07 SES 09 B, Language: Policies and Perceptions
The European Community has a clear policy in favour of multilingualism and diversity. For instance, Figel (2006), responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, has stressed that:
"Respect for diversity is a key element of creativity and innovation, and is central for solidarity and mutual understanding."
In the Commission’s consultation on multilingualism 57 different languages were included. Ten per cent of the respondents declared their mother tongue to be other than one of the 23 official languages of the EU (European Commission 2007, p. 6). With changing and volatile global conditions, this diversity steadily increases, posing practical problems in terms of how to organise multilingual and inclusive education. Also, despite formal policies at the European level, in practice native-like competence in the language of instruction is assumed to function as a basis to develop knowledge and competencies at school. While some localities may comprise a small number of languages, others are highly diverse, posing a particular challenge in terms of providing mother tongue support as well as for accommodating cultural diversity.
The situation in European urban environments can today be compared to traditionally highly diverse countries, such as Bolivia. In Bolivia, where bilingual intercultural education has been practiced for many years, EIB programmes appeared successful in rural localities with relatively homogenous populations, while they encountered less success among the mixed populations of urban conglomerations (Arrueta & Avery, 2012). High diversity thus poses a different type of educational challenge than environments that comprise a limited number of linguistic minorities. Identifying promising approaches to inclusive intercultural forms of education that are well adapted to highly diverse communities is therefore an urgent issue.
In a recent literature review by Pihl (2012), it appeared that the role of the library in intercultural education has been very little researched to date. Libraries further occupy a priviliged position allowing them to bridge formal and informal learning contexts. Finally, they are not bound by the constraints of school curricula, and can therefore to a higher extent base their activities on the learner’s own interests and intrinsic motivation (Fink & Samuels, 2008), which also are important factors in developing creativity (Hennessey, 2004).
The present study investigates the practices of the school library network of a multiethnic neighbourhood in the outskirts of Lund, Sweden. The network was awarded for best librarians in 2009 and received the national prize as the best school library in 2011, motivated by the exemplary practices in integrating library and school activites. The library in question is an integrated network of school libraries and public library, working in very close collaboration with the local schools, special needs resource centres, activity centres and various NGOs. The study proposes to look closer at which aspects in the library’s practices may be particularly significant for its success.
Arrueta, J. A. & Avery, H. (2012) Education Reform in Bolivia: transitions towards which future?, Research in Comparative and International Education, 7(4), 419-433. Ball, J. (2011). Enhancing learning of children from diverse language backgrounds: mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual education in the early years. Analytical review commissioned by the Unesco Education sector. Cheesman, E. & De Pry, R. (2010) A Critical review of culturally responsive literacy instruction. Journal of Praxis in Multicultural Education. 5 (1), 83-99. Cohen, L, Manion, L & Morrison, K. (2000). Research Methods in Education. London and New York: Routledge. European Commission (2007). Outcomes of the European Commission’s public consultation on multilingualism 14 September – 15 November 2007. Figel, J. (2006). Multilingualism: a key component of the European Union’s strategy. Speech given at Bridge Forum Dialogue, Luxemburg, June 15. Fink, R. & Samuels, S. J. (2008) Inspiring reading success: Interest and motivation in an age of high-stakes teaching. International Reading Association. Florida, R & Tinagli, I. (2004). Europe in the Creative Age. London : Demos. Garcia, O. & Fishman J.A. (2012). Power sharing and cultural autonomy: some sociolinguistic principles. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 213, 143-147. Hennessey, B.A. (2004). The Social Psychology of Creativity: The Beginnings of a Multi-Cultural Perspective. In S. Lau (Ed.), Creativity: When East Meets West (pp. 201-226). Hong Kong: World Scientific Publishing. Parlement européen (2010) Résolution du Parlement européen du 18 mai 2010 sur les compétences clés dans un monde en mutation. Pihl, J. (2012) Can library use enhance intercultural education? Issues in Educational Research. 22, 1, 79-90. Street, B.V. (2001). The New Literacy Studies. In E. Cushman, E.R. Kintgen, B.M. Kroll, & M. Rose (Eds.), Literacy: A Critical Sourcebook. Boston: Bedford St Martin’s. Yin, R. K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.