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EUNoM symposium on Higher Education and Research on Multilingualism: Challenge or Opportunity? Social Representations of Plurilingualism in Language Policy and Academic Teacher Discourse at University Level. Cecilia Serra Universities of Geneva and Lausanne. main issues.

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EUNoM symposium onHigher Education and Research on Multilingualism: Challenge or Opportunity?Social Representations of Plurilingualism in Language Policy and Academic Teacher Discourse at University Level.

Cecilia Serra

Universities of Geneva and Lausanne


Main issues
main issues

  • linguistic analysis of social representations

  • a qualitative study

    • universities, contexts, languages

    • universities, social representations in language policy

    • universities, social representations in academic teachers’ discourse

  • examples

  • effects on bi-plurilingual teaching / learning practices


Linguistic analysis of social representations in the study
linguistic analysis of social representationsin the study

  • investigates the link between the social representations of institutions (values & models proceeding from language policies) and those of individuals (beliefs, opinions and attitudes);

  • an interplay of possible conflicting elements

  • linguistic elements taken into accounts:

    • polyphonie (Bakhtine, 1978; Ducrot, 1984); pronominalisation («I» vs «one» vs «we» vs «they»), mood and modality, qualifiers & connectives, etc.; (Serra & Py 1997, Serra 2000)

    • schematizing and categorization devices (Grize 1990; Kleiber 1990; Sacks 1992; Mondada 1999)

    • stereotyping

    • conversational use of discourse types (debating, explaining, justifying, narrating, etc.) (Serra 2000)


A qualitative field study universities contexts languages
a qualitative field study: universities, contexts, languages

  • USI Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano (1966)

    • Italian = minority language = 6.5% (German, 63%; French, 20.4%; Rumantsch, 0.5% ((Federal Census, 2000))

    • Students: 2’707: Tessin, 29.5%; Swiss others, 8.6%; Italy, 36.9%; Foreign others 25% (University census, 2010)

  • UNIZHR Universität Zürich (1525)

    • German = majority language = 63%

    • Students: 25’815: Swiss, 83.1%; Foreign others 12.3%; domestic foreign others, 4.6% (Federal office of Statistics, 2009)

  • HESBE Haute Ecole Spécialisée Bernoise, Biel/Bienne(1873/1998)

    • German/French = Bilingual Canton (3 Swiss Bilingual Cantons: Bern / Fribourg / Wallis: German/French = Language territoriality)

    • Biel/Bienne = Bilingual city : German, 53%; French, 30.7%; Italian, 7.6%; Foreign others, 8.7% (City census, 1990)


A qualitative field study universities social representations in language policy
a qualitative field study:universities, social representations in language policy


A qualitative field study social representations in academic teachers discourse
a qualitative field study: social representations in academic teachers’ discourse


When representations clash an example from hesb ti language policy
when representations clash an example from HESB-TI language policy

  • Why are students shy when it comes to talking in L2?

in multilingual Switzerland:

changing the representation ofbilingualism:

it is an instable process of language learning

it is not a perfect balance of 2 languages

language use

talk in L1, understand L2

didactic

devices

at HESBE-TI

teachers and students talk in L1

(students understand L2)


When representations are in bloom an example from teacher s discourse at usi
when representations are in bloom an example from teacher’s discourse at USI

Globalisation

+ English

+ banking

+ professional

vs

Isolation

+ (Swiss-)German

+ Swiss

elderly people

Technical language

vs

English (poor)

simplification

use of Italian

or French

in students’

oral and written

records

German

+ banking

+ Swiss quality

+tradition

+ Students (elite)

Italian

+ University

+ identity

+ Switzerland

economist

teacher

planner


Effects on bi plurilingual teaching learning practices
effects on bi-plurilingual teaching / learningpractices

  • Language choice

    • bachelor official Swiss languages

    • master official Swiss languages + English (cf. Federal census 2000, Lüdi & Werlen 2005)

  • Models of bi-multilingual teaching

    • immersion (USI), English L2:

      • vs USI dual teaching and intercultural program

      • low command in English accepted and not improved

      • idealisation of bilingualism?


Effects on bi plurilingual teaching learning practices 2
effects on bi-plurilingual teaching / learningpractices(2)

  • reciprocal immersion (HESB-TI), French & German L2

    • good understanding of bilingual teaching (representations, teaching steps & goals)

    • low understanding of the role of conversation in language acquisition

    • focus on language (university) vsfocus on subject (teacher)

  • bi-multilingual teaching (UNIZHR), German L1, French L2 Italian/English/Spanish L3

    • excellent understanding of bi-multilingualism practices

    • focus on the subject

    • use of languages to process meaning, and access transversal knowledge

    • use of bilingual conversational routines

    • optional course: poor support from the institution


References
references

  • Bakhtine, M. (1984). Esthétique et théorie du roman. Paris: Gallimard

  • Ducrot, O. (1980). Le dire et le dit. Paris: Minuit

  • Grize, J.B. (1990). Logique et langage. Paris: Ophrys

  • Kleiber, G. (1990). La sémantique du prototype. Paris: PUF

  • Mondada, L. (1999). L’accomplissement de l’étrangéit’dans et par línteraction: procédures de catégorisation des locuteurs. Langages 134, 20-34

  • Sacks, H. (1992). Lectures in conversation. Oxford: Basil Blackwell

  • Serra, C. (2000). Traitement discursif et conversationnel des représentations sociales. TRANEL 32, 77-90

  • Serra, C. & Py, B. (1997). Le crépuscule des lieux communs, ou les stérótypes entre consensus, certitude et doute. TRANEL 27, 29-49


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