Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Implementing language policy in urban heteroglossic schools

Many urban schools today welcome pupils from different linguistic origins who must nevertheless adapt to a monolingual school policy implemented by their teachers. Sociolinguistic research has up to this point been much more engaged in analysing pupils’ tactics that arise in this context (e.g., their resistance) than in teachers’ varying strategies to implement monolingual policies.

Jürgen Jaspers and researchers from the « LaDisco » research unit therefore propose a sociolinguistic analysis of how teachers reconcile the irreconcilable and implement monolingual policies in heteroglossic schools, notably 1) how teachers articulate a monolingual policy; (2) to what extent and how they are responsive to linguistic diversity; and (3) which conditions facilitate either of these approaches.

The project will examine these questions in four Belgian secondary schools, with a focus on long--term participant observation, audio-recordings, and interviews. The study will so provide an important empirical contribution to the sociolinguistics of urban education, to the negotiation of language policies in Belgian schools, and it should enrich public debate on this matter.


Center of research in linguistics (LaDisco)
Faculty of Letters, Translation & Communication

Created on August 31, 2018