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ERIC Number: EJ824657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0965-8416
Collaboration and Co-Construction of Knowledge during Language Awareness Activities in Canadian Elementary School
Dagenais, Diane; Walsh, Nathalie; Armand, Francoise; Maraillet, Erica
Language Awareness, v17 n2 p139-155 2008
Drawing on Language Awareness (LA) approaches developed for francophone classrooms and a sociocultural theoretical perspective on language and learning that posits the genesis of new knowledge construction is situated in social interactions and shaped by socio-historical context, we conducted a small-scale case study of the implementation of LA activities in elementary school. Fieldwork practices included observing and videotaping classroom interactions among French Immersion students in Vancouver and students from the mainstream francophone programme and classes d'accueil in Montreal, individual and focus group interviews with students, and collecting relevant documents for context description. In this paper, our analysis of data demonstrates how LA activities enabled teachers to engage students in focused discussions about language diversity and fostered the emergence of a community of learners who had access to a repertoire of languages that expanded beyond official languages. We examine how collaborative LA activities encouraged students to draw on collective language resources to approach languages unknown by the majority. We argue that valuing and sharing knowledge of diverse languages in classroom discussions fostered the discursive co-construction of new knowledge about the evolution of languages, relationships between languages, as well as a critical stance on the relative status of languages.
Multlingual Matters. Available from Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Montreal); Canada (Vancouver)