Is two-way immersion education associated with social and intercultural benefits? A peace-linguistic examination of Staatliche Europa-Schule Berlin
Meier, Gabriela Sylvia
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I have an offer to have my thesis published in Germany by the international Peter Lang Series Mehrsprachigkeit in Schule und Unterricht. The publisher stipulates that no online version of the thesis should be made available for one year after publication, which will probably take place in 2010. On these grounds, I requested a publication embargo until 2012. These dates can, of course, be adjusted if publication happens faster than expected.
This thesis is situated in the field of applied linguistics, education and European Studies. The empirical part examines outcomes in a two-way immersion (TWI) education model in Berlin (SESB) that go beyond linguistic or academic achievements. Based on a peace-linguistic framework established for the purpose of this study, this thesis assesses to what extent SESB programmes are associated with dimensions related to peace education, social capital and critical applied linguistics. Additionally, a teacher survey looks at attitudes towards bilingual and monolingual education and social integration. The findings are discussed in the framework of previous studies, chiefly from the USA, and in terms of language policy development in Germany and in Europe. This leads to a number of recommendations for stakeholders and policymakers. Employing a quasi-experimental design, involving a TWI and a control group, data were collected through a questionnaire survey of 14-18 year-old students (N=603) and teachers (N=32) in Berlin, which were analysed using primarily quantitative methods (including multiple regression) but with some qualitative elements. Based on statistically significant effects with at least small effect sizes, it was established that students in SESB had a greater sense of inclusion among classmates and greater conflict resolution skills than the control group. When looking at effects in subgroups (students with German, bilingual or non-German language backgrounds) there were also positive effects, however, the groups were affected in different ways, as is set out in this thesis. Furthermore, SESB also had a positive effect on relationships between parents and teachers, as well as on the students’ language attitudes and use patterns. In conclusion, it is argued that, besides personal and societal multilingualism, TWI programmes in Berlin are associated with greater potential for cohesion in the school class, and may benefit wider social integration of different language communities. Additionally, this thesis introduces German TWI programmes to an English-language audience.
HUSS Scholarship, University of Exeter
PhD in European Studies