The EELC8 will begin at 8.30 on 24 September and end at 16.30 on 25 September. The full programme will be published closer to the date of the event.
There will also be two exciting events at the University of Oslo on September 23 for those who are able to arrive early:
- A publishing workhop with Multilingual Matters (ca. 9.00-12.00)
- The annual Einar Haugen lecture (between 14.00 and 17.00)
Going Back to School: A Critical and Reflexive Ethnography of Multilingual
Children’s Literacy Practices in a Freinet Classroom in France
My main concern in this contribution is to question the unequal norms of language in French classrooms and to ask how we can redesign educational spaces so that language does not constitute a barrier to full and equal participation (Piller, 2016). First, I will address the obstacles to carrying out ethnographic fieldwork on multilingualism in French classrooms, where the prescriptive and hierarchical language regime silences minority language speakers and invisibilizes their plurilingual competence. Second, I will explain my choice of ethnographic monitoring as a paradigm for researching multilingualism in support of social justice in one primary classroom of 8-year-olds in a poor suburb of Strasbourg where the teacher has been engaged in Freinet/institutional pedagogy for 20 years. Then I will describe a multiliteracy research project designed collaboratively between the teacher and the researcher. Based on observations, field notes and feedback discussions with teacher and pupils, I will attempt to analyse and interpret the children’s lived experiences of using their family languages in class to learn to read and write. I will conclude with questions relating to the impact of the researcher’s presence in the school and whether the ethnographic monitoring of the multiliteracy project carried out in one class did counter unequal and exclusionary multilingual practices at the level of the school.
Being with Multilingualism: Deep Hanging Out with "Language Technicians" in a Post-National South Africa
The challenge of contemporary South Africa is that of building a post-nation of postracial equity in a fragmented world of a globalized ethical, economic and ecological meltdown. For some time now, young multilingual speakers have sought to contribute to such an endeavour through practices of reinvention and the ontological refashioning of multilingualism in order to challenge linguistic fixities in the present and advance an internalization of new epistemologies of language for a non-racial South Africa.
In the first part of this talk, I take this background into consideration by outlining a post-national communication framework that will help us depart from colonial, apartheid experiences of multilingualism, and towards ones that account for the redesigning of new multilingual futures. This framework, I argue, will enrich linguistic ethnography research since it considers the development of new forms of relationality and practices of reinventing language. I set on this path to further argue that our tasks as linguistic ethnographers are not to only capture, adequately, the links between new forms of multilingualism, but to pay attention to the creative processes of language reinvention and emerging relationalities among multilingual speakers.
In the second part of this talk, I move on to demonstrate the post-national communicative framework I outlined by reporting on a case study of language reinvention by “language technicians” (multilingual speakers who seek to reinvent language). For the last then years, I´ve hung out deep with multilingual Hip Hop artists, deeply invested in the creative performance of multilingualism, and the reinvention of language. Immersed in the local Hip Hop culture of Cape Town, and with the methods of ethnographic fieldwork I deployed, I report on how I have followed a process of deep hanging out to document the emergence of Afrikaaps language technicians advancing the reinvention of Afrikaans for a non-racial, multilingual South Africa. On the one hand, I will demonstrate how the Afrikaaps language technicians employ a critical historical process in an attempt to reinvent Afrikaans by highlighting the unique, creative and dynamic stylizations of being with multilingualism instead. As they demonstrate what it means to undergo an ontological refashioning of multilingualism, these technicians employ a bottom-up process of selection, codification, and elaboration to remix multilingual voices and recast marginal forms of Afrikaans from the periphery to the centre. On the other hand, and much more consequential, their attempts to retool Afrikaans into Afrikaaps imply that to reinvent Afrikaans both as a target of ‘change’ and as a medium for social transformation holds great benefits for multilingual speakers in South Africa.
In the final part of this talk, I propose a trajectory for linguistic ethnographic research along the principles of deep hanging out: that is, to advance egalitarian-methodological methods to study the work of language technicians in global North and South societies. This trajectory, I argue in closing, could offer important inroads into what it means to be with multilingualism today. Such a trajectory, I will further suggest, could also open up meaningful dialogue around bottom-up notions of relationality and the reinvention of language across global North and South research contexts.
Bente Ailin Svendsen
Citizen Sociolinguistics and Ethnography – Different, but the Same? Critical Perspectives
Recently, Citizen Science (hereafter, CS) and its offshoots, such as Citizen Sociolinguistics, have gained momentum (e.g. Golumbic et al., 2017; Kasperowski et al., 2017; Rymes & Leone, 2014; Svendsen, 2018). CS involves citizens in doing research and has at least a 200 year-long tradition within the natural sciences, dating inter alia back to Linné’s engagement of lay people in his work on the typology of animals and plants in the mid-18th Century. Citizen Sociolinguistics is defined as engaging lay people in carrying out sociolinguistic research, in collecting, registering, analyzing, and interpreting data relative to the levels of citizen involvement and collaboration, research questions and design of the CS-project (Svendsen, 2018, p. 139). CS is particularly highlighted as a feasible method for collecting quantitative or big data (e.g. Lewenstein 2016). In this paper, I argue that CS is a feasible method to collect qualitative data as well and allows us to collect data in situations and from people that might otherwise be difficult to access. As such, Citizen Sociolinguistics resembles ethnographic methods, particularly the use of field workers. Based on a Norwegian CS-project where all pupils in a Norwegian school were invited to be language researchers, this paper presents some of the data the citizens collected and discusses them in light of today’s language education policy in Norway. Moreover, it discusses the relationship between Citizen Sociolinguistics and linguistic ethnography and the advantages and challenges of Citizen Sociolinguistics. The paper addresses recent political calls for democratization of research, where CS and crowdsourcing are highlighted as preferred methods (e.g. Memorandum by the White House: Executive Office of the President, 2015; EU draft for FP9). The paper discusses whether CS can contribute to such democratization processes, as well as to solve some of the grand societal challenges of today.
Using Video to Analyse Language Ideologies in the Classroom: From Research to Practical Intervention
Close analyses of video-recorded classroom data help us to understand how language
attitudes and ideologies manifest in situated interaction, and how these influence teachers’
practice, pupils’ identities, and learning processes. For example, research has shown that
negative attitudes to non-standard varieties in educational contexts can have detrimental
effects on speakers’ confidence, decrease motivation, and discourage participation. This work has led researchers to call for awareness raising or attitudinal change among educational practitioners. Video data has an important role to play in this endeavor, but it also raises issues about how we, as researchers, might work with educational practitioners. First, teachers have multiple, complex, and conflicting views. Teachers who adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to non-standard language in the classroom may, at the same time, express their concern for pupils’ individual well-being and sense of identity, with language diversity seen as a key aspect of this. In addition, many teachers already value language diversity but struggle to reconcile this with institutional demands, such as a centralized national curriculum and pressure from high-stakes standardised testing. Second, we know that views about language are often about much more than language, which means we may be faced with challenging deeply ingrained (and unconscious) racial, gender and class-based biases. This brings our research into very sensitive ethical terrain, particularly for those of us who want to translate our research data and findings into resources for professional development. All of this raises questions, such as: How can we use analyses of video data to challenge teachers’ assumptions and implicit biases without alienating them? How do we speak to teachers in ways that they can relate to and find useful, while also remaining committed to nuanced theoretical accounts of complex linguistic practices and ideological processes? If we want to use video data from our research in professional development workshops, how can ensure a respectful and supportive discussion of the teachers and pupils appearing in the video without ‘protecting’ them from the constructive criticism that is likely to be most conducive to learning? We will address these questions in the workshop through guided analysis of classroom data.
Line Møller Daugaard
Linguistic Ethnography among Toddlers and Young Children in Early Childhood
Nurseries, daycare centres and kindergartens constitute important societal institutions – and
interesting fields of linguistic ethnographic exploration. This workshop springs from one of two often quoted tenets in linguistic ethnography:
Analysis of the internal organisation of verbal (and other kinds of semiotic) data is essential to understanding its significance and position in the world. Meaning is far more than just the ‘expression of ideas’, and biography, identifications, stance and nuance are extensively signalled in the linguistic and textual fine-grain. (Rampton, 2007, p. 585)
We will explore what this entails when linguistic ethnography takes places among toddlers and young children in nurseries and other early childhood institutions. Investigating early childhood institutions poses a series of challenges to the linguistic ethnographer: How do we negotiate access to young children’s everyday life in the institution? How do we make sense of young children’s communication? How can we as linguistic ethnographers engage in dialogue with toddlers and young children? And finally: How can we represent young children’s communicative repertoires in meaningful and adequate ways when writing up our linguistic ethnographies? This workshop builds on an ongoing linguistic ethnography exploring language practices in three Danish nurseries targeted at 0-2-year-old toddlers and is inspired by White’s conceptualisation of the toddler as “a competent yet vulnerable communicator of and with many voices” (White 2011, p.
63) and of “toddler voice” as a plural concept including “any sound, gesture, movement or word that has the potential to be recognized by others in social exchange” (White 2011, p. 64). In the workshop, we will work with data from the nursery project and discuss potentials and challenges in doing linguistic ethnography in early childhood settings.
Mariëtte de Haan and Alfredo Jornet
Co-designing for Social Change across Institutional and Organizational Boundaries: Principles and Methods
In a context of growing challenges to democracy as well as to the environment, there is an
increased need for forms of inquiry that not only inform but also foster social transformation
and innovation, which often demands crossing institutional boundaries and engaging in
trans-disciplinary collaboration. The purpose of this workshop is for participants (from junior
to senior scholars and practitioners) to learn about, practice with, and jointly develop
principles and methods aimed at facilitating collaborative inquiry across institutional
boundaries, with a particular focus on—but not limited to—collaborations between schools
and out-of-school institutions and organizations, such as cultural centers and museums,
industry stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations. The workshop takes as point of
departure the notion of social design experiments (SDE), an interventionist form of research
that uses democratizing, collaborative design as a means to both foster and analyze social
transformation across social and institutional boundaries. SDEs build upon participatory
ethnography and design-based approaches and adds a focus on social change and social
justice. In SDE, participants with different backgrounds and from different organizations join
together to address collective objects of concern in their community. In the workshop, the
organizers will present the approach’s premises and concepts by grounding them in
empirical materials from two research projects aimed at social change: a project focused on
transforming teaching practices to deal with issues of polarization in The Netherlands, and a
project focused on transforming the role of schools in fostering climate action and
sustainability. These materials will be mobilised in hands-on activities in which workshop
participants will have the chance to explore concepts and tools for engaging in collaborative
design aimed at remediating social inequity and injustice.