Types of multilingualism explored in the Transylvanian school context Cover Image

Types of multilingualism explored in the Transylvanian school context
Types of multilingualism explored in the Transylvanian school context

Author(s): Zsuzsanna Dégi
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Filozofski fakultet, Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera, Osijek
Keywords: multilingualism; Hungarian minority; school context; foreign language teaching

Summary/Abstract: Studies concerning multilingualism are abundant and multilingualism gains more and more attention from linguists, politicians, sociologists and psychologists. De-spite the spread of multilingualism, scholarly research in the Eastern-European multilingual context has just recently started to develop. The present research aims at providing insight into a specific multilingual context: the Transylvanian autochthonous minority situation. The paper proposes an exploration of the literature on the term multilingualism and its relations to bilingualism research. Moreover, it will also consider the lay-people’s “definitions” or understanding of the term. The study highlights three overlapping questions around multilingualism: a) how is multilingualism perceived by foreign language learners (students); b) what are the educational stakeholders’ (teachers and principals) views on multilingualism; and finally c) what types of multilingualism do schools promote? In order to answer the questions above, research was conducted in the Transylva-nian school context. Six high schools were contacted where interviews were car-ried out with students, teachers and the school principals. The interviews show that ‘elite’ multilingualism is preferred, being almost equated with English lan-guage knowledge or learning. However, according to different aims in the learn-ers’ future career, several types of multilingualism have been named. So as to say, for learners who want to stay in the country and start working as blue-collar workers, multilingualism in the mother tongue and the majority language will suffice.

  • Issue Year: XIII/2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 645-666
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: English