00 SES 04, Promoting the Development of (Multi)literacies in Multilingual Societies: Challenges and Opportunities
European countries are increasingly characterized by growing numbers of youngster being raised in social contexts where more than one language is spoken. Language minority pupils perform worse at school than native speakers, even when socioeconomic and/or migration factors are considered. Up to day, the dominant perspective about this achievement gap is a deficit perspective, where the linguistic deficiencies of language minorities are pointed as for the inequalities. However, less attention is paid on school policies that might increase or reduce these inequalities. Adding to the growing literature on Language Policy (that focus on policies at meso level and conceptualize it as language beliefs, practices and management), this study will examine School Language Policies (SLP) in primary schools and investigate how SLP is related to school adaptation of pupils. A survey is conducted across 67 primary school in Northern Belgium, with 1.700 pupils and 1.255 teachers. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariable analyses are performed using SPSS. School Language Policies are measured with language beliefs, practices and management, as answered by pupils and teachers and aggregated at school level. The results point out that SLPs in Northern Belgium are remarkably dominated by a deficit perspective on multilingualism in terms of school staff’s beliefs, practices and management of linguistic diversity. On the other hand, almost no valorization of multilingualism is found (neither regarding teaching practice nor school management) and a strong focus on monolingualism is registered. For instance, the results show that punishing students for speaking their mother tongue is a very common school policy, although small variation occurs depending on the informant group (i.e. teachers, native speaking pupils and language minority pupils). However, SLPs that impose monolingualism negatively correlates with student academic achievement and some indicators of school adaptation.
Agirdag, O. (2010). Exploring bilingualism in a monolingual school system: insights from Turkish and native students from Belgian schools. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(3), 307-321. Agirdag, O., Merry, M. S., & Van Houtte, M. (2016). Teachers’ understanding of multicultural education and the correlates of multicultural content integration in Flanders. Education and Urban Society, 48(6), 556-582. ` Pulinx, R., Van Avermaet, P., & Agirdag, O. (2017). Silencing linguistic diversity: The extent, the determinants and consequences of the monolingual beliefs of Flemish teachers. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 20(5), 542-556.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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