Schools as Linguistic Space: Multilingual Realities at Schools in Vienna and Brno

Lena Schwarzl, Eva Vetter

Publications: Contribution to bookChapterPeer Reviewed


In this collaborative project involving different institutions in Vienna and Brno, six schools are studied regarding their positioning in the language policy context, focusing specifically on how the respective pupils perceive this positioning. Moreover, we aimed to gain insights into the makeup of the pupils’ linguistic repertoires and the ways in which the schools deal with these different linguistic resources. Within the framework of this project, geographical borders were crossed, and institutional and methodological borders were overcome. The overcoming of institutional borders enabled us to consider a broad range of perspectives and the application of a multi-perspective approach further helped us to document the school as linguistic space in a more comprehensive way. In this contribution we focus on the analysis of policy documents and interviews with principals and the language portraits of pupils (including interviews) and do not fully explore data from linguistic land- and sound-scaping and observations of classroom-education. The results show that language policy and linguistic regimes lead to similar realizations across geographical borders and that the uniformity—pluralism dichotomy is quite similarly present in schools. The monolingual norm still appears to be operative and pupils adapt to it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenging Boundaries in Language Education
EditorsAchilleas Kostoulas
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-17057-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-17056-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 602007 Applied linguistics


  • Geographical borders
  • Linguistic space
  • Multilingualism
  • School language policy

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