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Travelling ways of knowing language. Map-along as biographical method

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Drawing on Claire Kramsch’s conceptualization of the multilingual subject and the symbolic self (Kramsch 2009), in this
paper, we explore how multilingual children re-signify three intertwined myths about the bilingual student, linguistic
diversity and language competence, when, in the researcher-generated activity, My linguistic world, they are invited to map
and talk about their lived experiences as multiple language users seen in the light of place and movement. In the activity, in
groups of three, the 11-year-old children were presented with a range of laminated maps. The maps were laid out on a large
table together with colouring pens that the children could use to mark different locations on the map. During the mapping
process the children reflected on their biographical experiences with place and movement coupled to their experiences and
reflections regarding language. Usually, biographical methods are thought of as a way of generating individual life stories
framed by time and space, often resulting in chronological accounts. However, the method of subjective and interactive
mapping affords something else. When the children in the activity mapped and accounted for their multilingual trajectories,
we did not see one-way and linearly progressing trajectories, but lived, narrated and performed multilingual experiences
characterized by a great degree of complexity and unexpectedness. In this process, the children also raised important
questions about the notion of linguistic competence, which, in educational settings, is often understood as a mental
linguistic or communicative property inherent in the individual. By perceiving competences from a subjective child
perspective, we learned how children do what we call timespacing competence. On that basis, we suggest paying attention
to how children themselves timespace competence by focusing (more consistently) on the subjective, social, spatial and
temporal dimensions of (knowing) language.
Udgivelsesår19 aug. 2021
StatusUdgivet - 19 aug. 2021
BegivenhedWorld Congress of Applied Linguistics: The dynamics of language, communication and culture in a changing world. - Groningen, Holland
Varighed: 15 aug. 202120 aug. 2021


KonferenceWorld Congress of Applied Linguistics

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