31 SES 08 A, Language Policies and Practices in Early Childhood Education: Expectations, Prescriptions and Negotiations in the Context of Migration and Multilingualism
Multilingual children in Germany are at risk of being regarded as ‘different’ and discriminated against in day nurseries (Panagiotopoulou 2020). Yet, there are only few studies on everyday practices and policies towards home languages in German day nurseries. This paper aims at answering the following questions: Which practices do educators and children in a day nursery in a multilingual German inner-city district engage in towards home languages? How can the interplay between such practices and language policies on a micro, meso and macro level be described? The data presented in this paper was collected during a three-month ethnographic research using the method of participant observation in 2011 (Zettl 2019). 22 children in a German day nursery in a multilingual city district aged from 2 to 7 years and their educators were observed. 18 of them spoke more than one language, predominantly Turkish and German. The data was analyzed with Grounded Theory (Glaser/Strauss 1967) and interpreted in the framework of practice theory (Reckwitz 2003) and theories of language policies (Kirsch 2018). The research shows that the same children experience practices that oscillate between forbidding and valuing the home language Turkish, depending on the language policies of the respective educators. Facing these diverging demands, the children act flexibly: they switch to German for one educator and position themselves as speakers of Turkish for others. In the practices of the educators mentioned above, conflicting language policies on micro, meso and macro level become visible, as the analysis shows. The educators follow different policies on a micro level that only partly agree with the institutional policy on a meso level, which is one of speaking German. On a macro level, the linguicist demand to forbid Turkish in order to facilitate assimilation in Germany is reinforced by historically powerful discourses on Germany as a monolingual state (Thomauske 2017). The practices of valuing Turkish, on the other hand, mirror language polices on the macro level such as some curricula of early childhood education, where the acceptance of home languages as resources is stated (Thomauske 2017). These conflicting policies could be explained in the light of political pressure on day nurseries to foster competences in German (Betz et al. 2016).
Betz, Tanja, Koch, Katja, Mehlem, Ulrich, & Nentwig-Gesemann, Iris (2016). Strukturwandel im Elementarbereich. Herausforderungen für pädagogische Fachkräfte und Organisationen am Beispiel des Umgangs mit Sprachförderung und Bildungsplänen. In Katrin Liebers, Brunhild Landwehr, Simone Reinhold, Susanne Riegler, & Romina Schmidt (Eds.), Facetten grundschulpädagogischer und -didaktischer Forschung (S. 115–130). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Glaser, Barney G., & Strauss, Anselm L. (1967). Grounded Theory. Strategien qualitativer Forschung. Bern u.a.: Hans Huber. Kirsch, Claudine (2018). Dynamic interplay of language policies, beliefs and pedagogy in a preschool in Luxemburg. Language and Education, 32(5), 444–461. Panagiotopoulou, Argyro (2020). Zur Konstruktion von und zum Umgang mit ‚migrationsbedingter Heterogenität‘ in Kindertageseinrichtungen und Schulen. In Anke König & Ulrich Heimlich (Eds.), Inklusion in Kindertageseinrichtungen. Eine Frühpädagogik der Vielfalt (Bd. 13, S. 73–89). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Reckwitz, Andreas (2003). Grundelemente einer Theorie sozialer Praktiken. Eine sozialtheoretische Perspektive. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 32(4), 282–301. Thomauske, Nathalie (2017). Sprachlos gemacht in Kita und Familie. Ein deutsch-französischer Vergleich von Sprachpolitiken und -praktiken. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Zettl, Evamaria (2019): Mehrsprachigkeit und Literalität in der Kindertagesstätte. Frühe sprachliche Bildung in einem von Migration geprägten Stadtviertel. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
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