Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Schulisches Sprachenlernen im Wechselspiel von Gesellschaft und Identität

Stotz, Daniel ; Bossart, Marie-Nicole ; Fischli, Patrik

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 2009, vol. 89, p. 41-59

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    This article reports on a research project, entitled "Multilingualism, identity and language learning in Swiss schools and communities", which draws on sociolinguistic ethnography to describe and interpret the changes in the state school domain connected with the introduction of English as a first foreign language in two cantons. It traces the ways in which the prioritisation of English over French has been legitimated. Key arguments were the needs of a globalised occupational domain, the discourse of equity as well as the ties between English and 'youth culture'. Two case studies describe how teachers are dealing with new priorities and curricular innovation. They crucially focus on the transition between primary and secondary schools and new materials to underscore changing teaching approaches. An analysis of extracts from classroom interaction shows how the structuration process that underlies reform is played out in the linkage between learning arrangements and content worth communicating about. Conclusions stress the need to develop materials and teacher training that support practice and go beyond ideological configurations.