31 SES 03, Monolingual Habitus / Multilingual Realities. Research for the Mobilisation of Multilingualism in Education: from Classroom to Career Transitions (II/II)
Although a growing number of students in Europe are raised with more than one language, little is known about the effects of multilingualism on students’ educational and later occupational success. We present results from the first two waves of a longitudinal study, currently ongoing, that investigates the reciprocal development of multilingual language skills and students’ career development in Germany. As opposed to traditional economic rational choice models (Becker 1964), sociological rational choice approaches view attainment decisions as shaped by students’ perceptions rather than by objective costs, benefits and chances of success (e.g. Boudon 1974). The longitudinal analysis of the relationship between students’ multilingual skills and their career development provides insights into the specific role of multilingual skills in shaping educational and later occupational attainment, and into the extent to which students’ investments in these skills are determined by their career aspirations, expectations and the perceived value of multilingual skills in the labor market. The dataset upon which this paper is based comprises approximately 1,800 students with German-Turkish, German-Russian, and monolingual German-language backgrounds from several states in Germany, followed through to the end of grades 9 and 11 respectively in four data collection waves. Data collection includes student and parent questionnaires, a test for cognitive abilities and assessment of the participants’ receptive (reading and listening) and productive skills (written and oral) in German, in the heritage languages Russian and Turkish, and in the school-taught languages English, French and Russian. We expect the value that students and parents attribute to multilingual skills in the labor market, their attitude towards multilingualism and students’ career aspirations and expectations to predict students’ own multilingual skills. We expect the effect of multilingual language skills on students’ career development to be moderated and partly mediated by their language self-concept as well as by their own and their parents’ attitudes towards multilingualism and the perceived value of multilingual skills in the labor market. This paper will provide insights into the relationship between students’ receptive multilingual language skills and various aspects of their career development (such as career aspirations and expectations, career maturity, choice motives and perceived barriers), as well as into the mechanisms which we hypothesize to mediate the investigated relationships by means of estimating cross-section and panel regressions. Understanding the reciprocal relationship between students’ multilingual development and their career development will provide valuable starting points for the development of strategies to increase students’ chances of educational success.
Becker, G.S. (1964). Human Capital Theory. Columbia: New York. Boudon, R. (1974). Education, Opportunity and Social Inequality: Changing Prospects in Western Society. New York: Wiley.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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