Publication details

Enhancing Multilingual Identities in Czech Postsocialistic Classrooms



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description The goal of our research is the support of intercultural competences of teachers and children in ethnically diverse collectives in the Czech school classes. Based on the longterm cooperation with teachers as well as children, we develop an intervention aimed on enhancing multi(bi)lingual identities of children. Preschool classes are often ethnically mixed, kids are of Czech, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Romani or other minority background, including the new migrant minorities. The stress is on pupils coming from socio-economically deprived environments, namely the Roma, who have been facing severe discrimination in the Czech educational system for decades. Moreover, Roma pupils face strong assimilationist tendencies, as the majority teachers usually find the Romani culture “pathological” and do not consider the Romani language as a positive cultural resource. Theoretically drawing from Bronfenbrenner bio-ecological model, methodologically we combine principles of action and ethnographical research to co-construct this educational intervention while critically reflecting the processes of negotiation of and conflicts in cultural identities in the context of post-socialist Czech classroom, transforming from ethnically homogeneous to more heterogeneous. We gather data from long-term observations, interviews with children, focus groups with teachers. The activity is materially framed by virtual learning environment (VLE) designed as an overarching platform encompassing all activities and resources. Therefore, we also reflect on the role of technology in education of marginalized children who can be deprived of such educational opportunities in their home environment. This activity is part of European H2020 project ISOTIS and as such has strong comparative character.
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