Reported linguistic practices among high school students studying mother tongues/ community languages in Sweden and AustraliaAnne Reath Warren
Cite as: Reath Warren, A. (2018, December). Reported linguistic practices among high school students studying mother tongues/ community languages in Sweden and Australia. Paper presented at the Fourth Intergenerational Transmission of Minority Languages Symposium: Language and Identity.
This presentation focuses on descriptions of language use among high school students studying Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish and Urdu through mother tongue instruction in Sweden, and Vietnamese as a community language in Australia. Mother tongue instruction in Sweden is an elective school subject available to students who speak languages other than Swedish on a regular basis with at least one guardian. In Australia, community language schools, run by volunteers and often operating on weekends, provide the opportunity to study and develop proficiencies in languages other than English to students who speak these languages with their guardians. Informed by emerging theories of translanguaging as everyday practice and pedagogy, transcriptions of four focus group discussions with 33 students in both these forms of education were analysed to explore how they describe their language use in different contexts. Further, similarities and differences in these student descriptions are discussed in relation to local and national language education policies. Preliminary analysis suggests that when students are not restrained by family or school language policies, they flexibly and strategically draw on a variety of linguistic resources, thus facilitating communication, creating meaning, and reflecting their complex and dynamic plurilingual identities.
Keywords: mother tongue instruction; community language education; translanguaging, plurilingual identities