Bilingual Beyond School: Students’ Language Ideologies in Bilingual Programs in South-Central Spain

Poveda, D. (2019). Bilingual beyond school: Students’ language ideologies in bilingual programs in South-Central Spain. Foro de Educación, 17 (27), 11-36.  (Special Issue: Ethnographic perspectives to teaching and learning in multilingual contexts / Perspectivas etnográficas a la enseñanza y aprendizaje en contextos multilingües).

This article examines adolescent and late adolescent discourses on bilingualism, bilingual education and the role of English and other additional languages in the current out-of-school lives and future trajectories of Spanish students enrolled in bilingual education programs. The data is part of a larger critical sociolinguistic ethnographic project on the implementation of bilingual education programs in secondary education (organized as English-Spanish CLIL) in Castilla-La Mancha, a region in South-Central Spain. Discourses were mainly elicited through a series of workshop-type and group discussion activities held in classrooms from two semi-private and two public schools, as well as an additional focus group conducted with university students. In total, 12 group events, involving approximately 300 students, were organized and documented through video-recordings, audio-recordings, photographs and fieldnotes. Students’ language ideologies around bilingualism are examined through an inductive qualitative / grounded theory approach. Three themes are identified: (a) the definition of bilingualism and bilingual competence, (b) the place of English (and other additional languages) in students’ current lives and social experiences and; (c) the role assigned to English in future employment and mobility opportunities. These discourses are discussed in relation to recent critical sociolinguistic work on the interconnection between language, multilingualism and neoliberalism. The paper closes with some methodological thoughts regarding the place of linguistic ethnography in the analysis of students’ collective discourses. Open access full-text here: FE

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