Transculturality and multilingualism in formal and informal urban spaces

LAMB, Terry and VODICKA, Goran (2015). Transculturality and multilingualism in formal and informal urban spaces. In: Transcultural Urban Spaces. Where Geography meets language, Bern, Switzerland, 16 Oct 2015 - 17 Oct 2015. (Unpublished)

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The paper draws on critical-interpretivist research exploring linguistically super- diverse urban contexts (Vertovec 2007) from interdisciplinary and spatial perspectives, in order to inform the design of urban spaces, in which different languages/cultures/identities can be included. It conceptualises space as multidimensional (Bourdieu 1985), including physical and metaphorical, formal and informal. It also construes space as not only socially constructed (Casey 2013), but socially produced (Lefebvre 1974) as an act of agency. Following an introduction to the urban linguistic landscape of Sheffield, a post-industrial city in the North of England, the paper will focus on the ways in which formal educational and central public spaces can inhibit use of particular languages, positioning them as relevant only in the spaces of the home or linguistic community. Construing language as intimately intertwined with identity, however, the authors argue that if plurilingualism is to flourish (for the benefit of all), shared spaces have to be created where pluri/multi/trans-lingualism is the norm and where transcultural encounters are afforded. The argument will be illustrated in two ways. Drawing on the construct of critical autonomy, it will first explore how teachers can find the ‘spaces for manoeuvre’ (Lamb 2000) to develop inclusive linguistic spaces in formal education. It will then be extended to identify ways in which plurilingual communities themselves produce spaces, where they can ensure that their linguistic/cultural identities are maintained. This will draw on co-produced research into informal community/youth groups, as well as a multilingual languages festival in public spaces in the city centre.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2023 14:06
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:16

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