Master Jarmila Bubikova-Moan
Title of dissertation:
Discursive portraits of language, literacy and learning: emerging bilinguals in Norway.
This article-based doctoral research study explores language, learning and literacy provision offered to emerging bilinguals of non-Norwegian ethnolinguistic heritage in early childhood educational institutions in Norway. It draws upon critical approaches to two fields: discourse analysis and language education policy (LEP) as a subfield of language policy and planning (LPP). The critical perspective implies that it recognizes power relations and ideology as crucial dimensions in human interaction.
LEP is in this study understood in a broad sense, encompassing both its formal, legislative aspect but also its local application in choices individuals make across time and space to appropriate or enact aspects of language policy, including multiple language use, multilingual literacy and learning. Empirically, the study targets both the more durable discursive scale of policy creation, represented here by policy document analysis (Article 1), and the more situationally occasioned scale of policy instantiation, explored through narrative analysis of interviews with Polish migrants parenting children in Norwegian preschools and early grades in schools (3 – 8 years) (Articles 2 and 3).
The analysis of policy documents demonstrates a discursive shift in the official Norwegian LEP towards a preference for the majority language, Norwegian. Drawing on an educational accountability discourse and an instrumental discourse of multilingualism, the multilingual child is increasingly constructed as a young learner aiming for a fast acquisition of Norwegian while nurturing a heritage link to his or her home language. Tracing policy instantiations through parental narratives, the study also shows that migrant parents represent an active and resourceful voice, eager to question and negotiate the early educational provision offered to their children in Norway and keen to ensure their development and growth in both the host and home language. Through such scalar explorations of LEP, the study aims to offer interdisciplinary insights that can be instrumental in creating equitable curricular and pedagogical opportunities for all children.