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ERIC Number: EJ1100130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8507
Alsatian versus Standard German: Regional Language Bilingual Primary Education in Alsace
Harrison, Michelle Anne
Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v35 n3 p277-303 May 2016
This article examines the current situation of regional language bilingual primary education in Alsace and contends that the regional language presents a special case in the context of France. The language comprises two varieties: Alsatian, which traditionally has been widely spoken, and Standard German, used as the language of reference and writing. The advantages of learning Standard German have been highlighted by language-in-education policy-makers: as well as being the written form of the regional language, German is promoted as the most widely spoken language in the European Union, the language of neighbouring countries, an asset in the search for employment and an aid to learning another powerful language in our increasingly globalized world, namely English. Nevertheless, Alsatian can be, and in some cases is being, employed in the classroom, although it remains in a minority position in comparison to Standard German. Based on original research undertaken in the region, the article aims to explore current classroom practices, which are sometimes found to be incongruous with official language-in-education policy. It analyses the language attitudes of parents and considers the effect of these attitudes on the promotion of Alsatian and Standard German. Practices and attitudes in city and small town locations are compared to evaluate the influence of urban and peri-urban settings. As the transmission of Alsatian is no longer guaranteed in the home, the article investigates whether the school can promote this traditional, non-standardized regional variety alongside the dominant standard languages, and whether parents wish for this to happen.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A