The development of multilingual competences of secondary school students from local and migrant origin: continuities and discontinuities between educational and non-educational practices

The main goal of this project is to relate school and non-school contexts in which secondary-school students develop their multilingual competence, putting verbal and non-verbal language use into play in complex communicative situations. We set out from the assumption that the relationship between linguistic uses in school and non-school contexts is relevant to understanding several socio-educational phenomena, such as the success of linguistic reception programmes of migrant youths (both in and out of schools) or the possibility that these new minorities may participate and be included in society.

From an ethnographic and a sociolinguistic perspective, we intend to explore, qualitatively, the linguistic uses of students attending schools in different areas of Catalonia, the ways in which such uses are articulated into communicative repertoires and in which those repertoires interact with the repertoires that successful school participation requires. That is to say, our goal is to investigate the continuities and discontinuities between school and non-school communicative practices in which students of different origins living in Catalonia are involved, in order that this study contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of social inclusion and exclusion.

Although we aim to pursue establishing collaborative projects with teachers within the framework of research-further education projects, for the first time in this study we intend to get students involved in the research process. This links up with the second goal of our project: to trial a didactic unit which aims to increase students’ metalinguistic and metacommunicative awareness. We will do this by means of a didactic proposal based on the teaching-learning of contents from the language curriculum (language diversity, registers, varieties, jargon, etc.) and of new communication technologies (creation and edition of short videos). Both goals are closely related. Our project aims to get students involved in gathering and analysing data about multilingual non-school practices by shooting a short documentary and analysing such practices in a final report. A final goal of our project is to contribute data and results to pre-service and in-service teacher training, as well as to agents involved in reception and linguistic programmes for migrants and young people in general.








Ministry of Education and Science  



Research leader:

Dr. Virginia Unamuno Kaschapava (2007-2009), Dr. Dolors Masats Viladoms (2009-2010)

Participating universities:

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 

Research team:

Dr Eva Codó Olsina, Víctor Corona Villavicencio, Dr Cristina Escobar Urmeneta, Dr Virginia Unamuno Kaschapava, Dr Artur Noguerol Rodrigo, Dr Luci Nussbaum Capdevila, Dr Adriana Patiño Santos, Dr Amparo Tuson Valls.


Publications resulting from this project

Barrieras, M., Comelles, P., Fidalgo, M., Junyent, C., y Unamuno, V. (2009) Diversitat lingüística a l'aula. Construir centres educatius plurilingües. Barcelona: EUMO editorial.

Escobar Urmeneta, C.  (2009a) ¿Por qué no te callas? o Avaluar, Ensenyar i Aprendre Comunicació Oral  a l’educació secundària. Articles, 47: 99-111.

Escobar Urmeneta, C.  (2009b) Cuando la lengua de la escuela es diferente de la lengua familiar, Cuadernos de Pedagogía, 395: 46-51. 

Dooly, M., y Unamuno, V. (2009) Multiple languages in one society: categorisations of language and social cohesion in policy and practice.Journal of Education Policy, 24 (3): 217 – 236.  

Masats, D., Dooly, M., y Costa, X. (2009) Exploring the potential of language learning through video making. A L. Gómez Chova, D. Martí Belenguer y I. Candel Torres (eds.). Proceedings of EDULEARN09 Conference (p. 341-352). Valencia: IATED. 

Nussbaum, L. (2009) Integrar lengua y contenidos. Cuadernos de Pedagogía, 395: 56-58.

Unamuno, V. (2009) Dinàmiques sociolingüístiques i immigració: l'escola com a microcomunitat. A C. Junyent  et al. (Ed.). Llengua i acollida. Barcelona: Horsori. 

Vídeos del projecte DECOMASAI: 8 vídeos sobre Varietats Lingüístiques; Comunicació Gràfica, Comunicació No Verbal i Multilingüisme. Produïts el 2008 per l'alumnat dels Instituts d'Educació Secundària Príncep de Viana de Sant Andreu i Eugeni d'Ors de Badalona. Es poden veure a amb els següents noms: PVMulti; EDOMulti; PVCNV; EDOCNV; PVVA; EDOVA; PVCG i EDOCG. 

Campus d'excel·lència internacional U A B