Investigating Discourses of Inheritance and Identity in Four Multilingual European Settings
This project investigated the range of language and literacy practices of multilingual young people in cities in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom to:
- explore the cultural and social significance of these practices
- investigate how they are used in the context of inheritance and cultural identities
The project focused on the development of innovative research methods to fulfill these aims, with the objective of making relevant and valuable contributions to policies and practices relating to support for minority languages in Europe.
The project pursued five related objectives:
- Investigate the range of language and literacy practices
- Explore the cultural and social significance of these practices.
- Investigate how these practices are used to shape and define the multilingual young people’s inheritance and identities.
- Develop innovative multi-site, new methodologies based on interlocking case studies across national, social, cultural and linguistic contexts, taking account of ethnographic differences.
- Use the project’s findings to help formulate policy and practice over inclusion of non-national minority languages in the wider European educational agenda.
To assess the different ways in which young people form their culture, heritage and identity, researchers conducted ethnographic investigations in the four countries in:
- two subject teaching classes in a mainstream school in Copenhagen, Denmark
- a class in a bilingual semi-private school where pupils are taught in both Swedish and Spanish, as well as two bilingual Swedish-Finnish schools, in Stockholm, Sweden
- a community-run Panjabi language (complementary) school in Birmingham, United Kingdom
- a community-run Chinese language (complementary) school in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.