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Lost in diglossia? (Un-)doing difference by dealing with language variations in Swiss kindergartens


Knoll, Alex; Jaeger, Ursina (2020). Lost in diglossia? (Un-)doing difference by dealing with language variations in Swiss kindergartens. Ethnography and Education, 15(2):238-253.

Abstract

Language policy in German-speaking Swiss kindergartens recently has been subject to change. While dialect traditionally was spoken to kindergartners, the use of High German has been established to promote the integration of migrant children and equality of opportunity. In this contribution, we look at how kindergarten teachers translate the new diglossic language policy into language practices. Drawing on data from an ongoing ethnographic study, we examine four logics of language use concerning when to speak dialect or High German. As teachers’ use of language differs not only according to situations and pedagogical sequences but also due to children’s social and migrant backgrounds, we ask – drawing on the theoretical concept of (un-)doing difference – how different linguistic addressing reflects (and affects) children’s positions in the social order.

Abstract

Language policy in German-speaking Swiss kindergartens recently has been subject to change. While dialect traditionally was spoken to kindergartners, the use of High German has been established to promote the integration of migrant children and equality of opportunity. In this contribution, we look at how kindergarten teachers translate the new diglossic language policy into language practices. Drawing on data from an ongoing ethnographic study, we examine four logics of language use concerning when to speak dialect or High German. As teachers’ use of language differs not only according to situations and pedagogical sequences but also due to children’s social and migrant backgrounds, we ask – drawing on the theoretical concept of (un-)doing difference – how different linguistic addressing reflects (and affects) children’s positions in the social order.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Gender Studies
Social Sciences & Humanities > Cultural Studies
Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:Kindergarten ethnography, language practice, diglossia, doing/undoing difference, early childhood education
Language:English
Date:2 April 2020
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 13:27
Last Modified:22 Feb 2024 02:52
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1745-7823
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2019.1573692
Related URLs: (Author)
Other Identification Number:10.5281/zenodo.4436359
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)