31 SES 17 A, Language Policies and Practices in Early Childhood Education: Expectations, Prescriptions and Negotiations in the Context of Migration and Multilingualism
There has been a recent surge of interest in language practices and practices of language education in preschools in multilingual contexts around Europe (e.g. Krompàk 2015; Neumann & Kuhn 2020; Thomauske, 2017; Zettl 2019;). Such research has provided in-depth observations of practices and policies in institutions of early childhood education and has shown how these link back to discourses and ideologies circulating in the respective national or regional context. The present paper builds on these insights and investigates both institutional language policies as well as public discourse around these policies in the multilingual context of the Italian province South Tyrol. The structure of the education system in South Tyrol is tripartite, reflecting the three language groups officially recognised as ‘autochthonous’. Educational policies are decided on separately by ‘German’, ‘Italian’ and ‘Ladin’ educational institutions, which also holds for preschools. Language practices and language education, in particular in preschools, have repeatedly been the subject of heated public debates in the province. The present paper will untangle these debates, and take a discourse-historical approach (Reisigl & Wodak 2016) to analysing policy documents released by the institutions representing ‘German’, ‘Italian’ and ‘Ladin’ preschools, political documents as well as media coverage on the subject. In doing so, we will uncover societal and political expectations and prescriptions on language education in preschools. Finally, these analyses will feed back into an ethnographic investigation of language practices and policies in South Tyrolean preschools carried out in a related project, and thus enhance our understanding of interconnections between language practices, policies and wider ideologies (Johnson 2011).
Johnson, David Cassels (2011): Critical discourse analysis and the ethnography of language policy. In: Critical Discourse Studies 8 (4), S. 267–279. DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2011.601636. Krompàk, E. (2015): Sprachliche Realität im Schweizer Kindergarten- und Schulalltag. Code-Switching und Sprachentrennung bei mehrsprachigen Kindern. In: A. Schnitzer & R. Mörgen (eds.): Mehrsprachigkeit und (Un)Gesagtes. Sprache als soziale Praxis in der Migrationsgesellschaft. Weinheim, Basel: Beltz Juventa, p. 175-193. Neumann, S. & Kuhn, M. (2020): Bilingualism Versus Translanguaging in a Swiss Day-Care Center: A Space Analysis of Language Practices and Their Janus-Faced Effects on Social Inequalities and Educational Opportunities. In: Panagiotopoulou, J.A.; Rosen, L. & Strzykala, J. (eds.): Inclusion, Education and Translanguaging: How to Promote Social Justice in (Teacher) Education? Wiesbaden: Springer VS, p. 83-101. Reisigl, M. & Wodak, R. (2016): The discourse-historical approach (DHA). In: Wodak, R. & Meyer M. (eds.): Methods of Critical Discourse Studies. 3rd ed. London: SAGE, p. 23-61. 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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