Afterword: building the multilingual classroom research agenda

Jo Shoba

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In this Afterword, I offer reflections on the five articles in this special issue. I begin by highlighting the ways in which the research presented here builds on the theoretical advances that have been made in the field of multilingual classroom interaction, due to the close imbrication of critical ethnography and discourse analytic approaches. I focus, in particular, on the kinds of insights that accrue from research which aims to capture multiple layers of language-policy-making and the agentive ways in which teachers and learners open up spaces for the use of different languages. Then, considering future directions for research in this field, I argue that greater attention needs to be given to the multimodal nature of meaning-making in classrooms. I also call for a re-balancing of our gaze, as researchers, so as to focus more on learners and to take account of their aspirations and their experiences in multilingual classrooms. In concluding, I emphasise the need to view learners’ home and community languages as resources, so as to counter the monolingualising goals of most of the educational provision in multilingual contexts. I also emphasise the need for support for teachers who espouse a resource orientation, through locally appropriate professional-development programmes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)374-381
    JournalLanguage and Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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