Univ.Prof. Mag. Dr. Eva Vetter, Arbeitsbereich Sprachlehr- und -lernforschung
Zentrum für LehrerInnenbildung/Institut für Sprachwissenschaft
der Universität Wien; International Journal of Multilingualism

Language Education Policy Through a DLC Lens: The Case of Urban Multilingualism  (2021)

Abstract The aim of this paper is to evaluate the potential of DLCs (Dominant Language Constellations) for language education policy in an urban context. Vienna (Austria) is an example for an urban multilingual context characterised by superdiversity and complexity in a globalised world. At the same time, Vienna is a specifc case shaped by its particular long-standing history of migration and multilingualism. European language education policy, marked by the ever-growing cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission is another infuential factor. A policy framework for a European DLC beyond the motto ‘mother tongue + two foreign languages’ looms on the horizon. The three insights into multilingual schools provided in this chapter showcase the potential as well as obstacles of the DLC approach: The analysis of school websites reveals predominantly monolingual self-presentations that hide the characteristics of urban multilingualism. In contrast, school principals characterise their schools as extensively multilingual while at the same time creating narrow linguistic pathways for all agents, particularly pupils and parents, through their language policy activities. And lastly, the insight into the development of academic language showcases the multilingual side of its epistemic function and the strong link to individual DLCs.
Keywords Urban multilingualism · European language education policy · Translanguaging · Academic language · Super-diversity · Dominant language constellation · Linguistic landscape · Vienna · Austria
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