Language diversity in classroom settings

Authored by: Richard Barwell

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Ethnography

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138938168
eBook ISBN: 9781315675824
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter addresses work in linguistic ethnography which examines language in classrooms in contexts of language diversity. It provides a historical overview of linguistic ethnographic research in language-diverse classrooms, identifying a trend in this area of developing critical understandings of previously taken-for-granted ideas like multilingualism, code-switching and the notion of the native speaker. The concept of heteroglossia is identified as a key contribution across many current studies in the area which has provided a means to rethink these ideas. The chapter goes on to identify three areas of methodological tension characteristic of this kind of research: reflexivity, indexicality and intertextuality. It reviews how these have arisen in a range of studies, and illustrates them with reference to the writer’s own ethnographic research in language-diverse mathematics classrooms in Canada, showing how indexicality and intertextuality are features of both participants’ and researchers’ meaning-making processes. The argument is, thus, that linguistic ethnographic writing is always ‘double-voiced’, and the chapter ends with a reflection on potential future developments of the field, particularly exploring different ways of writing up research that reflect this double-voicedness.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.