Chapter in:Advances in Interdisciplinary Language Policy
Edited by François Grin, László Marácz and Nike K. Pokorn
[Studies in World Language Problems 9] 2022
► pp. 174–193
Metalinguistic awareness in education as a tool for enhancing social inclusion
The gap between individual linguistic repertoires and generally acknowledged societal ones is one of the principal factors that hamper social and linguistic inclusion. The development of a clear metalinguistic awareness – in school as well as in society as a whole – is a sound tool for achieving inclusion, in particular of mobile people into host societies. Building on the data collected for the MIME project, the chapter analyses the correlation between various profiles of mobility and sociolinguistic conditions in the host society to identify points of linguistic friction. The notion of ‘linguistic unease’ (a technical term to depict discomfort in sociolinguistic relations) is pivotal to understanding and tackling the complex linguistic diversity in school as well as in society. Teacher training focused on recognition and careful reduction of this discomfort, through clear understanding of the social and linguistic dynamics in school, can then be a strategy to alleviate friction and therefore foster inclusion of people whose linguistic repertoire is different from that of the majority, in particular mobile people. At the same time, this strategy is beneficial to all parties involved, as it also implies active endorsement by the host society of new kinds of multilingualism brought in by mobile people, enhancing the community’s growth potential.