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Should Schools Undermine or Sustain Multilingualism? an Analysis of Theory, Research, and Pedagogical Practice

Summary

Most school systems around the world prioritize the teaching of languages and aim to develop bilingual or multilingual proficiencies among their students. However, in a large number of contexts, schools also systematically and intentionally undermine the potential of immigrant-background and minoritized students to develop multilingual abilities. This undermining of multilingualism operates either by explicitly prohibiting students from using their home languages (L1) within the school or through ignoring the languages that students bring to school (benign neglect). In some cases, exclusion of students’ L1 is rationalized on the grounds that maintenance of L1 will hinder students’ integration into the mainstream society. In other cases, exclusion is based on the conviction that there is competition between languages and use of the L1 either in school or home will reduce students’ exposure to the school language (L2). The validity of this time-on-task argument is critically analyzed in the present paper. I argue that the research shows no consistent relationship between immigrant students’ academic achievement (in L2) and use of L1 in the home or in the school. By contrast, several research syntheses have highlighted the positive academic outcomes of bilingual programs for minoritized students and also the feasibility of implementing multilingual or translanguaging pedagogies in the mainstream classroom.

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Metaphor in Spanish L2 and Heritage Language Learners’ Speech: How Does it Compare?

culture. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning: The contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 72–94). London: Continuum. Lantolf, J., & Bobrova, L. (2014). Metaphor instruction in the L2 Spanish classroom: Theoretical argument and pedagogical program. Journal of Spanish Language Teaching , 1 (1), 46–61. Lantolf, J., & Thorne, S. (2006). Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development . Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Lincoln, Y., & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry . Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Littlemore

Open access
„Sprechen Sie Deutsch? A. Merkel Nori Daugiau Vokiečių Kalbos Europoje“ (Delfi, 19.06.2013): The Image of German in Lithuanian Media Discourse

Summary

The paper aims to analyze the attitudes to German language in the Lithuanian public discourse. Texts written on this topic and chosen for the analysis appeared in two news portals – the national news portal delfi.lt and the regional news portal kaunodiena.lt. The database covers the period from 1 January 2011 to 1 March 2017; it consists of 82 articles from both news portals. For studying the image of German, the present study applies the framework of Critical Discourse Analysis taking into account different argumentation strategies for learning or not learning German as a foreign language as well as main topical priorities. The general attitudes towards countries can serve as an important foundation for motivation to language learning, so the analysis starts with the discussion of the specifics attributed to Germany and German-speaking countries (effectiveness governing the world, sympathy, economic success, and reliability). The analysis of the selected texts confirms that the image of Germany in Lithuania is quite positive: Germany, especially on delfi.lt, is presented as a target country for qualified Lithuanian experts, as an economically stable country having a large degree of political and cultural influence in the world. Regarding the status of German, the analyzed texts reveal a more ambiguous picture: on the one hand, it is stated that German is not popular in Lithuania, on the other hand it is emphasized that the popularity of the German language is increasing. The argumentation scheme for learning German consists of several argumentation lines: German is represented as a commodity in such domains as a professional career in Germany, in dealing with bilateral business relations, and to some extent in building a professional career in one’s home country and upholding cultural relations.

Open access
The Diversity of Immigrant Identity and the Aspects of the Design Thereof

Summary

The article provides an overview of the design of identities, predominantly based on the level of the individual. The purpose of this article was to identify the ethnic identity of informants, using the aspect of language choices as an instrument of linguistic identity, as well as to look at the causes of linguistic identity choices, the functions of ethnic identity from the point of view of the informant and the reasons for changing the identity over time or for consciously changing or maintaining it. It is well known that in today’s world of ever-weakening national borders, multiculturalism and multilingualism are a common phenomenon. There have been no arguments for a long time over whether one has to learn several languages, or any doubts whether we should be even a little bit familiar with the culture of people from other nationalities living next to us. At the same time, multiculturalism brings along challenges and sometimes also tensions (Muldma, 2009). Self-determination, or identity, can mean all aspects of oneself, such as appearance, personality, abilities, gender, and ethnic groups. In the case of ethnic identity, it has been observed along with growing, the perceptions of children change over time. Awareness of one’s nationality develops with awareness of others (Smith et al., 2008, p. 195). People’s attitudes and values are largely developed in childhood, and we need time to get adjusted to everything new, all changes need internal management of the person – and some major changes need the intervention of the society. The method used to conduct the research was written interviews.

Open access