Ethnography with African immigrants' descendants in Portugal in disadvantaged neighbourhoods: self-reported language choices and ideologies”,
Painel "Etnografías de la superdiversidad lingüística. Una mirada crítica", XIII Congresso Internacional de Linguística Geral (CILX2018), 13 a 15 de junho de 2018
In Portugal, students with background from African Countries of Portuguese Official Language have systematically shown weaker school achievement and higher risks of early school drop-outs compared either to pupils of non-immigrant origin or those of other immigrant origins. These findings have been more evident for those students whom mother tongue/family language has a seeming proximity with the Portuguese language, like the Cape Verdean creole, particularly for those living in outskirts of Lisbon characterized by important socio-economic deprivations. The combination of all these factors has continuously motivated the questioning of educational policies’ efficiency in these territories, despite the fact that since the mid-1990s there have been a range of specific policies implemented in these territories to overcome the social, economic, urban and educational observed disadvantages, still experienced by important ranks of these populations today. Within this context, the projects Bilingual Class and Multilingual School were implemented in two public schools of basic education (2008-2012), coordinated by the linguistic Dulce Pereira from ILTEC, and integrated in a neighbourhood characterized by significant socioeconomic deprivations (Vale da Amoreira). This experience was pioneer in involving students of Portuguese and immigrant backgrounds in bilingual education in public education, teaching of (and in) Cape Verdean creole and Portuguese. It aimed, thus, to highlight the relevance of the different languages in presence in this territory for all individuals, and not just those with Cape Verdean background, presenting both languages as legitimated languages for all pupils’ in their formal classroom education. Engaging now a new fieldwork 5 years after, the current sociological research (funded by FCT/MCTES) aims to improve the understanding of these students’ today sociolinguistic reality. For this presentation, we focus on the micro scale of the ongoing research, analysing students’ and their families’ perceptions on their linguistic biography, uses, practices and attitudes. Firstly, I will identify the main lines of continuity and contrast between previous trends identified during the previous projects (2008- 2012, when students were between 6 and 11 years old) and current fieldwork (2017-2018, aged 15 and 16 years old); secondly, analysis will focus on identifying patterns on their self-reported experiences in the school and outside the school, crossing the power relations of language policies at both institutional, neighbourhood and family levels. Through an interdisciplinary approach (sociological and sociolinguistic), this research aims to contribute to the acknowledgement of linguistic diversity in Portuguese policies and its relation of power with families’ strategies, thus, on effective citizen-centred approaches to address such complexity in territories where there has been considerably need for its understanding.
Bilingual Education,Language policies,Cape Verdean creole,Descendants of immigrants,socioeconomic deprived territories
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