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Urban multilingualism in Europe: Educational responses to increasing diversity

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Abstract

After a brief introduction on regional and immigrant minority languages across Europe (1), we will deal with multilingualism and language rights (2). Next, we will go into the European discourse on foreigners and integration (3). Against this background, we will offer cross-national perspectives on community language teaching, derived from the findings of the Multilingual Cities Project on current practices in this domain in six major European cities and countries (4). In the final section, we will offer a reconciliation of the MCP outcomes with the current European discourse on trilingualism (5).
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Urban multilingualism in Europe: Educational responses to increasing
diversity
Kutlay Ya
ğ
mur *, Guus Extra
Tilburg University, Department of Language and Culture Studies, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
1. Introduction
In the European Union (EU henceforward) context, the discourse on multilingualism and language diversity does not
always reflect the social and educational reality. Language diversity as a constituent property of Europe’s identity is mostly
illustrated by reference to the national languages. Regional or immigrant minority (RM and IM henceforward) languages are
usually not included in this picture. IM languages are commonly associated with problems of poverty, underachievement in
schools, social and cultural problems, as well as lack of integration into the society of residence. Even though policy makers
make a sharp distinction between RM and IM languages, these languages have much in common. On their sociolinguistic,
educational, and political agendas, we find issues such as their actual spread, their domestic and public vitality, the processes
and determinants of language maintenance versus shift towards majority languages, the relationship between language,
ethnicity, and identity, and the status of minority languages in schools, in particular in the compulsory stages of primary and
secondary education. Nevertheless, these two groups of minorities are treated differently by European policy makers (Extra
and Gorter, 2008). The issues of democratic citizenship, language rights of RM versus IM groups, and social cohesion versus
linguistic diversity remain to be unresolved issues facing immigrant-receiving societies (see Extra and Ya
ğ
mur, 2004:73–92
for a detailed discussion). The gap between democratic ideals in European nation-states and daily educational experiences of
IM groups in schools continues to challenge nation-state ideologies. Policy-makers still persistently ignore the bottom-up
push for pluralism. The act of abolishing home language instruction for IM children in primary schools in some EU countries
shows that some languages are not yet admissible in the classroom and in the schoolyard.
There is much published evidence on the status and use of RM languages, both in Europe and abroad (e.g., Gorter et al.,
1990). Baetens Beardsmore (1993) focuses on RM languages in Western Europe, whereas the focus of Synak and
Journal of Pragmatics 43 (2011) 1185–1195
ARTICLE INFO
Article history:
Received 18 February 2009
Received in revised form 26 January 2010
Accepted 5 October 2010
Available online 19 November 2010
Keywords:
Citizenship
Community language teaching (CLT)
Integration
Language rights
Multilingual Cities Project (MCP)
Trilingual development
ABSTRACT
After a brief introduction on regional and immigrant minority languages across Europe (1),
we will deal with multilingualism and language rights (2). Next, we will go into the
European discourse on foreigners and integration (3). Against this background, we will
offer cross-national perspectives on community language teaching, derived from the
findings of the Multilingual Cities Project on current practices in this domain in six major
European cities and countries (4). In the final section, we will offer a reconciliation of the
MCP outcomes with the current European discourse on trilingualism (5).
ß2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 134662930.
E-mail addresses: k.yagmur@uvt.nl (K. Ya
ğ
mur), guus.extra@uvt.nl (G. Extra).
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Pragmatics
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/pragma
0378-2166/$ – see front matter ß2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.010
Author's personal copy
Wicherkiewicz (1997),Bratt-Paulston and Peckham (1998), and Hogan-Brun and Wolff (2003) is on RM languages in Central
and Eastern Europe. Given the overwhelming focus on mainstream language acquisition by IM groups, there is much less
evidence on the status and use of IM languages across Europe. In contrast to RM languages, IM languages have no established
status in terms of period and area of residence. Across Europe, large contrasts occur in the status of IM languages at school,
depending on particular nation-states, or even particular federal states within nation-states (as in Germany), and depending
on particular IM languages, being national languages in other European (Union) countries or not. Most commonly, IM
languages are not part of mainstream education. In Great Britain, for example, IM languages are not part of the so-called
‘national’ curriculum, and they are dealt with in various types of so-called ‘complementary’ education at out-of-school hours
(e.g., Martin et al., 2004).
2. Multilingualism and language regimes
Derived from Max Weber(1968, cited in Laitin, 2000), Laitin makes a distinction between a ‘‘rationalized’’ language regime
and a ‘‘multilingual’’ regime. If a language is imposed as the only language for educational and administrative purposes, the
state has a ‘‘rationalized’’ languageregime. According to Laitin (2000:[2_TD$DIFF]151), states can achieve language rationalization by three
different methods: a) rationalization through the recognition of a lingua franca (such as Swahili in Tanzania or Bahasa in
Indonesia), b) rationalization through the recognition of the language of a majority group(French in France or Han Chinese in
China), and c) rationalization through the recognition of the language of a minority group (imposition of Amharic on Ethiopia or
Afrikaans in South Africa). If states have not pursued any form of rationalization or were obliged by the social and political
circumstances to recognize language rights of minority populations, then these states are said to have multilingual regimes.
There are different forms of multilingual regimes with varying numbers of languages. In India, for instance, one can talk of
language repertoires of 3 plus/minus 1 language regime. Different languages are used for different purposes in different
domains: Hindi for state documents, English for higher civil services and big business, and the state language for state services
and education. Besides, an additional language is used for communication in the domestic domain and within a particular
group. There is also the 2 plus/minus 1 regime, in which in addition to the mainstream language another legalized language is
used, e.g.[3_TD$DIFF], Spanish (with Basque, Catalan) or Russian (with one or two official languages in federal republics plus a variety of
minority languages). In some multilingual contexts, some minority group members have neither the regional language nor the
mainstream language as their mother tongue. Such speakers are often trilingual. For instance, Turkish speakers in Friesland in
the Netherlands may be trilingual in Dutch, Fries, and Turkish. Yet, Turkish does not have any form of status in the mainstream
society. Most IM communities within EU countries share this de facto multilingual position.
In the 21st century, humankind is still preoccupied with securing basic human rights, one of which is language rights.
Based on the evidence obtained from the Multilingual Cities Project, this article focuses on the differences between the
official rhetoric on language rights and actual language teaching practice in six European Union countries. A brief reference
to language rights is presented here so that conflicting language teaching practices with respect to regional versus immigrant
languages can be understood. For a detailed and in-depth treatment of language rights we refer to Duchene (2008),Grin
(2003),May (2008), and Wright (2004).Skutnabb-Kangas (1995:7) suggests that ‘‘there should be no need to debate the right
to maintain and develop one’s mother tongue. It is a self-evident, fundamental, basic linguistic human right.’’ Yet, what is
obvious in one context is unimaginable in another context, especially in countries where linguistic diversity is seen as the
principal threat to social cohesion and national unity. In European nation-states, IM languages are commonly conceived of as
a problem in achieving national cohesion and homogeneity. However, due to massive population shifts of people from
different ethnolinguistic backgrounds, more and more countries are experiencing migration flows. In addition to the
traditional forms of migration, there are also new forms of population movements, such as overseas students and highly
qualified professionals, who mostly offer their knowledge and expertise to transnational companies or universities. This
diversity of population flows is an essential component of the globalization process and it results in increasing linguistic
diversity of the host societies and in challenging traditional monolingual institutions.
Compared to the lack of affirmative action in most EU countries, yesterday’s less democratic countries such as
South Africa and the Russian Federation have taken more policy measures to secure language rights of individuals and
groups. Given the extreme assimilation policies of Soviet Russia from the 1930s till the late 1980s, the recognition of
linguistic human rights by the Supreme Soviet in October 1991 is remarkable. In the Declaration of Human Rights and
Freedoms (cited in Leontiev, 1995), it is stated that ‘‘every person is guaranteed the right to use the mother tongue, to have
education through the medium of the mother tongue, and the protection and growth of the national culture.’’ According to
Leontiev (1995:204), the Russian position ‘‘contrasts sharply with some recent documents of European origin which contain
absolutely empty formulations like everyone has the right of expression in any language.’’ Indeed, actions speak louder than
words. Russian legislation provided provisions for minority language teaching in different Republics, such as Altai or
Bashkortostan, where all ethnolinguistic groups are entitled to instruction in their own languages. All parents are
encouraged to demand home language instruction for their children. In principle, all languages are equal for legislation and
there has been a considerable increase in the number of native language educational institutions in Bashkortostan (Graney,
1999). Current practice shows that the Russians did not only opt for eloquent documents but they also provided the
conditions for implementation. Yet ethnic Russians, like Anglo-Americans or Anglo-Australians, remain largely monolingual.
To present another context, multilingualism is an inherent characteristic of India. Annamalai (1995) reports that there are
about 200 recognized languages, many of which are used in education, administration and the mass media. The language
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policy has been to teach a minimum of three languages in schools, which is known as the three language formula. These three
languages consist of Hindi and English (two official languages of the Union) plus the official language of the particular state.
Students who complete ten years of secondary schooling will have learned at least three languages.
The Australian discourse on multilingualism and language rights has a somewhat different color than the cases
mentioned before. Starting with a policy of assimilation, Australians ultimately opted for full-fledged multiculturalism.
The Senate looked at language issues in terms of rights, needs, and resources for cultural diversity, trade and diplomacy. The
recommendations of the Senate were developed into a National Policy on Languages (Lo Bianco, 1987). Interestingly,
the concept of ‘rights’ has different implications in the Australian context and policy makers avoid the use of this term in
policy documents. According to Ozolins (1993), Australia has resolutely avoided a language rights-based approach to
language and multicultural policy, preferring instead a stronger language policy-based approach.
Below we offer an overview of major agencies and documents on language rights at the global and European level. Major
agencies at the global level are the United Nations and UNESCO, and at the European level the European Union, in Brussels,
and the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.
United Nations (UN)
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
Declaration of the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992)
UNESCO
Universal Declaration on Linguistic Rights (1996)
Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity (update 2002)
Education in a Multilingual World (2003)
Council of the European Communities (now EU, established in Brussels)
Directive on the schooling of children of migrant workers (1977)
Council of Europe (established in Strasbourg)
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1998)
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (update 2003)
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
The Hague Recommendations Regarding the Education Rights of National Minorities (1996)
Oslo Recommendations Regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities (1998)
The overview makes clear that there are differences in both the terminology of the documents and the target groups
under discussion. The documents refer to such concepts as declarations, directives or recommendations, all of them having a
different legal status and binding power. Moreover, the documents may focus on particular individuals and/or groups. There
is a growing international awareness that, irrespective of the fundamental freedoms of the individual as expressed most
notably in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December
1948, minority groups have rights that should be acknowledged and accommodated as well. As a result, the recognition and
protection of minorities has become a significant issue in international law.
In most European documents on language rights, IM groups are deliberately excluded and cannot claim any linguistic or
cultural rights. In addition to this double yardstick for minority rights, there are further inconsistencies in EU policies on
minorities. For admission of new states to the EU, such as Bulgaria or Turkey, the EU put certain rules and conditions with
regard to respecting minority rights. It is highly ironical that the Copenhagen principles have to be obeyed by the candidate
states for admission but some of the member states do not even implement these principles themselves. The loose and non-
binding nature of European documents encourages member states to make their own decisions. Most documents contain
very broad principles lacking concrete terms and conditions for implementation but the European Charter for Regional or
Minority Languages contains such terms and conditions. The political power of RM groups and their associations enables
them to claim their language rights but much less influential IM groups remain helpless. The differential treatment of
regional versus immigrant minorities might continue for an indefinite period of time because the discourse of assimilation of
immigrants ‘‘is still widely heard’’ and ‘‘linguistic space is only opening up for territorial rather than migrant groups’’
(Wright, 2004:199).
In many of these documents, cultural pluralism or diversity is conceived as a prerequisite for, and not a threat to, social
cohesion or integration. A plea for reconciling the concepts of diversity and cohesion has also been made by the Migration
Policy Group (2000), in co-operation with the European Cultural Foundation, on the basis of a comprehensive survey and
evaluation of available policy documents and new policy developments and orientations. The Migration Policy Group’s
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report puts ‘historic’ and ‘new’ minorities in Europe in an overarching context. Both types of minorities significantly
contributed and contribute to Europe’s cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity. As yet, European nation-states are
reluctant to recognize and respect this diversity as part of their national, and increasingly European, identity.
Most legislations and charters concerning IM languages are exclusion-oriented. European countries are calling out for
unification and pluralism through EU policies but their discourse concerning IM groups is discriminatory in nature. The
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages guarantees only the rights of RM groups. Allocating special rights to one
group of minorities and denying the same rights to other groups is hard to explain with the principle of equal human rights
for everyone. Besides, most of the so-called ‘migrants’ in EU countries have taken up the citizenship of the countries where
they live, and in many cases they belong to second or third generation groups. German-Russian immigrants, most of whom
cannot even speak German, immigrating from Russia to Germany, easily take up German citizenship on the basis of their
blood-bond, but second or third generation Turkish immigrants, who are fluent in German, are denied such rights in
Germany. Such exclusion-oriented policies are compatible with neither language rights nor human rights. The demographic
development in the EU compels policy makers to reconsider their position concerning language rights. IM groups belong
increasingly to a third or later generation of descendants, most of whom possess the citizenship of the countries where they
live. Against this background, there is a growing need of overarching human rights for every individual, irrespective of
his/her ethnic, cultural, religious, or linguistic background (Extra and Gorter, 2008).
3. The European discourse on foreigners and integration
In the European public discourse on IM groups, two major characteristics emerge: IM groups are often referred to as
foreigners (
é
trangers,Ausl
ä
nder) and as being in need of integration. First of all, it is common practice to refer to IM groups in
terms of non-national residents and to their languages in terms of non-territorial, non-regional, non-indigenous, or
non-European languages. The call for integration is in sharp contrast with this language of exclusion. The conceptual
exclusion rather than inclusion in the European public discourse derives from a restrictive interpretation of the notions of
citizenship and nationality. From a historical point of view, such notions are commonly shaped by a constitutional ius
sanguinis (law of the blood), in terms of which nationality derives from parental origins, in contrast to ius soli (law of the
ground), in terms of which nationality derives from the country of birth. When European emigrants left their continent in the
past and colonized countries abroad, they legitimized their claim to citizenship by spelling out ius soli in the constitutions of
these countries of settlement. Good examples of this strategy can be found in English-dominant immigration countries like
the USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. In establishing the constitutions of these (sub-) continents, no consultation took
place with native inhabitants, such as Indians, Inuit, Aboriginals, and Zulus, respectively. At home, however, Europeans
predominantly upheld ius sanguinis in their constitutions and/or perceptions of nationality and citizenship, in spite of the
growing numbers of newcomers who strive for equal status as citizens.
Smith and Blanc (1995) discuss different conceptions and definitions of citizenship within a number of European nation-
states, in particular Great Britain, France, and Germany. They argue that, in the former two countries, citizenship is
commonly defined on the basis of a mixture of territoriality and ethnicity, whereas in the latter country, citizenship is
commonly defined directly on the basis of ethnicity. Nationality laws based strongly upon ethnicity are more restrictive of
access to all dimensions of citizenship than those with a greater territorial element. Along similar lines, Janoski and Glennie
(1995) discuss different types of responses from nation-states to the issue of full citizenship for those who originate from
abroad. Some nation-states make extensive efforts to naturalize immigrants and offer them full citizenship, whereas other
nation-states are reluctant to do so and even place obstacles in their way. Janoski and Glennie (1995:21) argue that countries
with a strong colonial past are much more inclined to offer naturalization than countries without such tradition. The non-
colonizer scenario of reluctance or closure applies to a number of European nation-states. In contrast, traditional settler
nations such as Canada, the USA, and Australia have developed an inclusive conception of citizenship rights, and have
become more open to immigrants from different ethnic, religious, or linguistic backgrounds. Rapid processes of demographic
transformation in Europe have provided a fertile soil for extreme right-wing parties and movements to target IM groups as
‘enemies within’ who are ultimately ‘outsiders’ or ‘foreigners’. One should add that reference to ‘foreigners’ is also often
maintained in the European public discourse for those who have in fact acquired full citizenship of the nation-state in which
they live. For instance, the former Dutch Minister of Integration wanted all those immigrants to go through integration
classes even if they have Dutch passports; on the basis of the Dutch constitution, however, the Council of State decided that
this would be a discriminatory act against the principle of equal treatment.
A second major characteristic of the European public discourse on IM groups is the focus on integration. This notion is
both popular and vague, and it may actually refer to a whole spectrum of underlying concepts that vary over space and time.
Miles and Thr
ä
nhardt (1995),Baubo
¨ck et al. (1996), and Kruyt and Niessen (1997) are good examples of comparative case
studies on the notion of integration in a variety of EU countries that have been faced with increasing immigration since the
early 1970s. The extremes of the conceptual spectrum range from assimilation to multiculturalism. The concept of
assimilation is based on the premise that cultural differences between IM groups and established majority groups should and
will disappear over time in a society which is proclaimed to be culturally homogeneous. On the other side of the spectrum,
the concept of multiculturalism is based on the premise that such differences are an asset to a pluralist society, which
actually promotes cultural diversity in terms of new resources and opportunities. While the concept of assimilation focuses
on unilateral tasks of newcomers, the concept of multiculturalism focuses on multilateral tasks for all inhabitants in
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changing societies. In practice, established majority groups often make strong demands on IM groups to assimilate and are
commonly very reluctant to promote or even accept the notion of cultural diversity as a determining characteristic of an
increasingly multicultural environment.
It is interesting to compare the underlying assumptions of ‘integration’ in the European public discourse on IM groups at
the national level with assumptions at the level of cross-national cooperation and legislation. In the latter context, European
politicians are eager to stress the importance of a proper balance between the loss and the maintenance of ‘national’ norms
and values. A prime concern in the public debate on such norms and values is cultural and linguistic diversity, mainly in
terms of the national languages of the EU. National languages are often referred to as core values of cultural identity.
Paradoxically, in the same public discourse, IM languages and cultures are commonly conceived of as sources of problems
and deficits and as obstacles to integration, while national languages and cultures in an expanding EU are regarded as
sources of enrichment and as prerequisites for integration.
The public discourse on the integration of IM groups in terms of assimilation versus multiculturalism can also be noticed
in the domain of education. Due to a growing influx of IM pupils, European schools are faced with the challenge of adapting
their curricula to this trend. The pattern of modification may be inspired by a strong and unilateral emphasis on learning (in)
the language of the majority of society, given the significance of this language for success in school and on the labor market,
or by the awareness that the response to emerging multicultural school populations cannot be reduced to monolingual
education programming (Gogolin, 1994). In the former case, the focus is on learning (in) the national language as a second
language only, in the latter case, on offering more languages in the school curriculum.
4. Cross-national perspectives on community language teaching
Across Europe, large contrasts occur in the status of IM languages at school, depending on particular nation-states, or even
particular federal states within nation-states (as in Germany), and depending on particular IM languages, being national
languages in other EU countries or not. Most commonly, IM languages are not part of mainstream education. Here we present
the most salient outcomes of the Multilingual Cities Project (MCP), a multiple case study in six major multicultural cities in
different EU member states (Extra and Ya
ğ
mur, 2004). The aims of the MCP were to gather, analyze, and compare multiple
data on the status of IM languages at home and at school. In the participating cities, ranging from Northern to Southern
Europe (Go
¨teborg, Hamburg, The Hague, Brussels, Lyon, and Madrid), Germanic and/or Romance languages have a dominant
status in public and educational life.
Being aware of cross-national differences in denotation, we will use the concept of community language teaching (CLT)
instead of home language instruction or mother tongue education. Our rationale for using the concept of CLT is the inclusion
of a broad spectrum of potential target groups. First of all, the status of an IM language as a ‘native’ or ‘home’ language can
change over time through intergenerational processes of language shift. Moreover, in secondary education, both minority
and majority pupils are often de iure (although seldom de facto) admitted to CLT (in the Netherlands, e.g., Turkish is a
secondary school subject referred to as ‘Turkish’ rather than ‘home language instruction’; compare also the concepts of
Enseignement des Langues et Cultures d’Origine and Enseignement des Langues Vivantes in French primary and secondary
schools, respectively).
In all countries involved in the MCP, there has been an increase in the number ofIM pupils who speak a language at home
other than or in addition to the mainstream language in primary and secondary education. Schools have largely responded
to this home-school language mismatch by paying more attention to the learning and teaching of the mainstream language
as a second language. A great deal of energy and money is being spent on developing curricula, teaching materials, and
teacher training for second-language education. CLT stands in stark contrast to this, as it is much more susceptible to an
ideological debate about its legitimacy. While there is consensus about the necessity of investing in second-language
education for IM pupils, there is a lack of support for CLT. IM languages are commonly considered sources of problems and
deficiencies, and they are rarely seen as sources of knowledge and enrichment. Policy makers, local educational authorities,
headmasters of schools, and teachers of ‘regular’ subjects often have reservations or negative attitudes towards CLT. On the
other hand, parents of IM pupils, CLT teachers, and IM organizations often make a case for including IM languages in the
school curriculum. These differences in top-down and bottom-up attitudes were found in all the cities and countries
investigated.
From a historical point of view, most of the countries involved in the MCP show a similar chronological development in their
argumentation in favor of CLT. CLT was generally introduced into primary education with a view to family remigration. This
objective was also clearly expressed in Directive 77/486 of the European Community, on 25 July 1977. The Directive focused on
the education of the children of ‘migrant workers’ with the aim ‘principally to facilitate their possible reintegration into the
Member State of origin’. As is clear from this formulation, the Directive excluded all IM children originating from non-EU
countries, although these childrenform(ed) the large part of IM children in European primary schools. At that time,Sweden was
not an EU member state, and CLT policies for IM children in Sweden were not directed towards remigration but modeled
according to bilingual education policies for the large minority of Finnish-speaking children in Sweden.
During the 1970s, the above argumentation for CLT was increasingly abandoned. Demographic developments showed no
substantial signs of remigrating families. Instead, a process of family reunion and minorization came about in the host
countries. This development resulted in a conceptual shift, and CLT became primarily aimed at combating disadvantages.
CLT had to bridge the gap between the home and the school environment, and to support school achievement in ‘regular’
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subjects. Because such an approach tended to underestimate the intrinsic value of CLT, a number of countries began to
emphasize the importance of CLT from a cultural, legal, or economic perspective:
from a cultural perspective, CLT contributes to maintaining and advancing a pluriform society;
from a legal perspective, CLT meets the internationally recognized right to language transmission and language
maintenance, and acknowledges the fact that many IM groups consider their own language as a core value of cultural
identity in a context of migration and minorization;
from an economic perspective, CLT leads to an important pool of profitable knowledge in societies which are increasingly
internationally oriented.
The historical development of arguments for CLT in terms of remigration, combating deficiencies, and multicultural
policy is evident in some German states, in particular North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg. In most countries in our study,
however, cultural policy is tied in with the mainstream language to such an extent that CLT is tolerated only in the margins.
Cultural motives have played a rather important role in Sweden. It should, however, be noted that multicultural arguments
for CLT have not led to an educational policy in which the status of IM languages has been substantially advanced in any of
the countries involved in our study.
Derived from Extra and Ya
ğ
mur (2004), we give a cross-national overview of nine parameters of CLT in primary and
secondary education that were taken into account in each of the six countries involved in the MCP, i.e., Sweden, Germany, the
Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain. CLT for primary school children came to an abrupt nationwide end in the
Netherlands in 2004 as being ‘in contradiction with integration’, and the information presented is therefore in retrospect.
4.1. Target groups
The target groups for CLT in primary schools arecommonly IM children, definedas such in a narrow or broad sense. Narrow
definitions commonly relate to the range of languages taught and/or to children’s proficiency in these languages. The most
restrictive set of languages is taught in Spain, i.e., Arabic and Portuguese only, for Moroccanand Portuguese (-speaking) children,
respectively. A wide range of languages is taught in Sweden and Germany. The Netherlands, Belgium, and France take/took an
intermediate position. Sweden and France demand from the target groups an active use of the languages at home and a basic
proficiency in these languages. Special target groups in Sweden are adopted children; in Germany, ethnic German children from
abroad; and in France, speakers of recognized RM languages. Sweden has the most explicit policy for access to CLT in terms of
‘home language’ (nowadays, back to ‘mother tongue’) instead of socio-economic status. Thetarget groups for CLT in secondary
schools are commonly those who participatedin CLT in primary schools. De iure, all pupils are allowed to CLT in the Netherlands,
independent of ethnolinguistic background; de facto, most commonly, a subset of IM pupils takes part. CLT for secondary school
pupils is almost non-existent in Belgium, and limited to Arabic and Portuguese in a few secondary schools in Spain.
4.2. Arguments
The arguments for CLT are formulated in terms of a struggle against deficits and/orin terms of multicultural policy.Whereas
the former type of argument predominates in primary education, the latter type predominates in secondary education. The
vague concept of ‘integration’ utilized in all countries under discussion may relate to any of these arguments. Deficit arguments
may be phrased in terms of bridging the home/school gap, promoting mainstream language learning, promoting schoolsuccess
in other (‘regular’) subjects, preventing educational failure, or overcoming marginalization. Multicultural arguments may be
phrased in terms of promoting cultural identity and self-esteem, promoting cultural pluralism, promoting multilingualism in a
multicultural and globalizing society, and avoiding ethnic prejudice. Whereas in the Netherlands and Belgium deficit
argumentsdominate(d), multicultural arguments tend to play a greaterrole in the other countries. Deficit arguments for CLT are
almost absent in secondary schools, and multicultural arguments are commonly favored in all countries.
4.3. Objectives
The objectives of CLT in primary schools are rarely specified in terms of language skills to be acquired. The vague concept of
‘active bilingualism’ has been a common objective in Sweden, whereas in Germany and Spain, reference is made to the
developmentof oral and written language skills, language awareness,and (inter)cultural skills.In none of these cases have more
particular specifications been introduced. In contrast, the objectives of CLT in secondary schools are commonly specified in
terms of particular oral and written skills to be reached at intermediate stages and/or at the end of secondary schooling.
4.4. Evaluation
The evaluation of achievement through CLT may take place informally and/or formally. Informal evaluation takes place by
means of subjective oral and/or written teachers’ impressions or comments, meant for parents at regular intervals, e.g., once
per semester or year. Formal evaluation takes place using more or less objective language proficiency measurement and
language proficiency report figures, e.g., once per semester or year. Informal evaluation may occur in lower grades of primary
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schooling, formal evaluation in higher grades (e.g., in Sweden). In most countries, however, no report figures for CLT are
provided throughout the primary school curriculum, and report figures for ‘language’ commonly refer implicitly to
proficiency in the mainstream language. If CLT report figures are given (e.g., in France), such figures commonly do not have
the same status as report figures for other subjects. The evaluation of achievement through CLT in secondary schools takes
place formally through assessment instruments and examinations. Here, report figures may have a regular or peripheral
status. The former holds in particular for Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands.
4.5. Minimal enrolment
Minimal enrolment requirements for CLT may be specified at the level of the class, the school, or even the municipality at
large. The latter is common practice only in Sweden, and the minimal enrolment requirement for children from different
classes/schools in Sweden was five in 2004. Secondary schools in Sweden may also opt for CLT if at least five pupils enroll. All
other countries are more reluctant, with minimal requirements for primary school pupils ranging between 10[4_TD$DIFF] and 20
(Germany, Belgium, France), or without any specification (the Netherlands and Spain). In the latter case, enrolment
restrictions are commonly based on budget constraints.
4.6. Curricular status
In all countries, CLT at primary schools takes place on a voluntary and optional basis, provided at the request of parents.
Instruction may take place within or outside regular school hours. The latter is most common in Sweden, Belgium, and
France. Germany, the Netherlands (until 2004), and Spain allow(ed) for two models of instruction, either within or outside
regular school hours, depending on the type of language (in Germany), the type of goal (auxiliary or intrinsic in the
Netherlands), and the type of organization (in integrated or parallel classes in Spain). The number of CLT hours varies
between 1[5_TD$DIFF] and 5 h[6_TD$DIFF] per week. If CLT takes place at secondary schools, it is considered a regular and optional subject within
school hours in all countries under consideration.
4.7. Funding
The funding of CLT may depend on national, regional, or local educational authorities in the country/municipality of
residence and/or on the consulates/embassies of the countries of origin. In the latter case, consulates or embassies commonly
recruit and provide the teachers, and they are also responsible for teacher (in-service) training. Funding through the country
and/or municipality of residence takes/took place in Sweden and the Netherlands. Funding through the consulates/
embassies of the countries of origin takes place in Belgium and Spain. A mixed type of funding occurs in Germany and in
France. In Germany, the source of funding is dependent on particular languages or organizational models for CLT. In France,
source countries fund CLT in primary schools, whereas the French ministry of education funds CLT in secondary schools.
4.8. Teaching materials
Teaching materials for CLT may originate from the countries of origin or of residence of the pupils. Funding from ministries,
municipalities, and/or publishing houses occurs in Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands, although limited resources are
available. Source country funding for CLT occurs in Belgium and Spain. In France, source countries fund teaching materials in
primary schools, whereas the French Ministry of Education funds teaching materials in secondary schools.
4.9. Teacher qualifications
Teacher qualifications for CLT may depend on educational authorities in the countries of residence or of origin. National or
statewide (in-service) teacher training programs for CLT at primary and/or secondary schools exist in Sweden, Germany, and
the Netherlands, although the appeal of these programs is limited, given the many uncertainties about CLT job perspectives.
In Belgium and Spain, teacher qualifications depend on educational authorities in the countries of origin. France has a mixed
system of responsibilities: source countries are responsible for teacher qualifications in primary schools, whereas the French
Ministry of Education is responsible for teacher qualifications in secondary schools.
Table 1 gives a cross-national summary of the outcomes of all nine parameters.
Table 1 show[7_TD$DIFF]s that there are remarkable cross-national differences in the status of CLT. There are also considerable
differencesbetween primary and secondaryeducation in the status of CLT. A comparisonof all nine parameters makes clearthat
CLT has gained a higher status in secondary schools than in primary schools. In primary education, CLT is generally not part of
the ‘regular’ or ‘national’ curriculum, and, therefore, becomes a negotiable entity in a complex and often opaque interplay
between a variety of actors. Another remarkable difference is that, in some countries, CLT is funded by the consulates or
embassies of the countries of origin. In these cases, the national government does not interfere in the organization of CLT, or in
the requirements for, and the selection and employment of teachers. A paradoxical consequence of this phenomenon is that the
earmarking of CLT budgets is often safeguarded by the above-mentioned consulates or embassies. National, regional, or local
governments often fail to earmark budgets, so that funds meant for CLT may be appropriated for other educational purposes.
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The higher status of CLT in secondary education is largely due to the fact that instruction in one or more languages other
than the national standard language is a traditional and regular component of the (optional) school curriculum, whereas
primary education is mainly determined by a monolingual habitus (Gogolin, 1994). Within secondary education, however,
CLT must compete with ‘foreign’ languages that have a higher status or a longer tradition. It should further be noted that
some countries provide instruction and/or exams in non-standard language varieties. In France, for instance, pupils can take
part in examinations for several varieties of Arabic and Berber (Tilmatine, 1997); Sweden offers Kurdish as an alternative to
Turkish. From mid-2004 on, the EU member-states have been expanded with the inclusion of the national languages of ten
new EU countries. This leads to the paradoxical situation that the national languages of, e.g., the three Baltic States are
supported by more positive action (‘celebrating linguistic diversity’) in multilingual Europe than IM languages like Turkish,
spoken by many more people across Europe.
CLT may be part of a largely centralized or decentralized educational policy. In the Netherlands, national responsibilities and
educational funds are gradually being transferred to the municipal level, and even to individual schools. In France, government
policy is strongly centrally controlled.Germany has devolved most governmental responsibilities to the federal states, with all
their differences. Sweden grants far-reachingautonomy to municipal councils in dealing witheducational tasks and funding. In
general, comparative cross-national references to experiences with CLT in the various EU member-states are rare, or they focus
on particular language groups. With a view to the demographic development of European nation-states into multicultural
societies, and the similarities in CLT issues, more comparative cross-national research would be highly desirable.
5. Plurilingual development for all children at school
In Europe, language policy has largely been considered a domain, which should be developed within the national
boundaries of the different EU nation-states. Proposals for an overarching EU language policy were laboriously achieved and
are non-committal in character (Coulmas, 1991). The most important declarations, recommendations, or directives on
language policy, each of which concepts carries a different charge in the EU jargon, concern the recognition of the status of (in
the order mentioned): national EU languages, ‘indigenous’ or regional minority (RM) languages, and ‘non-territorial’ or
immigrant minority (IM) languages. On numerous occasions, the EU ministers of education declared that the EU citizens’
knowledge of languages should be promoted. Each EU member-state should promote pupils’ proficiency in at least two
‘foreign’ languages, and at least one of these languages should be the official language of an EU member state. Promoting
knowledge of RM and/or IM languages was left out of consideration in these ministerial statements. The European
Parliament, however, accepted various resolutions which recommended the protection and promotion of RM languages and
which led to the foundation of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages in 1982. Another result of the European
Parliament resolutions was the foundation of the European MERCATOR Network, aimed at promoting research into the
status and use of RM languages. In March 1998, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages came into operation.
The Charter is aimed at the protection and promotion of RM languages, and it functions as an international instrument for the
comparison of legal measures and other facilities of the EU member-states in this policy domain (Craith, 2003).
Table 1
Status of CLT in European primary and secondary education, according to 9 parameters in 6 countries (Sw/G/N/B/F/Sp = Sweden/Germany/Netherlands
until 2004/Belgium/France/Spain) (Extra and Ya
ğ
mur, 2004:385).
CLT parameters Primary education Secondary education
1 Target groups IM children in a narrow vs. broad definition in terms of bde iure: mostly IM pupils; sometimes all pupils (in particular N)
bthe spectrum of languages taught (Sp vs. NBFvs. G Sw) bde facto: IM pupils in a narrow vs. broad sense
(see left) (limited participation, in particular B Sp)bactive language use and basic language proficiency
(Sw F vs. G N B Sp)
2 Arguments mostly in terms of a struggle against deficits, rarely in
terms of multicultural policies
mostly in terms of multicultural policies, rarely in terms
of deficits (all countries)
(N B vs. other countries)
3 Objectives rarely specified in terms of (meta)linguistic and
(inter)cultural skills (Sw G Sp vs.NBF)
specified in terms of oral and written skills to be reached
at interim and final stages (all countries)
4 Evaluation mostly informal/subjective through teacher, rarely
formal/objective through measurement and school report
figures (Sw G F vs. B N Sp)
formal/objective assessment plus school report figures
(Sw G N vs. B F Sp)
5 Minimal
enrolment
specified at the level of classes, schools, or municipalities
(Sw vs.GBFvs. N Sp)
specified at the level of classes, schools, or municipalities
(Sw N vs. other countries)
6 Curricular
status
bvoluntary and optional bvoluntary and optional
bwithin vs. outside regular school hours (G N Sp vs.SBF)
b1–5 h per week
bwithin regular school hours
bone/more lessons per week (all countries)
7 Funding bby national, regional or local educational authorities bby national, regional or local educational authorities
bby consulates/embassies of countries of origin
(Sw N vs. B Sp, mixed G F)
bby consulates/embassies of countries of origin
(Sw N F vs. B Sp, mixed G)
8 Teaching
materials
bfrom countries of residence bfrom countries of residence
bfrom countries of origin (Sw G N vs. B F Sp) bfrom countries of origin (Sw G N F vs. B Sp)
9 Teacher
qualifications
bfrom countries of residence bfrom countries of residence
bfrom countries of origin (Sw G N vs. B F Sp) bfrom countries of origin (Sw G N F vs. B Sp)
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Bilingual education in national majority languages and RM languages has been an area of interest and research for a long
time (Baker, 2001). More recently, local and global perspectives are taken into consideration that go beyond bilingualism and
focus on plurilingualism and plurilingual education. Apart from national majority and regional minority languages, the focus
is commonly on the learning and teaching of English as a third language, and in this way on promoting trilingualism from an
early age on (Cenoz and Genesee, 1998; Cenoz and Jessner, 2000; Beetsma, 2002; Ytsma and Hoffmann, 2003).
As yet, no affirmative initiatives have been taken in the European policy domain of IM languages. It is remarkable that the
teaching of RM languages is generally advocated for reasons of cultural diversity as a matter of course, whereas this is rarely a
major argument in favor of teaching IM languages. The 1977 guideline of the Council of European Communities on education
for IM children (Directive 77/486, dated 25 July, 1977) is now completely outdated. It needs to be put in a new and
increasingly multicultural context; it needs to be extended to pupils originating from non-EU countries; and it needs to be
given greater binding force in the EU member-states.
There is a great need for educational policies in Europe that take new realities of multilingualism into account. Processes
of internationalization and globalization have brought European nation-states to the world, but they have also brought the
world to European nation-states. This bipolar pattern of change has led to both convergence and divergence of
multilingualism across Europe. On the one hand, English is on the rise as lingua franca for international communication
across the borders of European nation-states at the cost of all other national languages of Europe, including French. In spite of
many objections against the hegemony of English (Phillipson, 2003), this process of convergence will be enhanced by the
extension of the EU in an eastward direction. Within the borders of European nation-states, however, there is an increasing
divergence of home languages due to large-scale processes of migration and intergenerational minorization.
The call for differentiation of the monolingual habitus of primary schools across Europe originates not only bottom-up
from IM parents or organizations, but also top-down from supra-national institutions which emphasize the increasing need
for European citizens with a transnational and multicultural affinity and identity. Multilingual competencies are considered
prerequisites for such an affinity and identity. Both the European Commission and the Council of Europe have published
many policy documents in which language diversity is cherished as a key element of the multicultural identity of Europe–
now and in the future. This language diversity is considered to be a prerequisite rather than an obstacle for a united European
space in which all citizens are equal (not the same) and enjoy equal rights (Council of Europe, 2000). The maintenance of
language diversity and the promotion of language learning and plurilingualism are seen as essential elements for the
improvement of communication and for the reduction of intercultural misunderstanding.
The European Commission (1995) opted in a so-called Whitebook for trilingualism as a policy goal for all European
citizens. Apart from the ‘mother tongue’, each citizen should learn at least two ‘community languages’. In fact, the concept of
‘mother tongue’ referred to the national languages of European nation-states and ignored the fact that mother tongue and
national language do not coincide for many inhabitants of Europe. At the same time, the concept of ‘community languages’
referred to the national languages of two other EU member-states. In later European Commission documents, reference was
made to one foreign language with high international prestige (English was deliberately not referred to) and one so-called
‘neighboring language’. The latter concept related commonly to neighboring countries, never to next-door neighbors.
In a follow-up to the first European Year of Languages, proclaimed in 2001, the heads of state and government of all EU
member-states gathered in 2002 in Barcelona and called upon the European Commission to take further action to promote
multilingualism across Europe, in particular by the learning and teaching of two additional languages from a very young age
(Nikolov and Curtain, 2000). The final Action Plan 2004–2006, published by the European Commission (2003) may
ultimately lead to an inclusive approach in which IM languages are no longer denied access to Europe’s celebration of
language diversity. In particular, the plea for the learning of three languages by all EU citizens, the plea for an early start to
such learning experiences, and the plea for offering a wide range of languages to choose from, opens the door to such an
inclusive approach. Although this may sound paradoxical, such an approach can also be advanced by accepting the role of
English as lingua franca for international communication across Europe. Against this background, the following principles are
suggested for the enhancement of trilingualism at the primary school level.
1 In the primary school curriculum, three languages are introduced for all children:
The standard language of the particular nation-state as a major school subject and the major language of
communication for the teaching of other school subjects;
English as lingua franca for international communication;
An additional third language chosen from a variable and varied set of priority languages at the national,
regional, and/or local levels of the multicultural society.
2 The teaching of these languages is part of the regular school curriculum and subject to educational inspection.
3 Regular primary school reports provide, formally or informally, information on the children’s proficiency in
each of these languages.
4 National working programmes are established for the priority languages referred to under (1) in order to
develop curricula, teaching methods, and teacher training programmes.
5 Part of these priority languages may be taught at specialized language schools.
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This set of principles is aimed at reconciling bottom-up and top-down pleas in Europe for the enhancement of
trilingualism, and is inspired by large-scale and enduring experiences with the learning and teaching of English (as L1 or L2)
and one Language Other Than English (LOTE) for all children in Victoria State, Australia (Extra and Ya
ğ
mur, 2004:99–105). The
Victorian School of Languages in Melbourne has led to an internationally recognized break-through in the conceptualization of
multilingualism in terms of making provisions feasible and mandatory for all children (including L1 English speaking
children), in terms of offering a broad spectrum of LOTE provisions (in 2007, more than 40 languages were taught), and in
terms of governmental support for these provisions (derived from multicultural policy perspectives).
When in the European context each of the above-mentioned languages should be introduced in the curriculum and
whether or when they should be subject or medium of instruction, should be spelled out depending on particular national,
regional, or local contexts. Derived from an overarching conceptual and longitudinal framework, priority languages could be
specified in terms of both RM and IM languages for the development of curricula, teaching methods, and teacher training
programs. Moreover, the increasing internationalization of pupil populations in European schools requires that a language
policy be introduced for all school children in which the traditional dichotomy between foreign language instruction for
indigenous majority pupils and home language instruction for IM pupils is put aside. Given the experiences abroad (e.g., the
Victorian School of Languages in Melbourne, Australia), language schools could become centers of expertise where a variety
of languages is taught, in particular if the number of children requesting instruction in these languages is low and/or spread
over many schools. In line with the proposed principles for primary schooling, similar ideas could be worked out for
secondary schools where learning more than one language is already an established practice. Across Europe, the above-
mentioned principles would recognize plurilingualism in an increasingly multicultural environment as an asset for all
children and for society at large. The EU, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO could function as leading transnational agencies
in promoting such concepts. The UNESCO Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity (2002) and the UNESCO Education Position
Paper: Education in a Multilingual World (2003) are highly in line with the inclusive views expressed here, in particular in its
plea to encourage language diversity, to respect the mother tongue at all levels of education, and to foster the learning of
more than one language from the youngest age.
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Kutlay Yağmur is an Associate Professor of Multilingualism in the Department of Language and Culture Studies, Tilburg University, The Netherlands. In his
current research, he investigates the relationship between integration ideologies of receiving societies and the acculturation orientations of immigrants in four
national contexts. He has published extensively on Turkish immigrants in Australia, Germany, France and The Netherlands. Apart from his contributions to a
variety of international journals, his co-edited book Urban Multilingualism in Europe. Immigrant Minority Languages at Home and School (with Guus Extra,
Multilingual Matters, 2004) has been a major conceptual and methodological contribution to the study of multilingualism.
Prof. Guus Extra holds the Chair of Language and Minorities in the Department of Language and Culture Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at Tilburg University.
In 1999, he was appointed Director of Babylon, Centre for Studies of the Multicultural Society (http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/babylon). Guus Extra has an
extensive record in research and publications on second language acquisition, first language use/maintenance/loss by immigrant minority groups, and
multilingualism and education, both at the national (Dutch) and European level. He has also an extensive record in coordinating research in these domains,
both at the national and European level.
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... -национальные -языки ЕС; -коренные языки или языки региональных меньшинств; -нетерриториальные языки или языки иммигрантский меньшинств [Yağmur 2011]. ...
... Языки меньшинств, как правило, не входят в основное образование, хотя имеются некоторые примеры европейских стран, в которых языки национальных меньшинств изучаются. Так, в Нидерландах школьники изучают предмет «Турецкий язык», который представлен в школьной программе не как родной язык, а как один из живых (используемых в мире) языков [Yağmur 2011]. Кроме того, основная проблема, касающаяся языков, имеющих разный статус -это их разные функции для коммуникации, например, язык общения дома и язык социума, который также рассматривается как язык, на котором ведется обучение. ...
... Some recent studies do indeed focus on the multilingual character of today's cities and add to the recognition of the topic as worth exploring, but they are relatively few in number (Extra and Yağmur 2004;Yağmur and Extra 2011;Mac Giolla Chríost, 2007: Kraus, 2011Clément and Andrew, 2012). Such research challenges 'older essentialist notions of bounded languages linked to stable national or ethnic communities' (King and Carson, 2016: 4); a dynamic picture is emerging of ubiquitous, everyday multilingualism which resists clear-cut classifications and has become part of (post)modern city life (Cadier and Mar-Molinero, 2012;Otsuji and Pennycook, 2010). ...
... This recent interest in urban multilingualism covers a range of different subject areas, in particular in the domain of the social sciences. There are numerous and heterogeneous research themes in different disciplines encompassing: issues relevant to sociolinguistics (Creese and Blackledge, 2010;Gasquet-Cyrus, 2004;Heller, Jaworski and Thurlow, 2014;McElhinny, 2012); to translation (Collins and Slembrouck, 2006;Larkish, 2006;Rillof and Buysse, 2015;Sharifian and Musgrave, 2013;Simon, 2010Sulaiman, 2016;Yun, 2015); and the effects of multilingualism on teaching and education (Conteh, 2006;Dulio, 2014;García, Zakharia and Otcu, 2012;Manor, 2004;Ntelioglou, Fannin, Montana and Cummins, 2014;Skutnabb-Kangas and Heugh, 2012;Yağmur and Extra, 2011) and many more such as globalisation, language and urban policies, immigration and minorities. ...
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... What teachers and students experience outside of school has a profound effect on what can happen in classrooms. Language exemplifies this: for example, when the language practices of immigrant minority communities 'are commonly conceived of as sources of problems and deficits and as obstacles to integration' (Yağmur & Extra, 2011), this tends to be reflected both in education policies at the macro (national or federal state) level and in classroom practices at the micro level, and frequently internalised by students and families as a cultural deficit (Clycq, Nouwen & Vandenbroucke, 2014). ...
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