Call for papers - Babylonia 1/2023 Heritage Languages and Cultures

2021-10-29

According to recent data, in 2020, slightly more than a third of the population residing in Switzerland - approximately 2.7 million people - came from an immigration background. Among these 2.7 million people are many school children who navigate in two or more languages on a daily basis. On top of learning the local language, some of them also participate in heritage language and culture (HLC) classes to maintain their parents' language in their linguistic repertoire.

In this issue of Babylonia, we focus on the preservation of heritage languages and their teaching in the context of HLC courses, as well as on issues related to the linguistic integration of students with a migrant background in the (Swiss) school system. 

The teaching of heritage languages in the Swiss context represents a special situation. While some languages - such as English, Spanish or Russian (and even Italian, German or French, depending on the linguistic region) - are also taught in schools as "foreign" languages, other heritage languages, whose status is different or whose linguistic community is smaller, are not present in the official school system. Some languages have also been taught as part of HLC courses for decades (e.g. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese), while others are taught on a smaller scale and in semi-private initiatives. 

What is the place of heritage language teaching in the Swiss context, and more specifically in the Swiss school system? Which socio- or geopolitical discussions may have an impact on the development of HLC courses? Are there any official documents guiding the teaching of heritage languages? What is the reception of these documents by HLC and regular teachers?  How are the structures for heritage language teaching organized? What about teacher training? What experiences and good practices can be highlighted?  Are there points of contact between the teaching of different languages of origin and/or between the teaching of languages of origin and the teaching of local and foreign languages?

These and other topics could be the subject of a research article or practical experience in Babylonia 1/2023.

We welcome empirical contributions (research projects, action-research), practical (instructional materlals, exercises, good practices, etc.), and socially engaged contributions (position papers, interviews, etc.). Babylonia favors a clear and easily understandable writing style. Concrete examples - directly in the text or in boxes - are welcome. Article size: 16'000-20'000 characters (4-5 pages). 

If you would like to contribute to this special issue of Babylonia, we invite you to send us a short summary (max 2000 characters) of your contribution by April 1st, 2022 to veronica.sanchez@irdp.ch and/or amelia.lambelet@unifr.ch.

You can also propose a "teaching taster" related to the theme of the issue. To do so, please contact laura.buechel@phzh.ch. 

Deadlines:

  • submission of abstracts: April 1, 2022
  • Notification of acceptance: May 2022
  • submission of articles: July 31, 2022
  • feedback from the editorial team on the article: September 2022
  • revision and sending of the final version: December 1, 2022
  • publication of the issue: April 2023