investigation and scholarly intervention in the classroom. Its overall objective is not just to expose the myth of the monolingual habitus, but to demonstrate how the institutionalisation of the multilingual habitus can be achieved through educational research. We take a comprehensive approach looking at multilingual skills for educational attainment across subject areas, sources of agency that mobilize those skills, multilingual development across the lifespan, and its significance for personal and economic development. Taken all together, we aim to expose the significance of multilingual skills for the individual, the classroom experience and in later life. Moreover, we will demonstrate how scholarly findings and interventions can result in changing perspectives for, on the one hand, those pupils whose multilingual abilities have been traditionally cast in a problematic light (i.e. pupils with a migration background who may speak a non-dominant language in the home) and, on the other hand, those actors with responsibility for the educational habitus (i.e. teachers, policymakers).
The central focus of the overall symposium is on multilingualism in education. We also consider some of the multilingual ‘realities’ beyond, yet critical to, classroom practices. The first symposium thus begins with a contribution on language practices in Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese families in Germany. The author highlights heterogeneous practices between generations which do not conflict with acquisition of the dominant language (here: German) for school-going children. Such findings often run contrary to education policies and the second paper examines the highly influential PISA studies in this regard. Using data from PISA 2012 the author elaborates on the reported achievement gap between native-speaking and language minority pupils, showing that multilingual practices in the family are not a disadvantage in education. The third research paper, conducted by researchers in France and Ireland, then enquires whether multilinguals have a distinct advantage in language and mathematical learning by comparing different types of multilingual learners. The role of research here is critical in establishing connections between individual multilingualism and learning and this is further highlighted in the final paper. Returning to heritage languages in Germany, it examines and seeks the development of biliteracy skills in Turkish and German for conceptual understanding.
Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge, UK/Malden, MA: Polity Press. Gogolin, I. (1994). Der monolinguale Habitus der multilingualen Schule. Münster/New York: Waxmann.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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