Bi/pluriligualism, near-languages and interlinguistics projects

Claude Cortier, Alain Di Meglio

UMR ICAR CNRS, France, IUFM de Corse

WS161: Bilingual education recast in the wake of globalisation: researching the second/foreign language interface

Bilingual education was progressively introduced in France as from 1982 in those regions where teaching the local language was allowed: Alsatian/German, Breton, Basque, Catalan, Corsican, Occitan. Bilingual education in Corsica is mostly concentrated on the public sector and works according to the principle of polynomy as far as the language is concerned with a bi/plurilingual approach, open to variation and linguistical tolerance, wholly conscious of the minorisation of the Corsican languages. Over a four-year long collaboration, we were able to distinguish a certain number of choices that establish a model to be as well as a society project. The regional language (Corsican) / national language (French) is part of a society project where the Corsican language is chosen as a regional language in bilingual education. Such model differentiates itself from the one in use in Alsace (where German is considered the regional language) or in the Val d'Aoste where a border language bilingualism was chosen (with French) instead of a local language bilingualism with Francoprovenšal. The specificity of the Corsican language as a Romance language has been put forward regularly especially when it came to the establishment of 'mediterranean' or 'romance languages' streams. The principle lies in the introduction of the various languages as means of instruction while regularly comparing with the other languages. Latin is also given a federative and founding role.

Our works are now being extended to other regions of France where bilingual education is offered (Northern Catalonia, Occitania) and this enabled us to find similar orientations in terms of didactic organisation, values and principles. Yet, they are often not as advanced or developed. For this reason, we are now developing a project aiming at the introduction of teacher bi/plurilingualism in order for them to develop the appropriate competences to analyse variation and varieties in their linguistic environments. One final aim is for them to use those varieties at school as European linguistic and social integration tools, on a double linguistic and sociolinguistic continuum, examining both local varieties and their variations and also border/interregional/international varieties and languages, in order to promote the development in class of some form of linguistic consciousness, of more elaborate language representations (valorisation/devalorisation) and work on interlinguistic and metalinguistic dimensions.

Session: Themed Panel (part 1)
Bilingual education recast in the wake of globalisation: researching the second/foreign language interface
Thursday, April 3, 2008, 13:45-15:15
room: 02