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Language diversity in education : evolving from multilingual education to functional multilingual learning

Boekbijdrage - Hoofdstuk

This chapter argues that multilingual education is not the only way of responding to language diversity at school; indeed, the large number of home languages present in many schools means that it is impossible to implement traditional modes of bi- and multilingual education. We begin by distinguishing between the multilingualism of educational elites, which involves languages that enjoy a high degree of cultural prestige, and the multilingualism of children from immigrant homes, whose languages are often felt to have no educational value. We then consider the arguments advanced in favour of monolingual and multilingual educational models. Proponents of the monolingual model believe that children from immigrant backgrounds should be immersed in the language of schooling; home languages have no role to play at school because they are seen as obstacles to effective acquisition of the majority language. Proponents of bilingual models, on the other hand, argue that education partly in the pupilU+2019s home language provides a more effective basis for learning the language of schooling than immersion, enhances pupilsU+2019 self-esteem, and helps to preserve immigrant languages. A review of empirical research shows that there is no knock-down argument in favour of one particular model of language education; clearly, no single model can possibly suit all contexts. We propose that there are three strategies for responding to linguistic diversity at school: a constructive language policy; raising language awareness; and facilitating functional multilingual learning. This last is conceptualised as an alternative to the binary opposition between monolingual and multilingual education: a new pedagogical approach that exploits childrenU+2019s plurilingual repertoires as didactic capital for learning.
Boek: Managing diversity in education : languages, policies, pedagogies
Pagina's: 204 - 222