The Maastricht University is hiring a second PhD candidate in Sociolinguistics. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement.
Educational Borders: Multilingualism Or Not
This project focusses on the earliest language socialisation processes in kindergartens in border areas in Germany (Westmünsterland and Niederrhein) and the Netherlands (for instance Venlo, Kerkrade, Vaals). The general question is whether kindergartens in border areas in Germany (Kita) and in the Netherlands (peuterspeelzalen) reflect nation-state monolingual ideologies and practices and as such hamper cross-border communication (hardening national borders)? Locations in which cross-border contacts constitute an important aspect of people’s regional identity, and places with extensive cross-border migration will be examined:
Research questions are:
a) With respect to ideology: What is the official language policy in these kindergartens? To what extent do they reproduce nation-state monolingual language ideologies (hardening borders), or do they define themselves as multilingual institutions where children are socialized in the neighbouring language as well (softening border)?
b) Are linguistic ideologies reflected in a hierarchy of languages involved, and is this hierarchy context-sensitive?
c) How are ideologies put into practice? How do kindergartens in these border areas handle linguistic diversity? Do they take any measures to facilitate cross-border communication regarding their language use and choice?
d) With regard to linguistic features: what kind of linguistic forms and language varieties are evaluated as useful for small children growing up to become valuable Dutch and German citizens?
Please visit the Maastricht University website for more information on the PhD position and how to apply.