Reference : “They can communicate, BUT…” - Language learning goals of forced migrants in multilin...
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies
“They can communicate, BUT…” - Language learning goals of forced migrants in multilingual Luxembourg
Kalocsanyiova, Erika mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
LANGSCAPE conference - Multilingualism: minority & majority perspectives
from 12-10-2017 to 14-10-2017
LANGSCAPE network & Mercator European Research Centre
[en] refugees ; multilingual language learning ; learning goals
[en] This contribution presents data from an ongoing doctoral research project that focuses on the linguistic integration trajectory of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Luxembourg. Drawing on interview data and classroom observations we explore teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards Luxembourg’s main languages and their beliefs about how to approach language learning in a multilingual society.

Upon arrival, refugees are immediately exposed to the country’s immense linguistic diversity along with ambiguous and often competing ideologies as to what languages to learn. While French is the main vernacular language, English has been gaining importance as lingua franca of the Grand Duchy’s large international community. Government sources increasingly emphasise the role of Luxembourgish as the sole language of integration, despite its minority position in several domains. Other languages such as German or Portuguese might be equally important for navigating local life. Refugees from regions where (a regional/dialectal form of) Arabic enjoys the status of majority language, are expected to encounter difficulties in adapting to the complex language situation of Luxembourg.

As a result, the research participants have shown a strong interest in developing different capabilities in a variety of languages and for a range of purposes. Our data confirms that wide-ranging learning outcomes are pursued in this context. While teachers acknowledge the importance of this aspect for setting language learning goals, system-wide, policy-declared goals still prevail in their pedagogical practice. Yet, we have observed instances of more holistic approaches that recognize the multilingual character of communication and learning, and take better account of the learners’ short- and long-term expectations.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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