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Stories of multilingualism: Connecting families and schools through visual narratives


Co-lingual-S tackles a well-documented disconnect between family- and school language policies regarding multilingualism by applying innovative visual methods to understand multilingual family life, and develop multilingual pedagogies in schools. Co-lingual-S sets out to 1) understand how family members’ intersected identities (such as the interplay between gender, language and migration status) shapes family roles and actions in creating family language policies, 2) develop multilingual pedagogies with teachers by using multilingual storybooks that feature stories collected from families, and 3) understand how visual-narrative methods can serve as means to connect the worlds of families and schools. Study 1 collects semi-structured interviews, language portraits, drawings and photo-elicited narratives from family members. Family narratives are collaboratively re-created in the format of multilingual storybooks. In Study 2, teachers develop practices using these storybooks. Photo-elicited interviews and language portraits are also collected from teachers, and their practices are observed. The aim of Study 2 is to investigate teachers’ intersectional experience (such as gender, language repertoires, attitudes and pedagogical skills in multilingualism) in relation to what kind of practices they develop using the Co-Lingual-S books, and their potential impact on school language policy. Co-lingual-S this way pioneers a novel design that directly connects families and schools, and facilitates becoming ‘colinguals’ . It applies an interdisciplinary approach bridging sociology of families, sociolinguistics and education/teacher education. The outcomes advance the field of family- and school language policies by applying intersectional theory and visual methods. The findings are expected to cover the knowledge gap of the role of intersected identities in family- and school contexts regarding multilingualism, and support teachers to develop multilingual pedagogies.

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 166 320