07 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session - NW 07
General Poster Session
Luxembourg is not only characterised by its institutional multilingualism with three official languages – Luxembourgish, German, and French – , best reflected in its trilingual school system, but also by a pronounced individual multilingualism: Nearly half of Luxembourg’s population consists of foreign residents (with people of Portuguese background being the largest minority group), nearly half of its learners speak another mother tongue than the three official languages. With a high percentage of learners from migrant backgrounds being guided to vocational pathways, educational spaces within Luxembourg’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) are established as multicultural and multilingual “contact zones” (Pratt 1991), where people with different linguistic, educational and sociocultural trajectories and repertoires learn, work and struggle together to find common ground, validation and the chance to carve out a professional career for themselves.
My current PhD project aims at a better understanding and higher visibility of the learners in Luxembourg’s under-researched vocational regimes (often associated with lower prestige education), of the discourses they are confronted with and that shape their public image, as well as of their actual learning experiences in this particular multilingual educational space. For this purpose a bipartite methodological approach combining discourse analysis of documents and fieldwork data is used.
It is the first step of my project dealing with the representation of learners in VET that I hereby propose as contribution. It seeks to investigate how Luxembourg’s VET and its learners are (in demarcation from other educational strands) constructed and assigned certain features and values in public discourse through and because of ‘language’. The analysis will be guided by the following questions:
- (How) are learners in Luxembourg’s VET represented in public media discourse by various actors (politics, economy, education, social media users, learners themselves, etc.)? As homogeneous block or members of a heterogeneous ‘contact zone’? With reference to which features? In contrast to whom or what? (How) is ‘language’ an element of argumentative strategies to legitimate such constructions?
- (How) do (assumed/tested/lacking) competencies of VET-learners and testing of such competencies play a role in these constructions? Which elements of the learners’ experiences, knowledge, (linguistic) biographies and skills are (not) part of these competencies? (How) is knowledge about the (not so) good/deficient VET-learners established by public discourse?
- Which forms of learning, learning environments and outcomes are (not) mentioned and are (de-)valued in public discourse with respect to VET? (How) is the link between learning, competencies, (the promise of) work and the formation of employability in relation to VET-learners discursively represented? (How) does public discourse frame what is (not) considered valuable work and work-related knowledge or skills?
In order to find valuable answers to the questions mentioned, I have collected relevant data from various Luxembourgish media (focus: newspaper articles from main Luxembourgish newspapers). I orient my search to discussions about the (on-going) reform of the vocational sector since its draft law in 2006. On the basis of this corpus, I plan to identify recurring linguistic forms (word-forms, metaphors, phrases, slogans) as well as argumentative patterns and presuppositions. The methodological underpinning of my discourse analysis will mainly stem from 'Diskurslinguistik' (linguistic discourse analysis), specifically from DIMEAN. This so-called 'Diskurslinguistische Mehrebenenanalyse (multi-level linguistic discourse analysis) has been developed and outlined in Spitzmüller/Warnke (2011). 'Diskurslinguistik' merges a focus on linguistic, intra-textual phenomena with a detailed attention to contextual factors and a Foucauldian concept of discourse that goes beyond (spoken, written) language. Discourses are understood as thematically bound knowledge formations and perspectives with varying societal power of what can, cannot and must not be said and perceived. In line with this approach I posit that virulent public discourses leave textual traces that can be reconstructed.
As a result of the discourse-analytical study, main discursive strands circulating in the Luxembourgish public discourse on VET and their learners arre discerned. They bear the potential to be part of an explanation (in concert with planned ethnographic research beginning in the last trimester of 2018) to findings such as those of Houssemand et al. (2016: 487): "Students who join vocational education seldom (…) not only have the impression that they are in second class schools, but also they are often perceived by teachers as not having the required educational level to learn a profession." On the whole, the doctoral project will complement and expand on current research on (European) VET (e.g. de Saint-Georges/Filliettaz 2008) with respect to its discourse-analytical and ethnographic perspective and its focus on challenges and affordances of multilingual VET settings such as Luxembourg.
Blommaert, Jan & Ad Backus (2012): "Superdiverse Repertoires and the Individual". In: Ingrid de Saint-Georges & Jean-Jacques Weber (eds.): Multilingualism and Multimodality. Current Challenges for Educational Studies. Rotterdam: Sense. 11-32. Cedefop (2017). Leaving Education Early: Putting Vocational Eduation and Training in Centre Stage - Luxembourg. Houssemand, Claude, Anne Pignault, & Raymond Meyers (2016): "Strategies and Perspectives of School Actors during a Reform of Vocational Training in Luxembourg." Sociology Study 6:8. 485-489. INFPC (2014): Apprenticeship-type schemes and structured work-based learning programmes. Luxembourg. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/apprenticeship-type-schemes-and-structured-work-based-9 (retrieved 31.01.2018). INFPC (2016). Vocational Education and Training in Europe - Luxembourg. Cedefop ReferNet VET in Europe country reports. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/country-reports/luxembourg-vet-europe-country-report-2016 (retrieved 31.01.2018). Klein, Charlie & François Peltier (2017): Regards sur la population au 1er janvier 2017 (N° 09/2017, STATEC, Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques). http://www.statistiques.public.lu/fr/publications/series/regards/2017/09-17-population-1er-janvier-2017/index.html (retrieved 31.01.2018). Pratt, Mary Louise (1991). "Arts of the Contact Zone". Profession. 33-40. Saint-Georges, Ingrid de & Laurent Filliettaz (2008). "Situated trajectories of learning in vocational training interactions." European Journal of Psychology of Education 23:2. 213-233. Shewbridge, Claire, Melanie Ehren, Paulo Santiago & Claudia Tamassia (2012). OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Luxembourg. OECD Publishing. Spitzmüller, Jürgen & Ingo H. Warnke (2011): Diskurslinguistik. Eine Einführung in Theorien und Methoden der transtextuellen Sprachanalyse. Berlin: de Gruyter.
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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