Journal article

Including home languages in the classroom: a videographic study on challenges and possibilities of multilingual pedagogy


  • 2020
Published in:
  • International Journal of Multilingualism. - 2020, vol. 19, no. 1, p. 162-177
English This article presents data from a videographic study that aims to explore the possibilities and limits of multilingual teaching approaches currently integrated in the curriculum and foreign language textbooks in German-speaking Switzerland. The focus of this paper is on sequences in which primary school children aged 11–12 deal with typical multilingual activities that refer to home languages. Such activities usually aim to make home languages visible and valued. The corpus of this study consists of 32 videos of 90 min each in which pupils deal with multilingual activities in small groups. The videos were transcribed and analysed using qualitative content analysis. This paper discusses possible challenges and opportunities for including home languages in the classroom. Among the opportunities observed are students being admired for their linguistic knowledge in their home languages or being glad to be referred to as experts for their home languages. At the same time, situations of ‘valorisation against students will’ were observed, i.e. moments in which pupils are uneasy with being referred to as experts of their respective home languages. Furthermore, instances of a superficial inclusion of students’ home languages will be discussed.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Institut de plurilinguisme
  • English
Language, linguistics
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