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Language Attitudes and Code-switching Behaviour in a Multilingual Educational Context: The Case of Luxembourg

By Daniel Redinger


This thesis is a sociolinguistic investigation of language attitudes and code-switching behaviour in Luxembourg’s multilingual education system. Through a large-scale questionnaire study of language attitudes and an ethnographic study of attitudes and multilingual classroom behaviour, this study aims to examine the role of socio-psychological, socio-political and socio-pragmatic factors in the production of language. Furthermore, the research attempts to provide empirical information concerning language attitudes and multilingual classroom behaviour that can be directly applied to future language in education policies in Luxembourg. \ud \ud A link between language attitudes and language behaviour is statistically established in both the large-scale questionnaire study and the ethnographic investigation of classroom code-switching. However, attitudes emerge as only one of many factors that influence language choice in multilingual contexts. The pragmatic analysis of code-switching reveals that language choice inside the classroom is heavily influenced by the context in which it appears as students and teachers code-switch in order to achieve various context-bound goals such as clarifying curriculum content and/or managing classroom discourse and interpersonal relationships. Further analyses suggest that Luxembourg’s current language in education policies have largely negative impacts on educational attainment among secondary school students. Various options for future policy reform in Luxembourg are discussed in order to demonstrate how findings from applied sociolinguistic research can be directly applied to policy development. From a theoretical perspective, this thesis contributes to a growing body of research highlighting the benefits of concurrent approaches to multilingual education. In addition, further light is thrown onto the complex relationship between attitudes and behaviour. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, this thesis also introduces various methodological innovations.\u

Publisher: Language and Linguistic Science (York)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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