NW 31 LEd – Network on Language and Education - Reflections on cultural and linguistic diversity in educational research

This is a joint special call with NW 20 Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments.

Reflections on cultural and linguistic diversity in educational research

The need to reflect on language as an expression of culture and identity on one hand, and as a resource for learning across all subject areas on the other hand, is the key aspect to guide this special call. The essence is to highlight that we need both these concepts to develop a more inclusive learning context in different levels of education.

The Call
Linguistic diversity is a dynamic phenomenon that “reflects the constant state of rapid change prevalent in modern societies” (Peukert & Gogolin, 2017, p. 3). Adjustments to such linguistically diverse and steadily changing environments are required within intercultural education from the preschool to the tertiary levels.

The research conducted thus far has shown that students’ linguistic diversity provides a set of resources that needs to be acknowledged by educators and integrated into curricula for successful learning (Duarte & Gogolin, 2013). At the political level, the European Commission is committed “to safeguarding this linguistic diversity and promoting knowledge of languages” and encourages all citizens to be multilingual and to draw upon all language resources that they possess for successful educational performance (European Commission, 2012, p. 2). In addition, the European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning has defined the competences each European citizen needs for personal fulfillment, development, employment, social inclusion, and active citizenship to include communication competences, cultural awareness and expression competences (European Commission, 2018). At the local level, however, educational opportunities provided for migrant students to acquire or preserve their heritage languages and culture remain very limited, as the focus of school-based learning predominantly involves monolingual ideologies (Gogolin & Duarte, 2017). Despite this, previous research has revealed the advantageous role of bilingualism in language and subject-specific learning (Lindholm-Leary, 2014; Meyer & Prediger, 2011); hence, untapped cultural and linguistic resources may hinder students from profiting from their multilingualism and may reduce their chances for educational success.

In line with the general conference theme for ECER 2019, “Education in an Era of Risk—the Role of Educational Research for the Future,” we invite symposia, research workshops, round tables, individual papers, and posters that address opportunities and challenges in mainstream education that arise in the contexts of cultural and linguistic diversity. This special call bridges the research between innovative and intercultural education and language learning to explore the experience and practice of educators who draw on students’ multilingual and multicultural repertoires in the learning process across all subject areas.

In particular, we are interested in submissions that will deepen our understanding of language learning and teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse settings, and address the challenges and possibilities of implementing students’ cultural and linguistic resources by educators across all subject areas. We welcome studies on teachers’ beliefs, translanguaging, multilingual literacy, plurilingual curricula, language awareness, cultural identity and diversity, multi-ethnic learning groups and communities, intercultural discourses, and the role of inclusive intercultural education.

Please indicate in your proposal that you are submitting to this network-specific call. 

Contact person(s)
Irina Usanova (irina.usanova(at)uni-hamburg.de)
Carmen Carmona Rodríguez (carmen.carmona(at)uv.es)

Gogolin, I., & Duarte, J. (2017). Superdiversity, Multilingualism and Awareness. In J. Cenoz, D.    
Gorter, & S. May (Eds.), Language Awareness and Multilingualism: Encyclopedia of Language and Education (3rd ed., Vol. 10, pp. 375-390). Springer.
Duarte, J. & I. Gogolin, et al. (2013). Sprachliche Interaktion im Unterricht - erste Ergebnisse der     
LiViS-Videostudie. OBST - Osnabrücker beiträge zur Sprachtheorie, 83 (Mehrsprachigkeit in der Schule: Konzepte und Erfahrungen), 79-94.
Meyer, M., & Prediger, S. (2011). Vom Nutzen der Erstsprache beim Mathematiklernen. Fallstudien zu
Chancen und Grenzen erstsprachlich gestützter mathematischer Arbeitsprozesse bei Lernenden mit Erstsprache Türkisch. In S. Prediger & E. Özdil (Hrsg.), Mathematiklernen unter Bedingungen der Mehrsprachigkeit (Mehrsprachigkeit / Multilingualism, Bd. 32, S. 185–204). Münster: Waxmann.
Lindholm-Leary, K. (2014). Bilingual and biliteracy skills in young Spanish-speaking low-SES
children: impact of instructional language and primary language proficiency. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17(2), 144-159. doi:10.1080/13670050.2013.866625
Peukert, H. & Gogolin, I. (2017). Introduction. Dynamics of linguistic diversity. In H. Peukert and I.
Gogolin (Eds.), Dynamics of linguistic diversity (Hamburg Studies on Linguistic Diversity 6, pp. 1-9). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
European Commission (2012). Special Eurobarometer 386. Europeans And Their Languages.
European Commission (2018). Commission staff working document accompanying the document.

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Interview with Link Convenor 2019