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“Language and Culture: The construction of a new paradigm” Sarah Cartwright

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1 “Language and Culture: The construction of a new paradigm” Sarah Cartwright

2 Idiom encapsulating culture The French for expressing being busy and having other priorities: “J’ai d’autres chats à fouetter”

3 Meaning defined by cultural context: “I want to go to the beach”

4 England: a plurilingual society 1 in 7 primary school children in England speak a language other than English at home; 1 in 10 secondary pupils likewise Emergence of new “regional” languages:  Italian in Bedfordshire  Punjabi in the West Midlands  Somali in London  Polish in Lincolnshire Meantime English has gone “global” and developed into a lingua franca, shedding many of its traditional idioms

5 Our Languages across Europe

6 Complementary schools Teach their community’s language(s), often offer additional tuition in Maths, English and Science and a range of cultural activities Estimated to be around 3,000 such schools run by volunteersvolunteers Strong interest in alternative pedagogies to better engage youth Young people have their own “take” on traditional cultureYoung people This originality/rebellion expressed in a fusion of the languages eg development of Banglish in Tower Hamlets, London Academic researchers in the field include Professor Jennifer Chesire, Queen Mary, University of London, Prof Angela Creese, University of Birmingham and Dr Charmian Kenner, Goldsmiths

7 Fortress Europe under pressure to redefine parameters The nation state as an artificial construction The internet as more powerful than the state in facilitating/controlling communication Gobalisation as more than an economic phenomenon Obama as a cool role model for “global identity” Linguistic borders as permeable - as those of the nation state New paradigms: language becomes multicultural as culture becomes multilingual

8 Conclusion We could and should…  Define the learner rather than the language  Positively embrace diversity and plurilingualism  Develop a curriculum and pedagogy to meet needs of today’s multi-level plurilingual language learners  Recognise identity confirmation as a powerful driver in language learning – more compelling than employability  Promote the plurilingual “voices” of parents and pupils  Strive to abolish the distinction between “minority” & “migrant” languages in the interests of social cohesion

9 References J. Anderson, ‘Towards an integrated second-language pedagogy for foreign and community/heritage languages in multilingual Britain’, Language Learning Journal, 36:1, June 2008, pp A. Creese, A. Bhatt, N. Bhojani, and P. Martin, ‘Multicultural, heritage and learner identities in complementary schools’, Language and Education, 20:1, pp D. Dorling, So you Think You Know About Britain? Constable, London, T. Issa and C. Williams, Realising potential: complementary schools in the UK. Trentham Books, 2009.

10 Lifelong learning programme: accompanying measures “ Our Languages across Europe”  Identification of key stakeholders across Europe  Development of a network of 50+ language professionals who will take part in dissemination activities;  Launch and final conferences  Seminars in Europe to share best practice/case studies/pedagogies  Development of website  1,000 copies of revised Our Languages toolkit + DVD.  Initiation of similar projects in a minimum of 3 other EU countries.  Promotion of resources to a minimum of 5000 learners across Europe.

11 Our Languages across Europe How can you contribute? Please  Stay in contact  Distribute the new e-toolkit  Promote the website  Share your network  Organise a seminar  Register for the final conference: Sept 2011, London THANK YOU!


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