“I Dream to be a Teacher in a Completely Normal School”. Language and Othering of Minoritised University Students from a Biographical Perspective.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Nadja THOMA, University of Vienna, Austria
Within discourses on migration, much importance is given to language, especially to the respective national language(s), both for educational success of migrants and for their transition into certain fields of the labour market. At the same time, inequalities between individuals and groups perceived as ‘native speakers’ and others labeled as ‘non-natives’ are persistent regardless of the effective linguistic command of individual speakers (Davies 2003; Bonfiglio 2010).

The drafted discourses are of special interest for educational institutions in general, as well as for teacher education. Thus, the planned paper will focus on the experiences of young minoritised adults who are enrolled in German Studies programmes in Austria. It is based on biographical narrative interviews conducted in a research project on language biographies. Theoretically, it links biographical (Schütze 1983; Dausien 2000) with sociolinguistic (Blackledge/Creese 2014; Piller 2016) and educational (Flores/Rosa 2015; Mecheril 2015) theories.

The following questions will be addressed:

  • How do linguistically minoritised subjects on their way to be language teachers reconstruct the meaning of language(s) in their biographies?
  • What power relations do they experience in institutions of education, especially in the German Studies programme?
  • Which desires are connected with their decision to become German teachers, how are these desires endangered by ‘native speaker’ ideologies and how do the students position themselves vis-à-vis the researcher in the interview setting?