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Title: How do multilingual families and different schooling contexts shape young children's beliefs and attitudes towards multilingualism?
Author: Nave, Valerie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 5070
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Multicultural and multilingual education has expanded in scale and scope over the last thirty years, especially in the West. Despite the fact that inclusion is a keyword often heard in this part of the world, multilingual learners still face some issues that impede their home language maintenance. My thesis reports on an eight-month-ethnographic critical exploration of the beliefs, attitudes and practices of three multilingual families interacting mainly with members of their mainstream and complementary schools in the UK. I conducted the research aiming at understanding my participants’ home language experiences emically and etically. My parent’s role and helper’s role in the complementary school have contributed to the emic (internal) perspective on my data and my researcher’s role to the etic (external) standpoint. This makes the study valuable as this type of research is not numerous. Based on a model of different theoretical frameworks such as a socio-cultural learning approach (focussing on interdependence of social and individual processes), family language policy and an ecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) consisting of concentric layers of interactions including state, cultures, mainstream and complementary schools as well as the home and wider community, the research presents three case studies reflecting the tensions and contradictions within and between homes, mainstream and complementary schools and state policy in regards to multilingualism that could impede home language maintenance. At the macro level, I reviewed the government policy in England regarding multilingual learners. At the micro level, I organised interviews with mainstream school teachers, multilingual children, a complementary school teacher and parents in their own residence supported by observation, field notes and diaries. An analysis of interviews with the pupils, parents and teachers during a full academic year showed the intricate relations between a range of social actors and the participants. The research findings encompass anxiety among multilingual learners, insufficient training for teachers in EAL (English as an Additional language), the often low priority given to inclusion and government policies in regards to multilingual learners’ linguistic and cultural background, all being obstacles to home language maintenance. My study shows the importance of the links across the layers (divisions of society/see Figure 2.1) and also the complexity, leading to the conclusion that better understandings need to be developed.
Supervisor: Conteh, Jean ; Lamb, Martin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available