Thursday, 10 June 2010

Clara Keating: Language provision and the state

Mother tongue education in two contexts:

1. Portuguese residents in UK (adult, female)
2. Eastern Europeans in Portugal (children, Russian-based community school; integration of students of non-Portuguese descent within the Portuguese educational system)

Clara takes a counterhegemonical, critical look into language provision and state (and as Clara said, her first attempt at linking language policy).

The need of nation states to provide its language worldwide -- where are loyalties, who are we giving privilegies to? Imagine links between research, practice, policies, and the underlying ethics!

The monolingual national Portuguese situation encourages blindnesses (similar in several European nation states). There is tension between centres and peripheries everywhere. Clara also wanted to acknowledge the Portuguese associates and colleagues working with her (sorry, I could not get your names!)

Bipolar position of Portuguese migration:

1. long standing history of emigration
2. European identity as howt of immigration
=> Portuguese migration as a hub - import/export of labour force
but what about the colonial history?
=> Post-colonial and diasporic perspective of the Portuguese language
=> Multiple positions from which to reflect on Portuguese
  • lg of agency (dialogue, creating informal alternatives to dominant states of affaires
  • lg of structure (maintaining national and lusophon space, strongly influenced by monolingual language practice)
  • lg of mobility (escaping mobility, finding hegemonical gaps, creating lines of flight
In looking at micro-meso-micro, we need to look at histories! How to reach over the macro-meso-micro? => look at the different actors and their links, loyalties etc.

Portuguese in UK: started out as grassroots initiatives (Portuguese teachers and parents in London), went on to become a massive "industry" => links between state and community. Does this create tension?

Russian in Portugal: from home schools to institutional schools ("Cultural local association"); but should they be part of mainstream educational system?

How do these two groups compare?

We seem to have different scales of recognition and investment. In practice, we need to improve waqys of engaging interactive dialogue between community schools and mainstream education. We also have to assume messiness going on in spaces of multilingualism, including classrooms! => different language, migrant, professional trajectories.

This was a story of structure. How can we imagine the story of agencies? Trajectories of people, items etc. -- how do these meet? How can we as researchers imagine, what has been missed?

Question /Comment: As researchers, we seem to be stuck with the current state of affairs. We need to take into account more thoroughly. Answer: histories become more and more important as we go on.

No comments:

Post a Comment