Sedyl - Structure et Dynamique des Langues - UMR8202 - CELIA

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Séminaire doctoral - Pratiques langagières - terrains, méthodes, théories
Animé par I. Léglise et V. Muni Toke
La séance aura lieu à 14h30 via zoom.
Les personnes intéressées sont les bienvenues. Elles peuvent contacter qui enverra le lien zoom correspondant.

Invitée : Anne-Sophie Bafort (Ghent University & Catholic University of Leuven)
Reconciling Diversity with Eliteness: A Linguistic Ethnographic Case Study of a Belgian International School’s Language Policy and Practice

International schools have become more prominent since the 1950s as a result of globalization and an increased demand to cater to expatriate families’ needs for transnational forms of education (Heyward 2002; Hayden 2011). These schools have not, however, received much attention of sociolinguists. Those scholars who have analyzed these contexts, on the one hand point out that these schools claim to celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity (Heyward, 2002) in a spirit of egalitarianism, yet on the other hand, various studies criticize their continuing elitist and prestigious character (Sunyol & Codó, 2020). According to Sunyol & Codó (2020), these schools’ claims of egalitarianism and inclusion of mother tongues is merely perfunctory. This case study demonstrates that not all international schools can be described as such, and that the investment in mother tongue support is met with various difficulties which are not necessarily related to an elite or prestigious character. Data were collected through on-site fieldwork, and comprise multiple data types and corresponding methods of analysis. Our analysis demonstrates that teachers actively sought to attend to students’ mother tongues notably via posters and strategic translanguaging in the classroom. At the same time it appeared that this attention for mother tongues was constrained by central International Baccalaureate exams being in English, a lack of managerial trickledown effect of the language policy regarding mother tongues and the use of English as a language of inclusion. As such, this study does not only yield further insights in the under-studied concept of international schools, but also aims to add to current sociolinguistic research by further mapping the complex manner in which linguistic diversity is mediated in multilingual educational communities of practice.
Hayden, M. (2011). Transnational spaces of education: The growth of the international school sector. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(2), 211–224.
Heyward, M. (2002). From International to Intercultural: Redefining the International School for a Globalized World. Journal of Research in International Education, 1(1), 9–32.
Sunyol, A., & Codó, E. (2020). Fabricating neoliberal subjects through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. In Language and Neoliberal Governmentality (pp. 135-161). Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.