31 SES 07 B, Multilingual socialisation and agency
For most people multilingualism is an everyday reality (Edwards, 2009). At the same time, societies have become more linguistically diverse, or even super-diverse (Vertovec, 2007), and world languages are considered 21st century skills (P21, 2011). These phenomena have been observed, recognised and discussed by applied linguists, language educators and socio-linguists for the last 30 plus years or so (May, 2014; Conteh & Meier, 2014). Educational curricula and practices, however, often continue to be guided by monolingual norms assuming a monolingual learner population, and/or that languages need to be separated in classrooms, or that this is the most practical option. Such monolingual practices have been referred to as “damaging deficit approaches” (Ortega, 2014, p. 32) that can disadvantage individuals and social groups. As I show in this article, reasons for these norms, described by some as pervasive (Ortega, 2014, Cruickshank, 2014; May, 2014), are that they are often taken for granted without reflection, and perpetuated in the wider society and in education. A further reason may be that monolingual norms support narratives of homogenous and monolingual nations, ideological arguments that have arguably regained salience in recent years.
There have been alternative multilingual approaches in theory and practice, but relevant theoretical insights often relate to case studies, local practices, or regional polities, and are only relevant to rather specific educational contexts. These developments have led to a call for collective research action (Ortega, 2014) and for greater teacher guidance (Weber, 2014; Meier, 2017) to challenge the monolingual mind-set and develop research that enables theory-informed reflection and practice.
This presentation offers a theoretical review that draws on literature related to monolingual norms as well as alternative multilingual approaches and links these to language socialisation perspectives to develop a theory-informed approach and framework as a starting point for reflection, practice and research in the field of multilingual socialisation in education. This consists of 96 guiding statements that can be found in the Appendix.
Cognisant of the important role teachers play in their learners’ language socialisation (Friedman, 2010), this framework is designed as an invitation for educators and teacher educators to engage with theory and actively join the debates and participate in a collective international research project based in Exeter. This has the aim of developing deeper understandings of what, how, where and why multilingual approaches may work, and equally important what approaches do not work in certain contexts, and why not.
This article is a theoretical review, insofar as I “examine the corpus of theory that has accumulated in regard to an issue, concept, theory, phenomena”, in which “the unit of analysis can focus on a theoretical concept or a whole theory or framework” (University of Alabama Libraries 2017: 1). In my case this is a framework combining theories related to a critique of monolingual norms from multilingual education, sociolinguistic and language socialisation perspectives. The findings are combined into the multilingual socialisation in education (M-SOC) approach that is designed to work towards a “viable alternative” (Ortega, 2014) and consists of five domains.
In order to operationalise the M-SOC domains and make these more user-friendly, I developed a number of guiding statements. These 96 statements are based on existing frameworks, literature and my own experience. The framework presented is neither conclusive nor definitive, as there must be much good practice in educational settings that is yet to be discovered, but it can be used to get the ball rolling, and hopefully attract wider interest to conduct research in this field. Thus, this paper issues a call for educational colleagues in research and practice to participate in collective research action, a necessity formulated by Ortega (2014).
Conteh, J., & Meier, G. (Eds.). (2014). The multilingual turn in languages education: opportunities and challenges Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Cruickshank, K. (2014). Exploring the -lingual Between Bi and mono: Young People and Their Languages in an Australian Context. In J. Conteh & G. Meier (Eds.) The multilingual turn in languages education: opportunities and challenges (pp. 41-63). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Duff, P., & Talmy, S. (2011). LAnguage Socilaization Approaches to SEcond Language Acquisition: Social, cultural, and lingusitic development in additional languages. In D. Atkinson (Ed.), Alternative Approaches to Second Languge Acquisition (pp. 95-116). Abingdon: Routledge. Edwards, V. (2009). Learning to be Literate: Multilingual Perspectives. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. May, S. (2014). The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL and Bilingual Education. New York: Routledge. Meier, G. (2017). The multilingual turn as a critical movement in education: assumptions, challenges and a need for reflection. Applied Linguistics Review, 8(1), 131-161. Ortega, L. (2014). Ways Forward for a Bi/Multilingual Turn in SLA. In S. May (Ed.), The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL and Bilingual Education (pp. 32-53). New York: Routledge. P21 (2011) Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved on 22.12.2017 from https://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/21stCenturySkillsMap/p21_worldlanguagesmap.pdf. University of Alabama Libraries (2017) How to Conduct a Literature Review: Types of Literature Reviews. Retrieved on 29.8.2017 from http://guides.lib.ua.edu/c.php?g=39963&p=253698 Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6), 1024-1054. Weber, J.-J. (2014). Flexible Multilingual Education: Putting Children's Needs First. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
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