Educational trajectories at the crossroads: The making and unmaking of multilingual communities of learners
Arts & humanities :: Languages & linguistics [A05]
Arts & sciences humaines :: Langues & linguistique [A05]
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AbstractThis article investigates the educational trajectories of young multilingual learners in Germany. Drawing on previous ethnographic research in a primary bilingual German-Italian Two-Way-Immersion classroom, this study examines the continuity and fragmentation of multilingual learning as they occur in the transition from primary to secondary education. Scrutinizing conditions and ideologies which underlie these processes, I argue that, in this context, multilingualism as an educational resource undergoes a fundamental meaning shift. While in primary school multilingualism is valued as capital for social inclusion, permitting the emergence of a temporary, spatio-temporally confined bilingual community of practice (Budach 2009), secondary education emphasizes multilingualism as a form of capital for social mobility and individual distinction, which undermines the conditions for a joint multilingual endeavor. The paper demonstrates how multilingual learners cope with this educational and societal imperative, locating their own position and navigating educational options available to them.