Chapter 23‘Learning all from all’
A Roma approach to marginal multilingualism
This study focuses on the possible resource represented by the traditional Roma method of acquiring ‘marginal’ multilingualism. This is a special form of multilingualism that has gone unnoticed in the thematic literature devoted to this topic: invented by the Roma, it is oral, simplified, acquired quickly, and informal. Roma traditional methods for accomplishing this include ‘Learning all from all’ and ‘Learning by doing,’; this study focuses on ‘Learning all from all,’ a Roma group language-learning method that involves simplifying, selecting, and validating teaching contents in order to facilitate group goals; adopting with total flexibility the roles of teacher and student; and developing playful and joyful learning practices inside the group, in the context of shared responsibility to contribute to group survival. The method – which does not involve any pre-requisites and has been effective for centuries – could possibly be transferable to other marginal groups, if specific policies with such aims were to be developed in Europe. The first generation of Roma skilled in traditional and formal methods of learning languages could represent a resource for such policies, especially at the micro and meso levels.
- 2.Positioning the study of Roma multilingualism in MIME
- 3.Exploring Roma marginal multilingualism: main concepts
- 4.The study of Roma multilingualism
- 5.The Learning all from all method
- 5.1Roma marginal multilingualism
- 5.2The Roma approach to acquiring a new language
- 5.3The coherence of ‘Learning all from all’ as a shared enterprise
- Proactive attitudes
- Enjoyable practice
- Shared prestige
- 6.Discussion: A Roma approach to inclusion?