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Title: The lived experience of language (education policy) : multimodal accounts by primary school students in Luxembourg
Author: Muller, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 6484
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2020
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Globally, student populations are becoming increasingly diverse yet language education policies are usually not adapted to allow for the flexibility that would move towards educational equity for all. In the case of Luxembourg, no major changes to the medium of instruction policy have occurred since the early 20th century and the (student) population has been rapidly diversifying over the last few decades. This has resulted in an education system that is applauded nationally and internationally for its trilingual language regime, but has also been shown time and again to contribute to the reproduction of social stratification. This thesis is a critical sociolinguistic investigation of the lived experience of language of young people who are navigating the Luxembourgish education system, with a specific focus on participants' understandings of their linguistic repertoire, their lived experience of language, and their lived experience of language education policies at school. Through a mosaic of qualitative, multimodal methods, discursive and visual data for this study was generated in a primary school in Luxembourg city with 34 participants aged 10 – 13 over a 12-week period and analysed thematically. The study contributes to scholarship adopting biographical approaches to multilingualism, and is framed by an expanded conceptual framework to study the lived experience of language that includes the notions of language desire, imagined identity and investment, as well as interactional approaches to language attitudes. This serves to foreground the importance of the affective, emotional dimension of language. The expanded conceptual framework of the lived experience of language is also combined with more critical, discursive approaches in language policy research: an innovative intersection that allows for the conceptualisation of policy as experience. The findings of this study contribute to empirically grounded knowledge about how young people understand, and visually and discursively represent their own linguistic repertoires and their lived experience of language and language education policies, and the connections between the two. This research informs current understandings of language policy as experience and extends our understanding of the lived experience of language by explicitly incorporating language policy. As such, its contributions have implications for sociolinguistic and educational linguistic research in the domains of multilingualism and language policy. It is hoped that the findings will also influence future language education policy planning in Luxembourg and beyond.
Supervisor: Horner, Kristine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available