Minoritized Languages in the Classroom: Crossing Boundaries Between Home and School
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Despite the plurality of students’ home languages in regular primary education and research emphasizing benefits of developing multilingualism in school, excluding bilingual English or Frisian programs, monolingual education remains normative in the Netherlands. For linguistically minoritized children, monolingual education disconnects the home and school contexts. Transitioning between these contexts requires extra effort and skill due to sociocultural differences. Utilizing home languages in class helps traverse the home and school differences and carries learning potential. However, how using minoritized languages induces learning is not yet examined. This thesis, therefore, answers: (1) How minoritized languages can be utilized within primary education amidst a national monolingual norm, and (2) how the utilization of minoritized languages in primary education stimulates students’ boundary crossing between home and school. A single case study comprising a teacher interview and teaching methods illustrates a unique case of welcoming (minoritized) languages in school through a language-friendly approach. This thesis explicates how by using minoritized languages teachers capitalize upon students’ linguistic and cultural resources, which helps establish continuity between home and school. Additionally, an expert interview contributed to identifying conditions for embedding minoritized languages in schools. This thesis recommends reconsidering what counts as knowledge to reevaluate minoritized students’ knowledge resources.