PLURILINGUAL AND PLURICULTURAL SUBJECT POSITIONING OF PLURILINGUAL STUDENTS IN A FRANCOPHONE MINORITY SCHOOL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA by Geneviève Brisson B.É.P.E.P, Université Laval, 2003 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2004 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Language and Literacy Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) January 2017 © Geneviève Brisson, 2017 ii Abstract In this qualitative case study, I explored the process of identity construction of plurilingual students attending a Francophone minority school in British Columbia. Using a theoretical framework informed by a sociocultural perspective on literacies (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Street, 1984), positioning theories of identity (Davies & Harré, 1990; Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001), plurilingualism and pluricultural competence (Marshall & Moore, 2013; Moore, 2006), and multimodality (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2000a, 2000b), I investigated how focal students negotiated multiple subject positions as plurilingual and pluricultural in the context of literacy events in a classroom. My analysis focused on their use of linguistic and cultural resources in their oral interactions, and on their use of modes of representation in their digital multimodal texts. I gathered data through ethnographic methods, and I also collected multimodal digital texts. My analysis of literacy events allowed for identification of “moments of positioning” as plurilingual and pluricultural, in which students activated some of their linguistic and cultural resources, and/or modes of representation to negotiate multiple subject positions. This study of moments of positioning provides a close analysis of factors inhibiting the expression and recognition of some subject positions as legitimate in the classroom. For instance, the monolingual school Discourse – with an upper case D, as conceptualized by Gee (1996, 2001, 2005) – may limit the negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions. This study makes significant contributions to research on identity in the fields of literacy and language learning, and in the research on identity in Francophone minority schools. It shows how a Discourse might lead students to express some of their subject positions in their classroom setting, and not others. My analysis of moments of positioning supports current poststructuralist views of identity as dynamic, fluid, and performed in interactions and adds to research demonstrating that subject positions are not stable entities negotiated once and acquired forever (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001). In the field of research on multimodality, my research adds to the literature arguing that iii multimodality can be a powerful tool that children can use when they create texts in which they negotiate subject positions. iv Preface This thesis is the intellectual property of its author, Geneviève Brisson. The research was approved by UBC’s Research Ethics Board, certificate H12-02658. Part of the section titled “Using Video Games Discourse to Position Oneself in Multimodal Texts” in Chapter Four was published in Revue de recherches en littératie médiatique multimodale. I was the lead investigator, responsible for all areas of concept formation, data collection, and analysis, as well as manuscript composition. Brisson, G. (2015). Identité et multimodalité: le cas d’un élève plurilingue dans une école en milieu francophone minoritaire. Revue de recherches en littératie médiatique Multimodale, 2. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://www.litmedmod.ca/sites/default/files/r2lmm/r2-lmm_vol2_brisson.pdf v Table of Contents Abstract ............................................................................................................................. ii Preface .............................................................................................................................. iv Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. v List of Tables ................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures ................................................................................................................ viii List of Excerpts ................................................................................................................ ix Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................... x Dedication ........................................................................................................................ xii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................... 1 Background ................................................................................................................................ 2 Research question and methodology ........................................................................................ 5 Theoretical framework .............................................................................................................. 6 Definitions ................................................................................................................................... 8 Potential significance to the field .............................................................................................. 8 Layout of the dissertation ......................................................................................................... 9 Chapter 2: Theory and Research .................................................................................. 11 Theoretical framework ............................................................................................................ 11 Sociocultural approaches to language and literacy ................................................................ 11 Identity and literacy ............................................................................................................... 21 Plurilingualism and Pluricultural Competence ...................................................................... 26 Review of empirical research .................................................................................................. 30 Empirical research on identity in the fields of literacy and of language learning ................. 31 Digital literacy practices among plurilingual youth in and out of schools ............................ 41 Discourses and identity .......................................................................................................... 44 Summary and conclusion ........................................................................................................ 56 Chapter 3: Qualitative Case Study at École Félix-Leclerc ......................................... 59 Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 59 Notes and reflections on epistemology ................................................................................... 59 Design: Qualitative case study with ethnographic methods ................................................ 60 École Félix-Leclerc ................................................................................................................... 64 Grade six classroom and focal students ................................................................................. 66 Alexandra .............................................................................................................................. 66 Blastoise ................................................................................................................................ 68 Bob2 ...................................................................................................................................... 69 Tria ........................................................................................................................................ 70 Data collection .......................................................................................................................... 71 Procedures ............................................................................................................................. 71 vi Data sources ........................................................................................................................... 73 Approach to data analysis ....................................................................................................... 76 Trustworthiness ........................................................................................................................ 82 Qualities and limitations .......................................................................................................... 85 Summary ................................................................................................................................... 86 Chapter 4: Discourses at Play and Moments of Positioning as Plurilingual and Pluricultural .................................................................................................................... 87 School Discourses in policy ..................................................................................................... 87 School Discourses in practice .................................................................................................. 93 First moment of positioning - Alexandra .............................................................................. 95 Second moment of positioning – Alexandra ....................................................................... 100 Third moment of positioning - Blastoise ............................................................................. 106 Fourth moment of positioning - Blastoise ........................................................................... 115 Fifth moment of positioning - Blastoise .............................................................................. 118 Sixth moment of positioning - Blastoise ............................................................................. 124 Seventh moment of positioning - Blastoise ......................................................................... 127 Summary of findings from moments of positioning ........................................................... 131 Positioning as pluricultural in multimodal digital texts ..................................................... 134 Multimodal literacy projects and focal students .................................................................. 135 Negotiating pluricultural subject positions .......................................................................... 136 Summary of the findings ....................................................................................................... 144 Chapter 5: Discussion, Significance and Recommendations .................................... 147 Summary of the study and its findings ................................................................................ 147 Recommendations for educational stakeholders in Francophone minority contexts ...... 157 Potential significance to the field .......................................................................................... 163 Directions for future research ............................................................................................... 164 References ...................................................................................................................... 166 Appendices .................................................................................................................... 191 Appendix A – Coding manual ............................................................................................. 191 Appendix B – Individual semi-structured interviews with focal students ........................... 194 Appendix C – Individual semi-structured interviews with teachers .................................... 196 Appendix D – Assent form for students (English) .............................................................. 197 Appendix E – Assent form for students (French) ................................................................ 201 Appendix F – Teacher consent form (English) ................................................................... 205 Appendix G – Teacher consent form (French) .................................................................... 209 Appendix H – Parent/guardian consent form (English) ...................................................... 213 Appendix I – Parent/guardian consent form (French) ......................................................... 218 Appendix J – Transcription conventions ............................................................................. 223 Appendix K – Callisto, la lune de Jupiter: Digital multimodal text by Tria, Alexandra, and Daniel .................................................................................................................................. 224 Appendix L – Vénus la planète brûlante: Digital multimodal text by Blastoise, Donald-Smith, Apricaka, and Tarik ................................................................................................. 226 Appendix M – Instructions for project Agence spatiale ...................................................... 228 Appendix N – Prescribed learning outcomes (PLOs) - Grade 6 - French as a first language ............................................................................................................................................. 229 vii List of Tables Table 1 – Sample of table describing the data set ............................................................ 77 Table 2 – Example of moment of positioning .................................................................. 94 Table 3 – Students’ roles in Skype mystère call .............................................................. 101 viii List of Figures Figure 1 – Sample of coding using NVivo 10 (QSR International Pty Ltd, 2014) .......... 79 Figure 2 – Sample of multimodal transcription frame ..................................................... 81 Figure 3 – Exemplary slide from Vénus la planète brûlante .......................................... 137 Figure 4 – Slide from Vénus la planète brûlante ............................................................ 138 Figure 5 – Exemplary slide from Callisto. La lune de Jupiter ....................................... 141 Figure 6 – Slide from Callisto. La lune de Jupiter ......................................................... 142 ix List of Excerpts Excerpt 1 – Introduction to first moment of positioning .................................................. 96 Excerpt 2 – Introduction to first moment of positioning .................................................. 97 Excerpt 3 – First moment of positioning .......................................................................... 98 Excerpt 4 – Introduction to second moment of positionining ........................................ 102 Excerpt 5 – Second moment of positioning .................................................................... 103 Excerpt 6 – Third moment of positioning ...................................................................... 107 Excerpt 7 – Third moment of positioning (continued) ................................................... 112 Excerpt 8 – Fourth moment of positioning ..................................................................... 115 Excerpt 9 – Fifth moment of positioning ........................................................................ 118 Excerpt 10 – Fifth moment of positioning (continued) .................................................. 122 Excerpt 11 – Moment of positioning .............................................................................. 124 Excerpt 12 – Seventh moment of positioning ................................................................ 128 x Acknowledgements I want to extend my warmest thanks to all the people who have supported me throughout my doctoral program. First and foremost, thank you to Brigitte and Elizabeth for allowing me to spend all these months in their classroom, and to all the students in their classroom for their warm welcome. A special thank to my focal students, Blastoise, Tria, Bob2 and Alexandra for answering all my questions and being so generous. Thank you also to the principal, teachers, and staff members at École Félix-Leclerc. You have all been of great help! I owe tremendous gratitude to my two supervisors, Drs. Monique Bournot-Trites and Theresa Rogers. I especially appreciated your support and encouragement. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Diane Dagenais, my dissertation committee member, for her insights and patience, and for her continuous support throughout this process. I gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (CRSH/SSHRC), the Language and Literacy Department (LLED), and the University of British Columbia (UBC). I’m grateful to Drs. Cay Holbrook and Margaret Early for agreeing to serve as university examiners, and to Drs. Phyllis Dalley and Sylvie Lamoureux for serving as external examiners. Thank you for your questions, comments, and suggestions. Thanks to my good friends Kim and Andrea for being my awesome proofreaders. Thanks to all my fellow grad students in LLED for sharing this journey with me. Special thanks to Janet: my friend, you were always there for me, even when you lived in another province! Thanks also to Sara and Meike who, at different points in this long and difficult journey, were there to listen and help me. Thanks also to my friend and colleague Ai. Without you, I would never have finished this thesis. Never. xi Last, but not least, I want to thank two very important people in my life, my partner Dominic, and my daughter, Chloé. Dominic, thanks for your support, love and friendship. Chloé, merci ma grande fille. Tu es une source de joie et de bonheur, mon hirondelle. I will end by citing my wonderful colleague, Joel, who wrote the best and truest line ever written in an acknowledgement in a PhD dissertation: “I promise never to write a dissertation again.” xii Dedication À Chloé, ma grande fille d’amour 1 Chapter 1: Introduction This research project took place in the context of a Francophone minority school in British Columbia, École Félix-Leclerc1 and its increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student body. It is about sixth-grade plurilingual students at that elementary school (kindergarten to grade 6) and how they negotiate multiple subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. The expression “subject position” comes from the work of Davies and Harré (1990) and refers to an individual’s subjectivities. Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001) used subject positions and identities as synonymous in their work, but as you will see in my second chapter, identity as been defined in many ways, and can still suggest something fixed and definitive. Subject position, however, allows for flexibility, for the negotiation of several subject positions in the same conversation. A subject position as plurilingual is defined in this study as a linguistic subject position that students negotiated by using their additional language(s) or by referencing their competence in their additional language(s); that is, when the students are using the plurilingual competence (Council of Europe, 2001). A pluricultural subject position is a subject position that focal students negotiated by using their pluricultural competence, which refers to their ability to use their experiences in several cultures (Council of Europe, 2001), to communicate in a multicultural environment, such as their school. My use of the word competence – as in plurilingial and pluricultural competence – follows Marshall and Moore’s (2013) use. Competence usually refers to the ability to use something effectively. It this research, it refers to the use of linguistic and cultural resources. The terms multicultural and multiculturalism, in this dissertation, are used to describe a society or policy, whereas the term pluricultural refers to an individual and his or her pluricultural competence. For instance, students used notions of geography (e.g. being able to situate their house in a country other than Canada) and knowledge of culture to negotiate a pluricultural subject position. 1 The school’s name has been replaced by a pseudonym. 2 I studied four plurilingual focal students and the tools (that is, the linguistic and cultural resources as well as the modes of representation) they used in their process of positioning when they were interacting with peers and teachers and also when they created and shared their multimodal texts. The impetus for conducting this study was my own experience working as a teacher-librarian at a Francophone school in British Columbia. In that position, I interacted with all students at École Félix-Leclerc, and I got to know them fairly well. Within a few months of working there, I found out that many of the students did not speak only French and English. They spoke one or more additional languages with their families: they were plurilingual. At school, however, they spoke (mostly) French with adults, but they often spoke English among themselves. I almost never heard students using their additional languages. I began reflecting on how these additional languages had been rendered almost invisible and inaudible in school and wondered how the absence of one of their languages influenced how these students viewed themselves. This question of students’ additional languages, or plurilingualism, was not central to everyday discussions among teachers, parents and students at school. Issues related to the use of French and to Francophone identity, however, were quite common. These observations sparked my interest in researching plurilingual students in the context of a Francophone minority school and, in particular, the multiple subject positions they were able to negotiate in their everyday life at school. Background Canada’s Official Languages Act (1985) guarantees respect for Canadian’s official languages, French and English. One of the purposes of this act is to “support the development of English and French linguistic minority communities and generally advance the equality of status and use of the English and French languages within Canadian society” (Official Language Act, 1985, para. 2a). In accordance with this Act, French and English have a special status in all federal institutions. Minority language education rights, for their part, are outlined in section 23 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982). Citizens of Canada 3 (1) Whose first language learned and still understood is French, (2) Who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in French, following a French first-language curriculum, (3) Of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in French in Canada, have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in their province. This special status allows for education, which is under provincial jurisdiction, for French speakers living in English-speaking provinces and for English speakers in the province of Québec, at the primary and secondary levels. For instance, in British Columbia, English is the dominant language. Parents, if they fit the above-mentioned criteria, have the option to send their progeny to Francophone minority schools, where French is the language of instruction2. Francophone minority public elementary and high schools in British Columbia are administered by the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF). According to Dalley (2009), Landry and Allard (2002), Gérin-Lajoie (2010) and Masny (2002), Francophone minority schools, in partnership with home and community, are highly meaningful sites to promote the French language and Francophone culture. These schools are invaluable resources for Francophones since they provide children with opportunities to develop their language and literacy practices in French. Over the last twenty years, urban centres in British Columbia, as well as in other major Canadian provinces, have become increasingly multilingual and multicultural (Marmen & Corbeil, 2004). Cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as immigration (e.g. Gérin-Lajoie & Jacquet, 2008; Heller, 1984, 1996; Prasad, 2012) are changing Francophone minority schools and communities. Despite the fact that Francophone schools in urban environments and Francophone communities – in Ontario, Alberta, and 2 In April 2013, the Board of Regional Trustees of the Conseil scolaire francophone de la C.-B. adopted a new policy pertaining to admission of students into its schools. Children whose parents are not eligible under the provisions of the Charter, but who meet other criteria, including the ability of the child and the parents to speak French, may be admitted. (see http://www.csf.bc.ca/doc_pdf/english_information/CommAdmission20avril2013_en.pdf and http://www.csf.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/ressources/Politique_D-400-2_admission_des_eleves.pdf) 4 British Columbia, in particular – benefit from the arrival of immigrant students (Dalley, 2009), the inclusion of immigrant children also brings a number of challenges to French-language schools (Prasad, 2012). Children attending Francophone schools administered by the CSF in British Columbia often inhabit multicultural and multilingual cities where the English language and cultures are major influences and where the visibility of the French language is minimal. These children come from 72 different countries and speak 58 different languages (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2006; Gérin-Lajoie & Jacquet, 2008). At home and in the community, many families speak a language other than French or English. In a context where cultural diversity has been increasing, Francophone minority schools need to go beyond the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and explore how the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1985) also comes into play in relation to education in Canadian provinces. In the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1985), the Canadian government recognizes and promotes: the understanding that multiculturalism reflects the cultural and racial diversity of Canadian society and acknowledges the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage (para. 3.1a). According to Dagenais (2013), when this act was adopted, one of its purposes was to enhance and preserve the use of non-official languages in Canada while, at the same time, strengthening the use of the French and English languages and their status as Canada’s official languages. Wright (2013), and Wright, Singh and Race (2012) argue, however, that multiculturalism as a policy and as an ideology is nowadays under attack: in some part of the world, it is seen as passé, and it has been rejected in many countries. High profile conservative politicians, such as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and England’s former Prime Minister David Cameron have reversed their support for multiculturalism when faced with an electorate discontent with increased immigration (Wright, Singh & Race, 2012) and, in doing so, condemned the concept of multiculturalism. Even if alternatives such as interculturalism and cosmopolitanism are 5 being discussed (Wright, Singh & Race, 2012) in political and academic contexts, multiculturalism remains an official policy in Canada. This policy calls for freedom for every member of Canadian society to maintain and develop their cultural heritage, including their languages. Research findings point to the range of plurilingual and multimodal practices adopted by plurilingual students in their communities and homes. According to Dagenais (2013), however, these practices often go unacknowledged at school and in the classroom where plurilingual students are “expected to conform to a monolingual norm” (p. 297). Duff (2007) also noted that, for a large number of plurilingual learners, assimilationist policies in schools in Canada – that is, where French or English “are privileged exclusively at the expense of students’ other languages” (p.153) – could lead to subtractive bi/multilingualism. I would argue that, to live up to Canada’s commitment to bilingualism (Official Languages Act, 1985) and to multiculturalism (Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985), Francophone minority schools in British Columbia need to find a range of ways to support, acknowledge, and build on students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds. By not actively working toward preserving and enhancing students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Francophone minority schools may be taking immense risks. Students’ cultural and linguistic resources are central to their process of identity construction, and identities play a fundamental role in students’ literacy development (e.g. Collins & Blot, 2003; Gee, 1996; McCarthey & Moje, 2002, Moje & Luke, 2009; Pahl & Rowsell, 2005). I would suggest that supporting and building on students’ multiple resources could only help them to construct their identities by adopting a range of subject positions and help them develop multiple literacies, not only in French and in English, but also in other languages. Research question and methodology The overarching question I asked in this study was: During literacy events, how do plurilingual students negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or subject positions as pluricultural? Subject positions may be negotiated in many ways. From the onset of my research, however, through observation and readings, I identified oral 6 interactions and the creation of digital multimodal texts as prominent situations in which plurilingual students negotiated a range of subject positions. I, therefore, approached my broad research question using the following two sub-questions: 1) In the context of oral interactions in the classroom, what roles do linguistic and cultural resources play in the students’ negotiation process? 2) In digital multimodal texts, what role does multimodality play in the students’ negotiation process? Exploring the process of subject positioning of plurilingual students called for a research design that allowed for observation and interaction with participants in the context in which they lived (Creswell, 2007) and, in this case, in which they studied. After exploring a range of research designs, I adopted the qualitative case study design with ethnographic methods of data collection. This design allowed for the necessary extended observation as well as interaction with the four plurilingual focal students3: Alexandra (French, English and Polish), Blastoise (French, English, and Russian), Bob2 (French, English, Cantonese, and Spanish), and Tria (French, English and Tagalog). Theoretical framework This study is situated within a sociocultural perspective that views literacies as social practices, and it draws on the New Literacy Studies (NLS) perspective (e.g., Barton, Hamilton, & Ivanic, 2000; Heath, 1983; Kress, 2003; Gee, 1996; Street, 1984, 1993, 2003). The NLS perspective posits that there is not a unique literacy that everyone uses in all possible situations; instead, there is a range of literacies adopted and adapted by people in different situations. Literacies are “situated” (Barton et al., 2000) since every use of written and oral language is located in a particular place and time. Moreover, literacies are inseparable from social institutions (Street, 1993; Barton et al. 2000) – such as schools and classrooms – as well as from Discourses. Discourses, with an upper case “D”, is a concept drawn from Gee’s (1996, 2001, 2005) work. Gee (1996, 3 In this study, names of participants (focal students and their classmates, as well as teachers) have been replaced by pseudonyms. 7 2001, 2005) defines them as ways of acting and behaving that one can use to adopt a particular social role and to be recognized by others as adopting that role. This theoretical concept is central to my research because I explore how Discourses influence plurilingual students’ process of identity negotiation. In order to address issues related to identity negotiation, this study theorizes identity as subject positioning. Positioning theories of identity build on works by Butler (1997, 1999), Davies (2008), Davies & Harré (1990) and Holland & Leander (2004). In this framework, I define negotiation of identities (or subject positions) as the interplay between interactive and reflexive positioning (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). Plurilingual students can use a number of tools in the process of negotiation of multiple subject positions; however during my observation of literacy events, I identified linguistic resources (that is, using a language or referencing one’s competence in a language), cultural resources (such as knowledge about a culture, reference to a country or its geography), and modes of representation (such as writing, image, speech, gesture, music, sound, and moving image) as prominent in this process. To theorize these resources and modes, I used the lenses of plurilingualism and of pluricultural competence, as well as the concept of multimodality. In this dissertation, the lens of plurilingualism, influenced by sociolinguistics (e.g., Dabène, 1994, 1997; Calvet, 1994; Grosjean, 1993; Labov, 1972), replaces a traditional view of multi/bilingualism, which was often associated with full and balanced competences in discrete languages (Heller, 1996; Marshall & Moore, 2013). Plurilingual speakers are conceptualized as social actors who develop and use more than two linguistic resources (Coste & Simon, 2009a, 2009b; Marshall & Moore, 2013). Plurilingualism, therefore, entails a dynamic view of linguistic repertoires, and allows for the inclusion of different levels of competence in many languages (Coste, Moore & Zarate, 2009a,b; Grosjean, 1993; Moore, 2006). Plurilingual speakers are able to choose among their linguistic resources according to the context; that is, they are using their plurilingual competence. According to Beacco (2005) and Moore (2006), people’s variable use of their linguistic resources can be signs of identity negotiation. Pluricultural 8 competence, according to Council of Europe (2001), is closely related to plurilingual competence, and it refers to individuals’ ability to use their experience in several cultures (Council of Europe, 2001) to communicate in a multicultural environment, such as the school in which I conducted my fieldwork. The Council of Europe (2001) usually combines both competences, and talks about “la compétence plurilingue et pluriculturelle [plurilingual and pluricultural competence]” (p.106). In this dissertation, I have endeavoured to use the two competences separately in order to identitfy linguistic subject position as plurilingual verus cultural subject position as pluricultural. The use of modes in the process of positioning is theorized through the lens of multimodality, which focuses on multiple modes of representation (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2000a, 2000b; Perry, 2012). According to Kress (2005), and Kress and van Leeuwen (1996), each mode of representation or mode (such as writing, image, speech, gesture, music, sound, and moving image) has different potentials and limitations when used in the process of making meaning, which in this case, was through the creation of multimodal texts. Definitions In this dissertation, the term “minority” is used in the Canadian context, and refers to French and English, the two official languages of the country, in contexts where they are not the dominant language (Official Language Act, 1985). Since this study took place in British Columbia, a province in which English is the dominant language, both in terms of number and status in society, minority language refers to French. I use, for instance, the expressions Francophone minority schools or Francophone minority contexts. Also, the term “bilingual” refers to French/English bilingualism, unless otherwise noted. Potential significance to the field This study makes significant contributions to the study of plurilingualism and identity construction, as well as to research in Francophone minority schools in Canada. 9 It demonstrates how linguistic and cultural resources, as well as multimodality, are involved in students’ processes of positioning as plurilingual and/or pluricultural and how students can choose to express some of their subject positions in their classroom setting and not others. This study also clearly highlights the ongoing negotiation and tension in the process of positioning, since subject positions are not stable entities negotiated once and acquired forever (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001). This study also makes significant contributions by extending the literature on identity construction in Francophone minority contexts to include plurilingual students, as well as plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, to the well-documented and well-researched Francophone and bilingual subject positions or identities. This potentially has significant implications for how we approach teaching plurilingual learners, and it can help in shifting away from a monolingual research and teaching paradigm in Francophone minority schools to adopt a plurilingual paradigm (Prasad, 2015). Layout of the dissertation In this chapter, I have introduced the study and its purpose, as well as the methods used in this research project. I have introduced the theoretical framework in which this research project is situated and the significance of this study about plurilingual students in a Francophone minority school. In the second chapter, I provide the expanded theoretical framework that informed the study, and I review the related relevant empirical research. The review of empirical research allowed for the identification of Discourses (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005) that were found to influence the youth and children’s processes of subject positioning in Francophone minority contexts but also in other contexts (e.g., other minority schools, French immersion schools). In the third chapter, I present the qualitative case study design used for this research, the ethnographic methods used to collect data, and the lens used to analyze literacy events and explore my research questions. I also introduce the focal students, their classroom, and their school. 10 In the fourth chapter, I address the research sub-questions. In the first part of the chapter, I present the results in relation to the first question: In the context of oral interactions in the classroom, what roles do linguistic and cultural resources play in the students’ negotiation process? In the second half of this chapter, I present the results in relation to my second research question: In digital multimodal texts, what role does multimodality play in the students’ negotiation process? In the fifth chapter, I take a step back in order to discuss the findings of the study through the wider lens of my overarching question: During literacy events, how do plurilingual students negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or as pluricultural? This chapter provides a discussion and conclusion of the study, theoretical considerations, implications and significance of the study, future research, and pedagogical directions. 11 Chapter 2: Theory and Research In this chapter, I explore theoretical and empirical issues related to literacy, plurilingualism and identity. In the first half of the chapter, I introduce the theoretical framework for investigating the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students within the context of classroom literacy events in a Francophone minority school. This framework integrates the following concepts and theories: literacy as a social practice and the concepts of Discourse, multimodality, identity as position/positioning theory, plurilingualism, and pluricultural competence. In the second half of this chapter, I review empirical research that has influenced and informed my study. I begin this review of empirical research by reviewing research on identity in the fields of literacy and language learning as well as on digital literacy practices among plurilingual youth in and out of schools. Then, using Gee’s (1996, 2001, 2005) concept of capital-D Discourse as a lens, I explore studies taking place in Canadian Francophone minority contexts that discussed issues related to identity. Theoretical framework I align my work with researchers and theorists who define literacy as a social practice. Since literacy as a social practice is a central tenet of the present study, it is essential to start this section by defining this theoretical approach to literacy. Sociocultural approaches to language and literacy Sociocultural approaches to learning were first systemized and employed by the psychologist Lev Vygotsky (John-Steiner & Mahn, 1996). Vygotsky’s work (1978) was based on the concept that any human activity takes place in a sociocultural context and is mediated by language and other semiotic systems. Vygotsky’s work provided the foundation for the social nature of learning (Brown, 2009). As for sociocultural perspectives on language and literacy, they also draw on Bakhtin’s (1986) view of language as dialogic and socially constructed (Purcell-Gates, Jacobson, & Degener, 2004). Sociocultural perspectives also draw on the work of anthropological researchers, 12 such as Brice Heath (1983), Street (1984, 1995) and Scribner and Cole (1981), as well as on the field of sociolinguistics and ethnography of communication (e.g., Hymes, 1962; Gumperz & Hymes, 1964) (for an in-depth review of the field of ethnography of communication see Saville-Troike, 2003). Literacy and language researchers interpreted sociocultural approaches to learning in various ways over the years, and different perspectives such as literacy as social practice, multiliteracies, and critical literacy have been influential (Perry, 2012). Through a review of related literature, the next section introduces the literacy as a social practice approach adopted in this research. Literacy as a social practice In this dissertation, I draw on the New Literacy Studies (NLS) perspective (also termed theory of literacy as a social practice perspective4) (e.g., Barton et al., 2000; Heath, 1983; Kress, 2003; Gee, 1996; Street, 1984, 1993, 2003), which combines ethnographic, sociolinguistic, and discourse perspectives. I also draw on works on multimodality and literacy (e.g., Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Kress, 2000b, 2005; Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996). Following the NLS perspective, I theorize literacy as a set of culturally situated practices, adopting what Street (1984) titled the “ideological model” of literacy. This model was developed in contrast with the “autonomous model” of literacy (Street, 1984) in which literacy was theorized strictly in technical terms, as a finite set of skills that could be applied in any situation and as the capacity to write and read for academic purposes (Lenters, 2009; Street, 1994). According to Perry (2012), with the “autonomous model”, literacy “is something one either has or does not have; people are either literate or illiterate, and those who are illiterate are deficient” (p. 53). In the ideological model, literacy is theorized as “inextricably linked to cultural and power structures of society” (Street, 1993, p.7). Such a view means that there is not a unique literacy that everyone uses in all the possible situations; a range of literacies are adopted and adapted by people in different situations. Literacies are set in real-world contexts, and individuals and communities have some level of agency in determining their own uses of literacy 4 Perry (2012) writes that the expression “New Literacy Studies” is essentially equivalent to literacy as a social practice. 13 (Lenters, 2009). Moreover, the NLS perspective asserts that oral and written forms of language do not stand in opposition to each other but rather exist along a continuum of literacy (Lenters, 2009). Barton et al. (2000) described literacies as “situated”, emphasizing that all uses of written and oral language were located in particular places and times. Gee (1996) went even further, stating that literacy, taken outside of a particular sociocultural context in which it was used, had no effect or meaning. In this dissertation, I adopt the NLS view of literacy as multiple and culturally situated. This theoretical view of literacy allows for the exploration of processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students during literacy events in the classroom. Such an exploration is not possible within an autonomous model of literacy. Within the NLS framework, literacy practices and events are key concepts. Literacy events are a central unit of the NLS: they are defined as all instances in which reading and/or writing are central components (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Heath, 1983; Street, 1993, 2003, 2009). Oral forms of language are also present in literacy events since in the NLS framework, oral and written forms of language exist along a continuum of literacy (Lenters, 2009). Heath (1983), in her seminal ethnographic account, was the first to use the term ‘literacy event”. Many literacy events are recurrent, routine activities and are observable occurrences where it is possible to document actual uses of languages in written and oral format in a socio-cultural context (Street, 2009). Reading, writing, and talking, however, in the context of literacy events, involves much more than decoding words or sentences. Individuals must interpret and understand the text involved in the event; that is, they must situate the text within a larger cultural and social context. The literacy as a social practice or NLS framework greatly expanded the understanding of literacy. Literacies are social practices; they are, according to Pahl and Rowsell (2005), “something that people do in everyday life, in their homes, at work and at school” (p. 11). Gee (1996) wrote that these literacy practices are interwoven into broader social practices that involved interactions and talk, views, and values. As humans, we learn to interpret texts in certain ways because we are socialized into specific social practices, with all of us being socialized into many social groups and institutions. 14 Literacy, according to Street (1993) and Barton et al. (2000), is inseparable from the social institutions, and from the power structures they sustained and that sustained them. Schools and classrooms are crucial instances of these social institutions, and they are sites where students are socialized into literacy practices that go beyond their family/primary Discourses and into secondary Discourses. In the following section, I define the concept of Discourses – with an upper case “D”5 – developed by Gee (1996, 2001, 2005). This concept is central to my analysis. Literacy and Discourses Gee’s concept of Discourse (1996, 2001, 2005) – which shares similarities with Bourdieu’s concept of habitus (Kramsch & Uryu, 2012; Shim, 2013) – relates directly to social groups and institutions. Throughout this dissertation, I adopt Gee’s (1996, 2001, 2005) definition of the concept of capital-D Discourse6, which is as follows: Discourses are ways of being in the world, or forms of life which integrate words, acts, values, beliefs, attitudes, and social identities, as well as gestures, glances, body positions, and clothes. A Discourse is a sort of identity kit which comes complete with the appropriate costume and instructions on how to act, talk, and often write, so as to take a particular social role that others will recognize (Gee, 1996, p. 127). Gee (1996) differentiated primary Discourses from secondary Discourses but suggested that the differences were not immutable, and that the distinction between primary and secondary Discourses was not meant to be “airtight” (Gee, 1996, p.138). Throughout their lives, students are socialized into multiple primary and secondary Discourses. A primary Discourse, on the one hand, comprises human beings’ first conceptions or beliefs about who “people like them” are and what “people like them” think, do, value, and so on (Lankshear & Knobel, 2007, p. 3). Children are apprenticed into primary Discourses 5 Sociolinguists typically use the term discourse (with a lower case d) to refer to verbal interactions and sequences of utterances between speakers and listeners. Gee (1996, 2001, 2005) uses Discourse – with an upper case D – to refer to the interrelationships between social relations, social identities, contexts, and specific situations of language use. 6 Gee’s concepts of capital-D and little-d discourses is reminiscent of the work of Bakhtin (1986) on primary and secondary discourses. 15 from infancy as members of their families within particular sociocultural settings. Secondary Discourses, on the other hand, are the Discourses to which students are apprenticed outside their home, in secondary institutions such as schools, stores, and businesses. For children, school is a place of many secondary Discourses (e.g., Discourses on being a ‘good’ student and Discourses on what counts as literacy). For instance, my primary Discourse – the one I learned at home, as a member of my family – involved only the use of French as a language of communication. I learned an additional language only in Grade 4, at school, as part of the secondary school Discourse. Most participants in my study, however, grew up speaking (or at least hearing) French and English, and the focal students also grew up speaking (or at least hearing) a third language as well. Apprenticeship into school-based secondary Discourses can happen more or less easily. Some children’s primary Discourses prepare them well for later apprenticeship into secondary school Discourses because of similarities between the Discourses. As a result, these children usually have an easier time acquiring school-based Discourses because of the compatibility with their primary Discourse (see Heath’s 1983 ethnographic account for examples of clashing between home and school Discourses). Our primary Discourses constitute our first social identity and a foundation on which acquisition or resistance to secondary Discourses is based (Gee, 1996). Discourses are intimately related to power and its distribution within society. Having control over certain Discourses can lead a group to acquire social goods (e.g., money, power, status) within a society. We can again draw a parallel with Bourdieu’s work and his concept of capital. Mastery of dominant Discourses can lead to social or cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986). Discourses that lead to social goods are dominant Discourses (Gee, 1996). Literacy, according to Gee (1996), can be defined as the “mastery of a secondary Discourse” (p. 143) involving texts (oral, visual, and print text) and other technologies. With such a definition, some literacies can be seen as dominant, more visible and influential than others (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Gee, 1996). Socially powerful institutions, such as schools, tend to support dominant literacy practices 16 whereas other home-based literacies tend to receive less support, becoming less visible. Gee’s discussion of Discourses provides a foundation to understand the connections between literacy, identity, and power (Hull & Schultz, 2002). A central concept in this framework, Discourses is a key element in my analysis. Plurilingual focal students participating in this study brought different Discourses to school, and they were also apprenticed into more Discourses at school. These Discourses came with ways of acting and behaving, and with ties to languages and cultures. For instance, I define École Félix-Leclerc’s Discourse as a monolingual Discourse, which centres on the importance of French. A discussion of Félix-Leclerc’s Discourse is presented in depth in chapter four of this dissertation. The Discourse of the CSF can be tied to a linguistic Discourse, as defined by Dallaire (2008). Dallaire (2008) argued there were two Discourses contributing to contemporary reproduction of identities and Francophone communities in Canada: the genealogical and the linguistic Discourse. Both discourses set out the same basic criteria to characterize “l’appartenance francophone” (Francophone sense of belonging): a Francophone speaks French. Where these two discourses differ, according to Dallaire (2008), is on cultural background and its importance in defining the community and identity: Le discours généalogique établit un lien nécessaire entre l’appartenance francophone et le patrimoine associé aux héritages canadiens-français et acadien. Ce discours a historiquement défini les communautés francophones et acadienne (Bernard, 1998 ; Juteau-Lee et Lapointe, 1983 ; Thériault, 1994) (…). Cependant, le discours linguistique émergeant dans le contexte de l’établissement du régime de droits linguistiques, du multiculturalisme et des politiques d’inclusion interculturelle (Bernard, 1998 ; Cardinal, 1997) complique aujourd’hui la reproduction discursive de ces communautés. (…) Selon ce deuxième ensemble discursif, la performance du français constitue le critère premier définissant l’appartenance francophone. Il intègre les francophones dans une communauté sur la base du projet politique partagé de « vivre en français ». Ainsi, le discours linguistique permet, en principe, la reproduction d’une communauté pluriculturelle puisque la langue n’est pas rattachée qu’à une [emphasis in the original] culture nationale ou ethnique particulière (pp. 359-360). [The genealogical discourse affirms a necessary connection between the Francophone sense of belonging and the patrimony associated with French-Canadian and Acadian heritages. Historically this discourse has defined the 17 Francophone and Acadian communities (Bernard, 1998; Juteau-Lee & Lapointe, 1983; Thériault, 1994) (…) However, the linguistic discourse, which emerged in the context of the establishment of the framework for language rights, multiculturalism and intercultural inclusiveness policies (Bernard, 1998; Cardinal, 1997), makes communities’ discursive reproduction more complicated (…) According to this second discourse, the basic criteria defining the Francophone sense of belonging is performance in the French language. This discourse integrates Francophones in a community on the basis of the shared political project of “living in French.” The linguistic discourse thus allows, in principle, the reproduction of a pluricultural community since the language is not tied to only one [emphasis in the original] specific national or ethnic culture] (my translation). The concept of Discourse was, therefore, very useful in the analysis of literacy events analysed in this dissertation. Another Discourse of importance in Canadian schools is the multicultural Discourse. Multiculturalism is a central tenet in Canada. Canada was the first country to adopt a federal policy on multiculturalism in 1971. Many have argued that Canada’s policy was unique, but Kymlicka (2003) suggested that the “Canadian model” was and is much less distinctive than many people assumed. He wrote that Canada's adoption of a multicultural policy to accommodate diversity was a manifestation of a much larger trend throughout western democracies. He argued that what was distinctive about Canada’s experience, however, was the extent “to which we [Canadians] have not only legislated, but also constitutionalized, our practices of accommodation” (Kymlicka, 2003, p. 4). Canadians have enshrined their commitment to multiculturalism not only in statutory legislation, but also in section 27 of the Constitution Act (1982) and in the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1985). According to Kymlicka (2003): While the actual practices of accommodation in Canada may not be that distinctive, we are unusual in the extent to which we have built these practices into our symbols and narratives of nationhood. We tell each other that accommodating diversity is an important part of the Canadian identity; it is a defining feature of the country. (p. 4) 18 Canadians, it seems, perceive multiculturalism not simply as a policy, but as a defining feature of what it means to be Canadian. Galczynski, Tsagkaraki and Ghosh (2011) also wrote about the centrality of multiculturalism in the Canadian discourse: Canadians can often comfortably articulate their national identity as “multicultural,” implying a sort of harmony in terms of race relations, as their daily interactions bring them into contact with individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and conflict does not appear to occur (p. 153). Following the adoption of multicultural policy, ministries of education in the Canadian provinces developed their own integration policies in regard to students’ diversity. Multicultural education can, and has been, conceptualized from alternative points of view, not only as a transformative and critical approach but also as a celebratory or liberal approach. The latter approach, according to Gérin-Lajoie (2011), is as a “food and festival” approach “where students celebrate ethnic diversity through food, music, costumes from their country of origins” (p. 25). With this celebratory or liberal conceptualization, an essentialist view of cultures is often adopted, a view that assumes that cultures have “fundamental or ‘essential’ properties” (Goodhart, 2003, p.940). According to Gérin-Lajoie (2011), English Canada opted for a “liberal multicultural education” approach, with an “official discourse [that] emphasized the need to respect all cultures, which reinforced the treatment of minority cultures as folkloric artifacts, fixed ‘things’” (McCarthy, 1998, in Gérin-Lajoie, 2011, p. 25). There have been persistent critiques of the celebratory approach to multicultural education (e.g., Galczynski et al., 2011; Gérin-Lajoie, 2011), but the notion remains very present in teachers and principals’ Discourses across Canada. Multicultural education is often limited to a few isolated lessons in prejudice reduction or to separate units about cultural artifacts, such as music, dances, food, and ethnic holidays (Nieto, 2003; in Galczynski et al., 2011). Multiculturalism as a Discourse made its way to Canadian schools through the multicultural education approach, but the critical and transformative aspect was mostly 19 left at the door. Félix-Leclerc’s Discourse on culture is also presented in depth in chapter four of this dissertation. In the following section, I review pertinent literature about multimodality, another theory that informed my research on plurilingual focal students, in particular, in relation to analysis of multimodal texts. Multimodality The multimodality approach focuses on multiple modes of representation (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Kress, 2000a, 2000b; Perry, 2012) and argues that meanings are always made or created with more than one semiotic resource or mode of representation, such as writing, still image, speech, gesture, music, sound, and moving image. We do learn languages to communicate, but language, according to Early, Kendrick, and Potts (2015), is not the only resource or mode we use to communicate: it is “one of the communicative resources through which meaning is (re)made, distributed, and interpreted” (p.447). As communication and representation is always multimodal, understanding the present-time communicative landscape we live in requires attending to a range of modes used within different communities (Early, Kendrick, & Potts, 2015) since each community articulates and develops expertise using different modes (Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Kress, 2000b). Each mode has different affordances; that is, each mode has different potentials and limitations when used in the process of making meaning (Kress, 2005; Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996) and when creating multimodal texts. Combinations of modes when creating multimodal texts offer plurilingual students many possibilities for constructing identities. Multimodal literacy “stretches out meaning” (Pahl & Rowsell, 2006, p. 6) by offering a much wider range of modes, affordances, and media than literacy based solely on language (mode) and words on a page (medium). Media refers to issues of transmission and dissemination: it is the technologies – such as books, films, Wikis, and newspapers – for making and disseminating meanings as messages or texts (Kress, 2004, 2005). In the process of designing a text, plurilingual students make use of available resources – modes and media articulated and developed within different Discourses (Gee, 1996) – in a particular 20 socio-cultural context in order to realize “their interests as makers of a message/text” (Jewitt & Kress, 2003, p.17). Perry (2012) suggested that we should not limit our definition of text to print only; instead, we should include a variety of forms and semiotic systems. In this dissertation, texts are therefore multimodal texts or “multitextes”, a term coined by Boutin (2012) and Lacelle (2012). Various media may be used to make texts available to an audience. Relations between modes have been studied in different ways in recent research exploring multimodality and multimodal texts. Some researchers have opted to explore modes in domains of practice (that is, discourse, design, production, and distribution) (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001) or, with regard to their rationale, to focus mainly on the modes of images and words (Hull and Nelson (2005). The multimodal analytic approach in this study was informed by the work of Domingo (2011a, 2001b, 2012), who studied how the layering of modes created meaning. I discuss this approach further in the section titled “Approach to Data Analysis” in the third chapter of this dissertation. Here, I will simply say, that the students in this study created digital multimodal texts using Keynote, a presentation software application, and that I identified nine modes used by students to creating meaning. These modes of representation included: background, written words, visual effect, images, colour, gesture/facial expression, voice, music/sound, and language. I conducted a close examination of the layering to the nine modes, and how they related to subject positioning and Discourses In this theoretical framework, the concept of Discourse allows for the acknowledgement of students’ diverse sociocultural contexts as resources to construct diverse subject positions: in other words, students always engage in literacy practices as members of social and cultural groups “in and through Discourses” (Knobel & Lankshear, 2007, p. 225). As members of various groups within particular sociocultural settings, plurilingual students are apprenticed into primary and secondary Discourses, inside and outside of their homes. Their primary and secondary Discourses have an impact on the modes in which they develop expertise. Discourses influence students’ expertise and choice of modes as well as their reading or interpretation of texts. 21 Furthermore, modes materialize students’ Discourses. Multimodality paired with the concept of Discourse provides a powerful theoretical framework to explore plurilingual students’ processes of subject positioning. As Sanford, Rogers and Kendrick (2014) suggested, youth (and I would also add children), often “explicitly or implicitly discursively position themselves within texts they create and re-create, using a range of multimodal resources, as they are continually constructing and negotiating their identities” (p.2). In this dissertation, part of the analysis focuses on multimodal texts created by plurilingual students, and how modes and media allowed them (or not) to construct their identities or, more precisely, to negotiate subject positions in various ways. Identity has been defined in many ways by numerous researchers. In the following section of this theoretical framework, I clarify how I theorize identity in this dissertation and define the concepts of subject position and subject positioning. Identity and literacy Identities shape students’ literacy practices, but the converse statement is also true: literacy practices play a role in shaping students’ identities (e.g., Collins & Blot, 2003; Gee, 1996; McCarthey & Moje, 2002, Moje & Luke, 2009; Pahl & Rowsell, 2005). Identity is central to activity involving literacy. Identity, however, has become a buzzword, mentioned in everyday conversation and widely discussed and debated within many academic disciplines. According to Moje and Luke (2009), however, the “meanings of identity and related constructs are often taken for granted, resulting in a fair amount of slippage in how terms and constructs are used” (p. 417). In sociocultural research on literacy alone, researchers have defined identity in many different ways. Moje and Luke (2009), in their review of empirical research in literacy and identity, have found that most researchers adopted the following stance concerning identity: 1) identities are social rather than individual constructions; 2) identities are multiple, and may be enacted differently and negotiated across time and social contexts, and 3) identities are recognized by others (pp. 417-419). Such a stance, however, led researchers to represent identity in various ways. As a matter of fact, Moje and Luke (2009) identified and named five metaphors of research on identity in their review: identity as 22 difference, identity as mind or consciousness, identity as sense of self/subjectivity, identity as narrative, and identity as position/positioning. Researchers adopting each of these metaphors adopted the same stance, as outlined above, and recognized – to different degrees – that identity was social, multiple, and recognized by others. In each metaphor, however, this common stance led to theorizing identity in different ways. In this dissertation, I adopt a metaphor of identity as position/positioning. To avoid adding to the vagueness that surrounds the concept of identity in literacy research, I now outline what such a metaphor of identity entails for my research. Identity as position/positioning Positioning theories of identity build on works by Butler (1997, 1999), Davies (2008), Davies & Harré (1990) and Holland & Leander (2004). Positioning, for Davies and Harré (1990), is “the discursive process whereby selves are located in conversations as observably and subjectively coherent participants in jointly produced story lines, informed by particular discourses” (p.48). Benwell and Stokoe (2006) define positioning as “the process through which speakers adopt, resist and offer ‘subject positions’ that are made available in ‘master narratives’ or ‘discourses’” (p.139). The concept of position may be seen as paralleling that of ‘role’ within traditional social psychology (Pinkus, 1996), but position is dynamic and fluid, whereas ‘role’ refers generally to a modernist notion of the self as static or fixed. The concept of position, however, shares similarities with the process of identification as defined by Hall (1996) in relation to cultural identities7. Identification, according to Hall (1996), occurs when one projects oneself (or someone else) into cultural identities. Hall provides the example of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States of America by President Bush in 1991. Since Thomas was “a black judge of conservative political view” (p. 600), Hall (1996) argues that Bush thought he would get support both from white conservative voters because of Thomas’ identification (or subject position) as a conservative and from black voters because of Thomas’ identification (or subject 7 Cultural identities, according to Hall (1990) refers to history, ancestry and points of similarities among people, but also to points of difference, to “what we have become” (p.225). It is not a fixed essence or origin since it is constructed through memory, narrative, fantasy, and myth. 23 position) as black. During the hearing, however, Anita Hill, a black woman who was Thomas’ former junior colleague, accused him of sexual harassment. Hall (1996) offers an enlightening summary of possible identifications or subject positions people adopted following this hearing. It is worth quoting Hall (1996) at length: Some blacks supported Thomas on racial grounds; others opposed him on sexual grounds. Black women were divided, depending on whether their “identities” as blacks or as women prevailed. Black men were divided, depending on whether their sexism overrode their liberalism. White men were divided, depending not only on their politics, but on how they identified themselves with respect to racism and sexism. White conservative women supported Thomas not only on political grounds, but because of their opposition to feminism. White feminists, often liberal on race, opposed Thomas on sexual grounds. And because Judge Thomas is a member of the judicial elite and Anita Hall, at the time of the alleged incident, was a junior employee, there were issues of social class position at work in these arguments too. (pp. 600-601) Hall’s example illustrates how identification (or position) is contingent on an event or situation and, in any given situation or event, one has more than one subject position available to him or herself. Moreover, an individual (or a group) may be positioned in different ways by different people (or groups). Davies and Harré (1990) articulated their theory around positioning in conversations as a form of social interaction. Their focus was on speech acts, but their framework also included non-verbal contributions to conversation in their analysis. They argued that conversations unfolded through the shared action of all participants “as they make (or attempt to make) their own and each other’s actions socially determinate” (p.45). All conversations are a discussion of a topic AND the telling of personal stories or fragments of autobiographies by participants in the conversations. It is in these fragments that we see how participants in conversations conceive of themselves and of the other participants (Davies & Harré, 1990). Social interactions allow individuals to 24 emerge as “constituted and reconstituted” (Davies & Harré, 1990, p.46) through the varying discursive practices they are engaged in, and not as a “relatively fixed end product[s]” (Davies & Harré, 1990, p.46). Davies and Harré (1990) argued that there is only one person positioning herself or himself, and being positioned, in conversational interactions, but that person may experience and display a diversity of selves or positions. They titled this phenomenon the “discontinuous personal diversity” (p.46). Moreover, Davies and Harré (1990) argued that the subject positions one person creates for oneself and for others are not part of a “linear non-contradictory autobiography”; they are rather the “cumulative fragments of a live autobiography” (p.49). Subject positions are not stable entities since individuals are involved in the constant processes of positioning selves and others (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001). Over the last two decades, scholars have broadened Davies and Harré’s positioning theory beyond conversations. For instance, Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001), and Pavlenko and Blackledge (2004) expanded the meaning of positioning to include all discursive practices, not only conversations. They suggested that the means of negotiating subject positions could be both verbal and nonverbal behaviours, and that objects, clothing, etc, could also be used in the negotiation process. Holland and Leander (2004) also argued that social positioning happens through everyday discourse, spatial arrangement, text, film, or other media (p. 127). In this dissertation, following the broadening of positioning theory, I explore positioning through linguistic and cultural resources in conversations, but also through creating and presenting multimodal texts. Subject positions may be negotiated in many ways: in public debates over educational issues, political alliances or economic policies, in celebrations of holidays, in choices of food and clothing, as well as in and through linguistic practices (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). In my own framework, following Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001) and Pavlenko and Blackledge (2004), I define negotiation of subject positions as the interplay between interactive and reflexive positioning. Interactive positioning happens when an individual (or a group) positions another, whereas reflexive positioning (self positioning) happens when an individual (or a group) positions oneself (Davies & Harré, 25 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). The two processes are often difficult to isolate from one another since, according to Evans (2011), “whenever a person positions her or himself there is always an implied positioning of the person being addressed” (p. 208). Theorizing identity as subject positioning allows for recognition that plurilingual students are called into being, invited to take up certain subject positions through, for instance, various literacy events, and that they may or may not answer such callings. People do have some level of agency in the process of positioning (Holland & Leander, 2004), which means that, as individuals, they negotiate subject positions. Peers and teachers, however, may not accept a position; that is, a reflexive positioning can be contested (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). Plurilingual students may find themselves in “a perpetual tension between self-chosen identities and others’ attempts to position them differently” (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001, p. 249; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004, p. 20). Plurilingual students’ use of linguistic and cultural resources is also inextricably tied to their views of their own subject positions and that of others. The links between language, culture and identity are complex at best: a language may function as a marker of national identity in some contexts, as a form of symbolic capital in other contexts, or as a way to control people, in yet others. The roles may also be interconnected (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). According to Doran (2004), however, language is a “central tool for the strategic enactment of multiple subject positions” (p.96). Individuals, such as plurilingual speakers, may chose to activate (or not) different parts of their linguistic and cultural repertoires to put forward (or to downplay) certain social identities (Doran, 2004), or subject positions. A conceptualization of literacy as a social practice and of identity as position/positioning as theoretical framing provides the analytic approach for the present study, which focuses on the processes of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural during classroom literacy events in a Francophone minority school. In the next section, I elaborate on my conception of plurilingual competence (also referred to as plurilingualism) and pluricultural competence, and how it relates to subject positioning in my analytic approach. 26 Plurilingualism and Pluricultural Competence In popular views, according to Hamers and Blanc (2000), being bilingual8 (and I would include being plurilingual as well) equalled being able to speak two (or more) languages to perfection. Marshall and Moore (2013) also wrote that being bilingual or plurilingual was often associated with full and balanced competences in discrete languages. In 1935, Bloomfield defined bilingualism as “the native-like control of two languages” (p. 56; in Hamers & Blanc, 2000, p. 6). The idealized image of the bilingual and multilingual speakers possessing native-like proficiency in all their languages has, however, been seriously critiqued in recent (and not so recent) years. Macnamara (1967), for instance, proposed that bilingual speakers were the ones possessing minimal competence in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and/or writing in a language other than their native language (in Hamers & Blanc, 2000, p. 6). Grosjean (1993) also put forward a similar view of bilingual speakers: les personnes qui se servent de deux ou plusieurs langues (ou dialectes) dans la vie de tous les jours. Ceci englobe les personnes qui ont une compétence de l’oral dans une langue, de l’écrit dans une autre, les personnes qui parlent plusieurs langues avec un niveau de compétences différent dans chacune d’elles (et qui ne savent ni lire ni écrire dans l’une ou l’autre), ainsi que, phénomène assez rare, les personnes qui possèdent une maitrise parfaite des deux (ou plusieurs langues) (p.14). [the people who use two or more languages (or dialects) in their everyday life. This includes those who have oral proficiency in a language and writing proficiency in another, those who speak many languages with different levels of proficiency in each language (and who neither read nor write in one or the other), as well as, and this is a rare phenomenon, people who have attained a perfect mastery of both languages (or of many languages)] (my translation). 8 In the whole section titled Plurilingualism and Pluricultural Competence, bilingual and bilingualism does not refer only to French-English, as it does in the rest of the thesis. 27 In this dissertation, I view speakers through a plurilingual and pluricultural competence lens, an approach proposed to replace or complement the traditional view of bi/multilingualism (Hamers & Blanc, 2000; Heller, 1996; Marshall & Moore 2013). Working from a sociolinguistic approach (e.g., Dabène, 1994, 1997; Calvet, 1994; Grosjean, 1993; Labov, 1972), scholars worked on the concepts of plurilingual and pluricultural competence and plurilinguism (e.g., Cenoz & Gorter, 2013; Coste, et al., 2009a,b; Marshall & Moore, 2013; Moore, 2006). Plurilingual and pluricultural competence is: la compétence à communiquer langagièrement et à interagir culturellement d’un acteur social qui possède, à des degrés divers, la maitrise de plusieurs langues et l’expérience de plusieurs cultures, tout en étant à même de gérer l’ensemble de ce capital langagier et culturel. On considèrera qu’il n’y a pas là superposition ou juxtaposition de compétences distinctes, mais bien existence d’une compétence complexe, voire composite, dans laquelle l’acteur peut puiser (Council of Europe, 2001, p. 129). [the ability to use languages for the purposes of communication and to take part in intercultural interaction, where a person, viewed as a social actor has proficiency, of varying degrees, in several languages and experience of several cultures. This is not seen as the superposition or juxtaposition of distinct competences, but rather as the existence of a complex or even composite competence on which the social actor may draw] (Translation from Coste, et al, 2009b, p. v). Plurilingualism entails a dynamic view of linguistic repertoires and allows for the inclusion of different levels of competence in many languages (Coste, et al., 2009a,b; Grosjean, 1993; Moore, 2006). Plurilingual and pluricultural speakers are social actors who, at an individual level, develop and use more than two linguistic and cultural resources (Coste & Simon, 2009; Marshall & Moore, 2013). Plurilingual and pluricultural speakers are able to make choices to activate one or many of their linguistic and cultural resources in their repertoire according to their interpretation of the situation 28 they are in, their addressees, their communication objectives, and /or the power or value given to their languages at various moments (Moore, 2006). According to Mathis (2013) and Moore (2006), these choices are influenced by the local discourses and by the subject positions these discourses allow. Beacco (2005) suggested that the resources in plurilinguals/pluriculturals’ repertoires may “servir de matériau pour exprimer son appartenance à un groupe” [be used as material to express membership in a group] (my translation) (p. 20). In a specific situation, plurilingual and pluricultural speakers are able to mobilize their resources in original ways, “making for an evolving plural identity” (Coste & Simon, 2009, p.173). The resources are not static, and the ways plurilinguals and pluriculturals use them evolve. Moreover, the status of each resource may change. Some resources may be predominant and legitimated, and this process of legitimation takes place within certain spaces (e.g., a classroom, a school, a playground, with family members) through Discourses (Gee, 1996). For instance, when analyzing interactions between students in my data, I often coded French as being the legitimated and predominant resource in the classroom when students discussed schoolwork, but English often appeared as a legitimated resource in the classroom space as well. Students often used English words in French sentences – for instance, when talking about computers or the Internet. The classroom, as a space, was influenced by more than one Discourse. Linguistic and cultural competences of plurilingual speakers are not necessarily equal or similar to that of monolingual speakers. Plurilinguals and pluriculturals’ repertoires are not to be defined as mere additions of monolingual competences (Cenoz et Gorter, 2013; Coste, et al., 2009a,b; Council of Europe, 2007) or of monocultural competences. These speakers operate along a continuum, using different linguistic and cultural resources or combinations of resources in different contexts to fulfil differentiated and specific needs to communicate. Competence in their various languages and cultures varies (Grosjean, 1993; Mathis, 2013). According to Mathis (2013) plurilingual speakers may go from a monolingual to a bi/plurilingual mode (p. 64), and pluricultural individuals may go from a monocultural to a bi/pluricultural mode. In some cases, they may use only one language if the people they are interacting with only share 29 one of their languages or if the institution and its representatives ask of them to function in only one language. They may reference only one of their cultures. In other cases, Mathis (2013) wrote that “une multitude de possibilités langagières sont à sa [leur] disposition, y compris l’alternance et le mélange de langues ou le recours à de nouvelles formes linguistiques” [a multitude of linguistic possibilities are at their disposal, including switching and mixing of languages or the use of new linguistic forms] (my translation) (p. 64). The theory of plurilingualism also recognizes that there is not one plurilingualism that works for everyone. According to Mathis (2013), we need to reconnaître que chaque individu développe une forme de plurilinguisme singulière et complexe qui dépend de son parcours individuel, familial et social, de sa mobilité internationale, de ses besoins de communiquer dans une langue versus une autre langue, du statut des langues et des contextes particuliers à chacun. [recognize that each individual develops a singular and complex form of plurilingualism that depends on his/her individual, familial and social trajectory, his/her international mobility, his/her need to communicate in a language versus another language, the status of the languages and contexts specific to each] (p.63) In relation to teaching and education, the concepts of plurilingual and pluricultural competences allow for creating distance with the native and monolingual/monocultural model of speaker as the norm or the ideal to aim for (Moore, 2006; Cenoz et Gorter, 2013). Varieties of languages and bi/plurilingual practices sprinkled in plurilingual kids’ conversations were, according to Moore (2006), often viewed negatively, especially in schools where they were “généralement évaluées par les enseignants comme des énoncés fautifs relevant d'interférences” [teachers usually evaluate these as faulty utterances with interferences from other languages] (my translation) (Moore, 2006, p. 161). According to Coste and Simon (2009), these bi/plurilingual practices can reflect symbolic affiliations to one or more group to which an individual belongs. Moore (2006) suggested that these “pratiques de langues illégitimes” [illegitimated language practices] (my translation) (p. 30 96) should be understood as a double language. These practices are not always a sign of the lack of knowledge about the school language; they can be seen as “la volonté affichée de l'ignorer” [a declared will to ignore it] (my translation) (p. 96). According to Beacco (2005) and Moore (2006), speakers’ variable use of the languages from their repertoire according to situations, objectives, and addressees can be a sign of positioning. Plurilingual speakers can choose, for instance, to hide part of their repertoire in a given situation (Doran, 2004). This chapter began with an in-depth introduction to the theoretical perspectives that informed this study: literacy as a social practice and Discourses, multimodality, identity and position/positioning, plurilingualism and pluricultural competence. These theoretical perspectives, taken together, allowed me to analyse how plurilingual students negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or as pluricultural in a Francophone minority context. In the second half of this chapter, to demonstrate how and where my study connects to the previous work in the field, I review empirical studies on identity in the fields of literacy and of language learning. In the empirical studies reviewed below, as well as in the remaining chapters in this dissertation, the term ‘bilingual’ refers to speaking French and English. Review of empirical research In the following paragraphs, I review empirical research exploring the concepts of Francophone and bilingual identities in Francophone minority contexts in Canada, an area of research that has informed this dissertation. I also review empirical research on plurilingual identities in Francophone minority contexts, a fairly new area of research. In some of this research, the term multilingual is used as a more “open” term; that is, it was not associated with full and balanced competences in discrete languages, but with a dynamic view of linguistic repertoires, more closely related to plurilingualism, as defined by Council of Europe (2001), Coste, et al. (2009a,b), Grosjean (1993), Moore (2006). Therefore, I used the term multilingual when quoting their research, but included these research pieces in my review of empirical research on plurilingual identities. 31 In the second part of this empirical review, I used the concepts of Discourses (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005) as a lens to tease out the various Discourses that can influence subject positioning. I focus on studies taking place in Francophone minority contexts in Canada, but I also review pertinent literature from other contexts, such as other minority and second language learning contexts, French immersion schools, and schools in which English was the language of teaching. Empirical research on identity in the fields of literacy and of language learning The processes of identity construction and the sociocultural dimensions of identity received much attention in the literature on second or additional language9 learning (see Block, 2007; Dagenais, 2012a; Norton & Toohey, 2011; Ricento, 2005) and in the literature on literacy practices (see Moje & Luke, 2009). The processes of identifying (or not) as Francophone and the influence of English on the Francophone identity in minority contexts have been a concern in research in Canadian Francophone minority schools. In the following paragraphs, I explore how researchers have studied and presented issues related to a Francophone and/or bilingual identity in Francophone minority contexts. Being bilingual and/or Francophone in Francophone minority contexts A number of studies have focussed on bilingualism and the effects of bilingualism on the Francophone identity in minority contexts. Findings and conclusions varied on how to define bilingualism and what it represents as well as on effects of bilingualism on a Francophone identity. Some researchers differentiated between a hybrid identity and a bilingual identity; whereas for others, the two expressions are used synonymously. Dalley (2006), for 9 The term ‘ESL’ (for English as a Second Language) students’ is often used in research on second or additional language, as well as in everyday life, to refer to English language learners. The term ESL has, however, gained a negative charge over the years. For instance, Talmy (2011) argues that it is constructed as a low-prestige identity category by participants in his study. I will, therefore, use ESL only when authors themselves have elected to use it in their writing. In my writing, I favour terms such as bilingual or plurilingual students. 32 instance, defined the bilingual identity as two parallel identities, as a parallel identification to the “francophonie” and to the “anglophonie” (p.85), where one does not make a final choice between French-speaking and English-speaking communities. The hybrid identity, she defined as an identity “à la frontière de l’identité francophone et de l’identité anglophone” [on the border between the Francophone identity and Anglophone identity] (p.92). Dalley (2006) wrote that a bilingual identity had nowadays more legitimacy than thirty years ago, but that there was still resistance toward the hybrid identity. Most researchers, however, used bilingual identity and hybrid identity as synonymous expressions. Dallaire and Roma (2003), for instance, wrote that hybridity was a process by which youth invested in linguistic and cultural practices and defined themselves according to these mixes. They suggested that the hybrid/bilingual identity was the result of integrating the two identity categories (Francophone and Anglophone identities), which were until then considered distinct and even opposed. Many researchers suggested that the hybrid/bilingual identity was a prevalent identity category among youth in Francophone minority contexts. Landry, Deveau and Allard (2008) – in their study of students in all Canadian provinces as well as from Maine and Louisiana, in the United States of America – discussed how the bilingual identity was an increasingly common element of self-definition for young people. They wrote that the hybrid/bilingual identity was “plutôt instable et fortement associée à la vitalité de la communauté francophone” [rather unstable and strongly associated with Francophone communities’ vitality] (my translation) (p.76). Gérin-Lajoie (2001, 2002) – in her study with students in Ontario in a Francophone minority context – wrote that there was a clear prevalence of the bilingual identity among the young participants. She nuanced her statement by arguing that a bilingual identity did not mean the same thing for all of their participants. For instance, for one student, a bilingual identity came with a very deep sense of belonging to French language and culture, whereas for another student a bilingual identity came with a tendency toward anglicization, both at the language and cultural level (Gérin-Lajoie, 2001, p. 66). Dallaire and Roma (2003) also suggested the hybrid/bilingual identity can come with a more or less strong affiliation with the 33 Francophonie. Dallaire (2008) and Dallaire and Denis (2005) explored youths’ identification with the Francophone community through their participation in Francophone Games in Canada (Jeux de l’Acadie, Jeux francophones de l’Alberta, and Jeux franco-ontariens). They examined how youth performed francophoneness10 as a component of hybrid identities, in which youth integrated distinct francophone and anglophone subjectivities. The francophone and anglophone subjectivities have been historically constructed as opposed in Canada; hybridity, however, implied a disruption and an integration of these two subjectivities. The research demonstrated that the configuration of youth’s hybrid identities and the significance of francophoneness in their sense of self varied between individual and groups, as well as between participants in the different Francophone Games. Pilote, Magnan, and Vieux-Fort (2010) – as they contrasted findings from qualitative studies conducted in a Francophone minority context in New Brunswick and in an Anglophone minority context in Québec – stated that the bilingual identity was prevalent in both contexts, not only in the Francophone minority context. What these studies demonstrated was that there is not a unified definition of the hybrid/bilingual identity; we should, thereforem talk about hybrid/bilingual identities in plural or, in my study, hybrid/bilingual subject positions. In a number of empirical research studies, English and the bilingual identity were viewed as problematic. Gérin-Lajoie (2001), for instance, wrote that the threat of assimilation to the English majority was still present in Ontario since “se définir comme bilingue peut effectivement indiquer une préférence nette pour la langue et la culture majoritaires anglophones et éventuellement mener à un rejet total de la francophonie” [defining oneself as bilingual can actually indicate a strong preference for the language and culture of the English-speaking majority and might lead to complete rejection of Francophonie] (Gérin-Lajoie, 2001, p. 68). This conclusion echoes that of research by Bernard (1991, 1998) and Castonguay (1999) (in Gérin-Lajoie, 2002), in which the bilingual identity was presented as leading directly to assimilation to the English-speaking majority. Landry, Deveau and Allard (2008) also argued that the 10 According to Dallaire (2005), “francophoness” refers to “the distinctive features and character of the practice of the French language and of the culture associated to French language in Canada” (p.145). 34 hybrid/bilingual identity had consequences on “la francité des jeunes francophones” [Francophone youth’s Frenchness](my translation). They argued that this identity could have subtractive effects. They also suggested, however, that hybrid/bilingual identity was a legitimate and necessary strategy for a growing number of children raised in exogamous families with a parent who was an “ayant-droit.” Pilote, Magnan, and Vieux-Fort (2010), in their study of a Francophone minority context in New Brunswick and of an Anglophone minority context in Québec, suggested that English, as a “hyper-central” language (referencing work by Calvet), “semble davantage chargé de défis en ce qui a trait aux minorités francophones qu’en ce qui a trait aux minorités anglophones” [appears to be bring more challenges in relation to Francophone minorities than to Anglophone minorities] (my translation) (p. 90). One of their conclusions was that a bilingual identity in students attending an English school in Québec did not usually involve a loss of the sense of belonging to the Anglophone community because of the English omnipresence in North America. Pilote, Magnan and Vieux-Fort (2010) did not, however, posit a similar conclusion in relation to students attending a Francophone minority school, which may suggest that a bilingual identity may involve a loss of the sense of belonging to the Francophone community for these students. This view of the hybrid/bilingual identity painted by these studies shares some ties with a subtractive view of bilingualism, in which a primary language is lost when one learns a second language that is dominant in one’s new environment (DiGiorgio, 2005). Subtractive bilingualism is contrasted with an additive view of language learning, in which a language is added to one’s repertoire “sans que la culture d'origine et la langue maternelle de l'individu subissent des pertes ou soient menaces” [without one’s native culture and mother language suffering losses or being threatened] (my translation) (Landry & Allard, 1997, p.567). What the research studies reviewed above appeared to suggest is that the bilingual/hybrid identity resulted in a loss of “francité” [Frenchness]. From the point of view of the young participants, this loss was not a fact, and bilingualism was not perceived as a threat to a Francophone identity. According to Dallaire and Roma’s (2003) review of studies on Francophone identities in minority 35 context, for youth, being bilingual played a central role in their process of self-definition. Bourgeois, Busseri, and Rose-Krasnor (2009), in their study of bilingual youth recruited through provincial Francophone youth organizations outside of Quebec, argued that many youth reported both a strong Francophone and Anglophone affiliation and self-identification. Researchers have also conceptualized bilingualism as a tool for students. Heller (1984) suggested that students’ practice of codeswitching between French and English was their way to resolve the tension “between two monolingual domains: Francophone school and Anglophone community” (p. 10). Pilote (2007) also argued that codeswitching was students’ strategic response since their daily actions were characterized by mobility between Francophone and Anglophone milieux. Together, these studies offer a portrayal of bilingualism as possible and positive as well as a resource for the process of negotiating multiple subject positions. What this review clearly demonstrates is that there is no consensus on the definition of the bilingual/hybrid identity and its effects on identity construction in Francophone minority contexts. Furthermore, language use (French and English, in this case) relates in many ways to identity. For instance, it is used in the processes of identification, in developing a sense of belonging and affiliation to the Francophone community and/or to the Anglophone community. Language is also used as a tool in subject positioning (e.g. by codeswitching between French and English) and can allow mobility between the communities. The review also brings to light the prevalence of the bilingual identity among youth in minority contexts in Canada. Some of these studies also mentioned a trilingual identity (e.g. Gérin-Lajoie, 2001, 2002), but references to plurilingual identities are remarkable by their absence. In the next section, I explore relevant empirical research that attempts to go beyond bilingualism and bilingual identity, by taking into account students’ plurilingualism, in Francophone minority contexts as well as in French Immersion contexts. Plurilingual students There is little research on issues pertaining to racial, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity in Francophone minority schools in Canada (Begley, 2012; Gérin-Lajoie 36 & Jacquet, 2008). In my review of the literature, I identified some empirical studies addressing issues pertaining to racial, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity. Farmer and Labrie (2008) and Gérin-Lajoie (2002; 2003) explored immigrants’ integration in a French-language school in Ontario. Gérin-Lajoie and Jacquet (2008) compared the inclusion of the immigrant population in French-language schools in Ontario and British Columbia, whereas Jacquet, Moore, and Sabatier (2008) focused specifically on the integration of Francophone African students in Francophone minority schools in British Columbia. Bouchamma (2008) explored the issue regarding integration of immigrant students in Francophone minority schools in New Brunswick and suggested that they may be perceived as obstacles or as assets to the school’s mission of promoting French language and culture. These empirical studies explored issues related to diversity, immigration, and/or plurilingualism in Francophone minority schools, but identity was not as a central theoretical concept. In recent years, however, researchers have begun to study immigrant and plurilingual children and youth in relation to identity in Francophone minority contexts. In the following section, I review these empirical studies, which informed my research on subject positioning of plurilingual students in a Francophone minority school. Some researchers argued that plurilingual youth might construct positive representations of themselves as plurilinguals in some circumstances, but this might not apply in every situation that plurilingual youth face. For example, Dagenais and colleagues, (Dagenais, 2003; Dagenais, 2008; Dagenais, Day & Toohey, 2006; Dagenais & Jacquet, 2000) worked in French immersion schools in Vancouver and examined the dynamics at play in some contexts where students represented themselves as pluri/multilinguals11. In one publication, Dagenais, et al., (2006) recounted how children from immigrant families sometimes positioned themselves, in small group interactions, as multilinguals and literate in languages other than French. Their teachers, however, 11 Dagenais & colleagues used the term multilingual and plurilingual in their different papers. When using multilingual, they did not associate being multilingual with full and balanced competences in discrete languages. Their view appeared closer to that of plurilingualism, but I used multilingualism because this is the term they used. 37 focused solely on French, the language of instruction and participation in large group activities, and often overlooked students’ multilingual positions. In another publication, Dagenais (2008) proposed that the positive representations plurilingual students constructed about their identities could be linked to their immigrant parents’ representations of plurilingualism, as “capital linguistique, échangeable en capital économique sur les marchés locaux, nationaux et internationaux” [as linguistic capital that could be changed into economic capital on the local, national, or international markets] (p. 353, my translation). The results of her research implied that if plurilingual students used all their linguistic resources at home, these resources were often not recognized at school. Dagenais (2012a) also noted in a review of studies examining the links between learner identities and language learning contexts that schools generally afforded limited opportunities to bilingual and multilingual students to display linguistic and cultural knowledge acquired outside of school, within their families and within their communities. This body of work outlines the importance of plurilingualism in relation to identity construction, a phenomenon that is not recognized in some French immersion contexts. Other researchers working within Anglophone schools over the last two decades or so have also advocated for the recognition of students’ cultural and linguistic diversity and identities as resources for learning (e.g. Cummins, 2001; Feuerverger, 1994; Herrera & Murry, 2005; Purcell-Gates, 2007; Schecter & Cummins, 2003; Smythe & Toohey, 2009). In a comparative study of identity construction by youth in Montreal and Vancouver, Lamarre and Dagenais (2004) examined how young multilinguals represented themselves and were represented by others. In both cities, young participants described their identities as complex and dynamic, and they had positive representations of themselves as speakers of multiple languages. The authors argued that for some participants, however, there was tension between the multilingual identity they strategically appropriated for themselves to secure affiliation and inclusion in particular language communities and the identity others “attributed to them because of their physical attributes” (p.70), which served as a marker of exclusion. In her study of 38 English and French schools in Canada and France12, Prasad (2015) also explored students’ positioning and linguistic identity, but with students at the elementary school level. When reporting on students’ reflexive drawings on issues of languages and plurilingualism, Prasad wrote that no student drew themselves as monolingual, but “they were equally unsure about positioning themselves as plurilinguals” (p.130). Prasad (2015) argued that, a plurilingual multiliteracies paradigm – like the one she used in her study – could help children and youth reposition themselves as having many useful linguistic resources as plurilinguals. The monolingual paradigm – which I would argue is prevalent in many Francophone minority schools in Canada – appeared to prevent plurilingual students in Prasad’s (2015) study from representing themselves as full-fledged plurilinguals. They were still able, however, to represent themselves as emergent bilinguals. These two studies provide examples of the “ perpetual tension” discussed by Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001), and Pavlenko and Blackledge (2004). Some research points to the fact that bilingual positions were not available to all plurilingual learners. Richards (2012), in her study of youth from immigrant backgrounds attending a Francophone school in Toronto, argued that that many immigrant students and their families chose a Francophone school because of the status of the French language in their country of origin or because of its symbolic prestige. Immigrant students and their families hoped to acquire both French and English through attending a Francophone school; however, bilingualism was not available to all, according to Richards. Immigrants’ competences in French were not always recognized: the students were not recognized as locuteurs légitimes [legitimate speakers] (my translation) and could not put forward the positionnements [positionings] (my translation) of bilingual or of legitimate speakers of French. Madibbo and Maury (2001) also explored “les positionnements identitaires” [identity positionings] (my translation) (p.113) of youth 12 The classes were as follow. In Toronto, Canada, there were an official majority language English public school, a French immersion public school, an official minority French-language language public school, and a French private school. The fifth class was a French public school in Montpellier, France. It also offered Occitan as a regional language and English as a foreign language (Prasad, 2015). 39 from immigrant backgrounds – that is, of first- and second-generation youth13 from Haïti and Mauritius – in relation to their ethnic community, the Francophone community in Toronto, and the Toronto-community at large. Using data from interviews with youth and their parents, Madibbo and Maury (2001) explored the ways youth positioned themselves and how their “statut doublement minoritaire” [twofold minority status] (p.113) rendered their identity construction more complex. The parents described their sons and daugthers as being in a “situation de manque” [situation is which something is missing] (p. 120) in relation to language and culture, especially if young participants tended to move away from French and Creole and assimilate to the Anglophone culture. All young participants, however, demonstrated that they were by no means in a deficit situation. On the contrary, they demonstrated that they had seriously reflected on issues of their mixed identity and bi/multilingualism. They used engagement in culture and arts (e.g. cinema, drama, radio) to celebrate their identity “d’entre-plusieurs” [between-many] (my translation) (Madibbo & Maury, 2001, p.121). Other youth adopted a shared linguistic resource, such as Verlan14 in Doran’s (2004, 2007) study or BESL (Black English as a Second Language) in Ibrahim’s (1999; 2008a; 2008b; 2010) work, in order to position themselves as members of a multilingual and culturally diverse community. Working from a poststructuralist view of identity – in which identity is treated as multidimensional, dynamic, fluid and performed in interactions – Doran (2004, 2007) studied minority youth in a suburban community in France. She explored how these young people used Verlan as a tool to perform identities that were different from the identity offered by French’s monocultural, monolingual, and monoethnic imagined community (Doran, 2004, p.93). Doran wrote that youths saw Verlan as one of their linguistic tools alongside everyday spoken French, Standard French, and their home/family minority languages. They had a strong awareness of the 13 Madibbo and Maury refer to their participants using the term “jeunes” which could be translated as “youth”. The participants, however, were university students or recent graduates from a university. 14 The term Verlan originally referred to a French language game involving inversion of syllables in words (e.g. féca for café, or zarbi for bizarre). The word Verlan itself is the reversal of l’envers [backwards]. “Since ‘verlanized’ words are common in the banlieue youth lexicon, Verlan is sometimes used as a shorthand term for this youth sociolect in general.” (Doran, 2007, p. 505) 40 need to vary their linguistic tools according to context; their use of Verlan was, therefore, context dependent. Verlan was the language of peer interaction, used “to delineate the we-group” (Doran, 2007, p. 504). Using Verlan was an “act of identity” (LePage & Tabouret-Keller, 1985; in Doran, 2004, p. 106) that signalled alignment with the peer group. For these young people, using Verlan showed that they belonged to a multilingual and culturally diverse community. Verlan marked and validated the existence “of a local multi-culture within which [youth] could affirm the hybridity of their own identities” (Doran 2004, p.111). Doran (2004, 2007) argued that the use of Verlan could be seen as a social practice used by these minority youth in their process of positioning, in relation to their peers as well as in relation to the dominant discourse in French society. In a Canadian context, Ibrahim (1999; 2008a; 2008b; 2010) also explored how youths used a linguistic resource to position themselves, by exploring the process of “becoming Black” within a group of immigrant and refugee Francophone African adolescents attending a Francophone minority high school in Toronto. Ibrahim argued that these youth were faced with a social imaginary or a discursive space in which they were already positioned as Blacks. This imaginary, according to Ibrahim, directly influenced whom they identified with, how they choose to position themselves, and what and how they learned. As a result, they took up an “identifiable black Hip-Hop youth identity” (2008b, p. 243) and learned BESL (Black English as a Second Language). Blackness, argued Ibrahim (2008b) was “the spatial representation of similitude, approximation, and affinity” (p.244). Becoming Black was, according to Ibrahim (1999), an “identity signifier” (p.365) produced by learning and adopting BESL; this identity, however, was also producing BESL. Doran’s (2004, 2007) and Ibrahim’s (1999; 2008a; 2008b; 2010) works showed interrelations between the discursive space, the choice of linguistic resources, and youth’s agency in positioning themselves. Research on plurilingual children and youth and their identities – whether these children and youth were defined as immigrants, refugees, first- or second-generation youth, or CLD allophone learners – have taken place in different contexts: in Francophone minority and in French Immersion schools/contexts, as well as in 41 Anglophone schools/contexts. In this section, I discuss the contribution of researchers who have explored how plurilingual youth positioned themselves. Some researchers have argued that many plurilingual youth have positive representations of themselves as plurilinguals, but schools afforded them limited chances to display their linguistic and cultural knowledge, acquired within their families and communities. Other reviewed empirical studies pointed to the choices of linguistic resources students made, such as Verlan and BESL and the possibilities these choices offered them in their process of positioning themselves as culturally diverse and plurilinguals. In the next section, I explore empirical research on children and youth’s digital literacy practices, another area of research informing my work on plurilingual students’ identity. A number of recent studies explored identity construction of plurilingual students and their digital literacy practices in out-of-school contexts or their digital literacy practices in a classroom context. Digital literacy practices among plurilingual youth in and out of schools Out-of-school practices in English-speaking contexts Literacy practices in out-of-school contexts have been presented, in empirical research, as providing opportunities to adopt multiple and hybrid positions that were not easily available to participants in their everyday school life. Lam’s (2000; 2004; 2006) and Yi’s (2009) studies provided examples of the affordances of the Web for identity construction of bilingual/plurilingual adolescents. Lam (2000; 2004; 2006), through her presentation of multiple case studies of bilingual/plurilingual students’ use of the Internet (e.g., chat rooms, websites), provided powerful examples of the affordances of digital technologies in the process of identity construction. Lam suggested that, through their out-of-school digital literacies practices, adolescents were able to construct and adopt new and hybrid subject positions that were not available to them in their regular everyday school life. Yi (2009) also suggested that, through engagement with digital literacy practices, multilingual adolescents were able to construct more than one subject position (such as Korean and American subject positions), without having to choose one or the 42 other. Skinner and Hagood (2008) also wrote that digital literacy practices (in their case, digital storytelling) provided opportunities for youth of all ages to design multimodal narratives, which helped make sense of the many physical and geographical spaces they inhabited or had inhabited. Domingo (2011a, 2011b, 2012) argued that, through their digital practices of creating and circulating music videos, Filipino British youth from London were able to express their diverse social identities. She suggested that, through layering of modes (e.g., sounds, images, colours) in these videos, these youth were able to navigate between their communities, positioning themselves using the discourses of each of these communities. Domingo (2011a) argued that layering became a “form of migratory practice” (p. 224) between the youth’s discourse communities and a means to cultivate hybrid language identities (Domingo, 2012). Classroom practices in English-speaking contexts Empirical research into digital literacy practices in a school context also presented interesting findings in relation to the affordances of digital literacy practices for identity construction. In her paper, Ajayi (2009) suggested that multimodal/ multiliteracies pedagogy offers second language learners opportunities to create new identities. Giampapa (2010), Giampapa and Sandhu (2011), Lambert (2011), Meredith (2011), Ng (2011) and Stille (2011) presented examples of the creation of multimodal “identity texts” (Cummins, Bismilla, Cohen, Giampapa, & Leoni, 2005), that is, the creation of dual language texts by bilingual and multilingual students. Giampapa (2010) suggested that the creating and sharing of these texts functioned to affirm and enhance students’ identity investment. Stille (2011) argued that multimodal literacy activities had the potential to draw upon the full range of students’ cultural and linguistic experience, opening a space for students to “re/construct” (Stille, 2011, p. 66) their literate identities. Classroom practices in Francophone minority contexts All the research projects described above were conducted in English-speaking contexts. So far, I have been able to locate only a handful of studies of in- and out-of-school digital literacy practices set in Francophone minority contexts in Canada with a 43 focus on plurilingual students’ identity and an interest in digital literacy practices and multimodality. For instance, Prasad (2013) reported on a study in a private French international school in Toronto. French international schools are different from the public Francophone minority schools in Canada in that the French Ministry of Education developed the curriculum. Prasad wrote that the school “explicitly promotes plurilingualism in alignment with the Common European Framework of Reference on Languages (CEFR)” (p.6). Regardless, the school offered a French curriculum in a predominantly English-speaking environment. In this paper, her principal unit of analysis was the children as plurilingual social actors. Prasad reported on students engaging in a number of multimodal activities. Some of these activities involved the use of digital technologies, such as the creation of plurilingual e-books, which Prasad referred to as plurilingual identity texts (Cummins, 2009). The e-books were written in French and in English first. The third language was chosen according to the additional languages spoken in the classroom, and every group included at least one student who had a third language in addition to English and French. Prasad (2013) suggested that for the students who contributed a third language to their teams’ e-books, sharing their additional language served as an “opportunity to acknowledge and build on their diverse cultural and linguistic competencies” (p.19). Unfortunately, this article’s focus was on the methods and methodology used, and on children as co-ethnographers. Prasad did not provide an in-depth discussion on the identities (or subject positions) put forward by students when creating these e-books. In the above section, I have discussed the contribution of researchers exploring multimodality and its affordance in out-of-school and in classroom contexts. This review suggests that multimodal literacy activities have the potential, both in and out of school, to draw upon the full range of plurilingual students’ linguistic and cultural experience and to affirm and enhance students’ identity investment. Only Prasad’s (2013) work, however, took place in a Francophone minority context. 44 Discourses and identity In the next part of this review of empirical research, I use Gee’s concept of capital-D Discourse (1996, 2001, 2005) as a lens through which to explore studies that discussed identity. Most of the following research studies did not draw on Gee’s concept (1996, 2001, 2005) of capital-D Discourses, but some adopted concepts that share some similarities with Discourse, such as habitus. Reviewing the findings and discussion in these research pieces, however, allowed for reflection and an understanding of Discourses at play. My aim in this part of the review was to identify Discourses that researchers or participants used or mentioned as being influential in the process of negotiating subject positioning. I reviewed studies taking place in Canadian Francophone minority contexts, but I also included empirical studies conducted in other learning contexts, such as other minority and second language learning contexts, French immersion schools, and schools in which English was the language of teaching. Genealogical vs. linguistic Discourses The empirical research studies reviewed in the following paragraphs addresses issues related to differences between a genealogical view of the Francophone identity in contrast with a linguistic view of the Francophone identity. Using these research studies, I explore some of the key elements of a capital-D genealogical Discourse and of a capital-D linguistic Discourse. Dallaire and Denis (2000) and Dallaire (2008) explore the influence of a genealogical/cultural discourse and of a linguistic discourse on youth participating in Francophone Games in Canada (Jeux francophones de l’Alberta, Jeux de l’Acadie and Jeux franco-ontariens). During these games, youth participated in both sport and cultural activities. According to Dallaire and Denis (2000) and Dallaire (2008), these discourses influenced both how participants defined the Francophone identity and how they defined the Francophone community. Both discourses posit that, to be Francophone, one must speak French. The genealogic/cultural discourse establishes, however, an essential link between a sense of belonging to a Francophone community and Francophone heritage/culture. The linguistic discourse centres on linguistic performance and on 45 speaking French as the defining criterion of the Francophone identity and community. The youth attending the different Francophone Games used these two discourses differently. In their questionnaire, most participants in the Games used the linguistic discourse to define their own Francophone identity and insisted on their use of the French language as a defining characteristic of their “francité” [Frenchness]. Participants, however, differed in their conception of the Francophone community. Youth at the Jeux franco-ontariens and the Jeux francophones de l’Alberta both referred to a linguistic discourse to define the Francophone community; however, only the participants at the Jeux franco-ontariens willingly acknowledged a sense of belonging to the Francophone community. Most participants at the Jeux francophones de l’Alberta did not. Youth at the Jeux de l’Acadie, on the other hand, used the genealogical discourse to define the Acadian/Francophone community as linguistic as well as a cultural community; they also willingly affiliated with the Acadian community. Dallaire and Denis’ (2000) and Dallaire (2008)’s papers offer valuable insights into identities as multiple, and as changing and shifting according to time, space, and events. There are a few shortcomings, however: first, the absence of data on identities other than the Francophone identity; and second, identities were studied in the context of “un lieu ponctuel de reproduction identitaire” [a punctual space of identity reproduction] (my translation) (Dallaire, 2008, p.375) and not in everyday situations. Dallaire and Denis’ (2000) and Dallaire (2008)’s discussion of genealogical/cultural and of linguistic discourses allows for a reflection on capital-D Discourse (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005). The “identity kit” (Gee, 1996, p.127) for the genealogical/cultural Discourse comes with instructions on how to be a Francophone; that is, one needs to belong to a Francophone community and have ties with Francophone heritage/culture. The instructions on how to be Francophone are different in the linguistic Discourse, since speaking French is the defining criterion. 46 Challenging monolingual discourses The empirical research reviewed in the following paragraphs addresses, from different points of view and in different contexts, issues related to uni/monolingualism15. Using their research, I define a Discourse of monolingualism. Researchers, educators, children, youth, and parents have challenged monolingual Discourses, but it is still present in our society and can influence the process negotiation of subject positions. Lamoureux (2005) explored “les changements identitaires lors d’une transition scolaire” [identity changes during a school transition] (my translation) (p.112) of Francophone minority post-secondary students in relation to their linguistic communities. She also reported on the influence of the changing context on students’ identity and on the influence of the different discourses prevalent in these contexts as students go from a Franco-Ontarian high school to a bilingual or English university. Lamoureux (2005) conducted a critical discourse analysis and a content analysis and suggested that hegemonic discourse in Francophone high schools in Ontario posited French as the only language of education at the secondary level, but also at the post-secondary level. Moreover, Lamoureux (2005) argued that, in this discourse, “l'identité linguistique est perçue selon le type statique, liée au stade de développement de l'enfant, c'est-à-dire qu'elle se concrétise à la fin du secondaire” [the linguistic identity is perceived as static, linked to child’s stage of development, which means that it becomes real at the end of high school] (my translation) (p.115). Therefore, when students from a Franco-Ontarian high school chose to attend a bilingual or English university, their former teachers and communities positioned the students as having chosen English as their linguistic community and, therefore, as their ‘real’ linguistic identity. The students, however, still considered themselves as participating members of the Francophone community. They were also not keen on fragmenting their identity according to Francophone, Anglophone and other linguistic categories. Lamoureux (2005) wrote that these students argued they could be Francophone, Anglophone, and other at the same time: “toutes les parties sont 15 In this dissertation, unilingualism and monolingualism are used as synonymous terms. 47 là en même temps – la pluralité au quotidien” [all parts are there at the same time – plurality on a daily basis] (my translation) (p.1 19). Lamarre’s (2013) discusses the prevalence of the unilingual discourse in the province of Québec. She suggested that most research on language in Québec has addressed issues related to the position and vitality of the French language, with a focus on language dominance and competition. Lamarre (2013) argued that what was needed was research on actual languages practices of young multilingual Montréalers, and she proceeded to report on such as study with plurilingual college (Cégep) students in Montréal. While Lamarre’s (2013) focus was on language use rather than on identity, her work provides numerous insights into this process of subject positioning. None of her participants subscribed to a unilingual discourse in their daily language practices. These practices (and the subject positions they negotiated through such practices) challenged the neat linguistic borders at the level of the languages themselves but “also at the levels of language community and language identity: ‘who is Francophone, who is Anglophone, and how do you define people living with two or three languages’” (Lamarre, 2013, p.53). Levasseur (2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c) explored identity representations of students in a Francophone elementary minority school in British Columbia. Her bilingual and multilingual participants had all received francization services because their language skills in French were deemed limited. Levasseur argued that, according to her young participants, there were two criteria to fulfill to be Francophone and to be allowed to position oneself as Francophone. First, one must be born in France or in Québec. Second, one must be French monolingual. Levasseur (2012) argued that such as discourse came from the Francophone schooling model in British Columbia, which “cherche à intégrer dans un contexte unilingue des élèves qui parlent souvent plusieurs langues” [tries to integrate students who often speak many languages in a monolingual context] (my translation) (p.56). French was mostly used in formal, structured and supervised classroom activities; whereas, English often dominated informal and unstructured activities (Levasseur, 2013a, b, c). Levasseur suggested that educators hope 48 that children would choose French as their language of belonging or of identification. The monolingual discourse, therefore, came from the school and the teachers; it resulted in children being unable or unwilling to position themselves as Francophones as they did not fulfill the necessary criteria. Benson (2014) examined and compared research in the North (or in high-income countries) and in the South (or from low-income countries) in the field on multilingual education (MLE). She suggested a monolingual habitus continues “to pervade both research and practice” (p.12) in the North, and public education fails to recognize and use students’ multiple languages. In a monolingual habitus, she argued, there are dominant languages (DL) (“languages that hold privileged status as official or national languages by countries and education systems” (p.13)) and non-dominant languages (NDL) (languages that are not privileged by countries or education systems). Benson argued that a monolingual habitus could prevent educators from understanding and assessing the cultural and linguistic resources of talented bi16/multilingual speakers; it could also prevent researchers from understanding and investigating all the resources and skills of bi/multilingual speakers. Lamoureux (2005), Lamarre (2005), Levasseur (2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c), and Benson (2014) all recognized a prevalence of a monolingual view. They did not refer to Gee’s (1996, 2001, 2005) concept of Discourse in their research, but their works allow for reflection on what constitutes a monolingual or unilingual Discourse. Within such a Discourse, an “identity kit” (Gee, 1996, p.127) would put forward the prevalence of one language viewed as central and more important than all other languages. In a monolingual Discourse, speaking more than one language could prevent someone from positioning her/himself as a speaker of a specific language. Lamoureux (2005), Lamarre (2005), Levasseur (2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c), and Benson (2014) were critical of a monolingual view. For instance, Levasseur (2013b) suggested that Francophone schools (in British Columbia) would have a hard time remaining monolingual since the next generation of Francophones was most likely to be plurilingual. Benson (2014) strongly 16 Bilingualism, here, does not refer to French/English bilingualism only. 49 argued against the monolingual habitus, suggesting it did not reflect the real linguistic context in most countries around the world. A monolingual Discourse limits which language(s) “counts”. It tends to push aside NDL languages, and this can have the consequences for identity, for language development, and for linguistic communities. Discourse on bi/plurilingualism and power In the following paragraphs, I review empirical research that addressed, from different points of view and in different contexts, issues related to bi/plurilingualism and power. It allows me to engage in a reflection on capital-D Discourses of bilingualism and plurilingualism. In a study of immigrant parents about their children attending French Immersion schools in Vancouver, Dagenais (2003) argued these parents equated multilingualism “with marketable resources in national and international economies” (p. 272). Language was seen as an instrument of power (Bourdieu, 1977, as cited by Dagenais, 2003). For these parents, each linguistic resource in their child’s repertoire (English, French, family language) did not have equal power within Canada and around the world. Symbolic value was given to the family language, which could ensure affiliation with heritage culture but also to Canada’s dominant languages, French and English. Parents believed these two languages could “enhance social status and provide access to prestigious sociolinguistic groups in Canada and elsewhere” (p. 272) to imagined communities (Wenger, 1998; in Dagenais, 2003). This multilingual view can be seen as parents’ “investment in a transnational identity” [emphasis in original] (p.280) for their children; such an identity allowed for ties not only with with their country of origin and their country of residence but also with the international markets. Parental perspectives on children’s multilingual development have also been explored by Riches and Curdt-Christiansen (2010) in their comparative study of two communities in Montréal: English and Chinese speakers. Parents from both communities subscribed to a view in which bilingualism or multilingualism was seen as linguistic capital, and as an investment toward greater opportunities for employment and career. French was perceived as essential in Québec whereas English was described as “a vital 50 language for survival in the modern world” (p. 541). Moreover, Chinese parents recognized that Chinese, internationally, was increasingly important. In terms of giving children a sense of belonging and identity, the Anglophone and Chinese parents believed in the importance of the L1 and in providing foundational support for the L1; parents also considered L1 proficiency a priority as well as a prerequisite for L2 and L3 development. Researchers also explored bilingualism and plurilingualism in the context of French immersion programs in Canada. The French immersion program was introduced in Canadian schools in the 1970s (Allen, 2004), and its emphasis was on “developing fluency in an initially unknown language [French] through content-based teaching in the second/foreign language, at no expense to the home/first language of the students” (Swain & Lapkin, 2005, p.170). Roy (2010), for instance, discussed the “discourse of official bilingualism” (p.542) in Canada. She explored the influence of that discourse on how French immersion students in an Alberta junior high situated themselves within Canadian society. According to Roy (2012), the discourse on bilingualism in Canada is in fact a discourse of two monolingualisms, in which the ideal to attain is native-like fluency. It does not promote common bilingual communities but “two separate linguistic communities” (p.555). She wrote that Anglophones and Francophones possessed significant power in social and political spheres in Canada. However, because French immersion students did not attain native-like fluency in both English and French, they were not accessing this power. These French immersion students did try to situate themselves as bilinguals, but Roy (2010) argued that they were not recognized as legitimate bilinguals. Swain and Lapkin (2005) reviewed the core features of immersion program design, as outlined by Swain and Johnson (1997). Some of the original features of the French immersion program related to L1 (first or home language). One of these features invoked overt support for the L1, whereas another feature suggested that the program aimed at additive bilingualism17. Swain and Lapkin (2005) argued that, at the inception of the French immersion program, all students had English as their L1. Support for 17 In additive bilingualism, L1 and L2 proficiency are developed, instead of L2 developing at the expense of the L1 (subtractive bilingualism). 51 English was, therefore, provided since English was being taught as a subject. Such support still exists today. Nowadays, however, the variety of students’ home languages has exploded, and educators cannot take for granted that students’ L1 is English. As they revisited the core features of French immersion, Swain and Lapkin (2005) argued that overt support was needed for all home languages, and that the French immersion programs still needed to aim for additive bilingualism. They suggested that is was important to allow students to use many languages in the classroom (whether L1, L2 or L3) since speaking and writing (in any language) were “tools that we use to learn; we use them to learn subjects such as science, math, or history, and we use them to learn language” (Swain & Lapkin, 2005, p.178) (emphasis in original). Unfortunately, Swain and Lapkin (2005) provided little advice on how these updated features should translate into classroom practice, even if they did recognize the unlikelihood of teachers being fluent in all their students’ L1. Their only concrete example was dual-language books created by students in a mainstream (English) classroom (Chow & Cummins, 2003). A number of researchers and educators have used and researched dual-language or multilingual identity texts (e.g. Armand, Hardy & Lemay, 2014; Cummins, et al., 2005; Cummins, Bismilla, Cohen, Giampapa, & Leoni, 2006; Cummins & Early, 2011; Giampapa, 2010, Giampapa & Sandhu, 2011; Meredith, 2011; Stille, 2011). Identity texts can be “written, spoken, visual, musical, dramatic, or multimodal combinations” (Cummins et al., 2005, p.40) in which students “invest their identities” (Cummins et al., 2006, p.24). These multilingual identity texts, according to Cummins et al. (2006) reflected back students’ identities in a positive light. Giampapa (2010), for instance, wrote that the teachers’, students’, and their families’ multilingual identities were validated and used as resources in the creation of the identity texts, and that creating and sharing of these texts functioned to affirm and enhance identity investment. Stille (2011) argued that multimodal literacy activities drew upon the full range of students’ cultural and linguistic experiences and, therefore, opened up a space for students to “re/construct” (p. 66) their literate identities in the classroom. Research studying identity texts did not systematically adopt Gee’s (1996, 2001, 2005) concept of Discourse, but I would argue 52 that the practice of creating multilingual identity texts could help with establishing a school Discourse in which home languages are welcomed and valued. It could also foster transfer of concepts and skills from home languages to the language of learning and plurilingual competences. These features of what I title a “plurilingual school Discourse” are also present in research on language awareness, which will be reviewed in a following section. Dagenais (2003) and Riches & Curdt-Christiansen (2010) explored issues of bilingualism and multilingualism from parents’ point of view. I would argue that the parents adopted a Discourse of bi/multilingualism and power in which languages were additive, in which all languages needed to be learned and supported, for different reasons. Both studies pointed to the importance of home languages to foster a sense of belonging and identity for children, but also to the importance of English and French (in Canada) as languages of power. Swain and Lapkin (2005), from a more theoretical point of view, also adopted an additive view of languages. Roy (2010) also addressed issues of power and languages, in relation to who could situate themselves as bilingual speakers. Her study allows for nuancing the Discourse of bi/plurilingualism and power, since she suggested that one does not always attain power through bilingualism if one’s bilingualism is not recognized as legitimate. Discourses on bi/plurilingualism: Flexibility vs. separation of languages In the following paragraphs, I review empirical studies that addressed bilingualism and plurilingualism, adopting a view of languages as flexible or as separated, and draw the contours of a Discourse of bi/plurilingualism. From her ethnographic data collected in a Francophone school in Ontario, Heller (1996) posited that school discourse defined bilingualism as fully developed monolingualism, that is, as separate bilingualism. French was the official school language, and using French in the classroom meant that students were accepting the school authority. English, the dominant language in the community, became available “as a means of contesting that authority” (p.146). Heller (1996) wrote that the discourse surrounding the choice of a language in the classroom supposed an opposition between 53 French and English, whereas all other languages had “no part to play in this script” (p. 148). The school discourse also supposed that French and English constituted the totality of the linguistic repertoires of students, which was not the case (e.g. there were a number of students from a range of countries, such as Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, attending the school, and they spoke languages other than French and English). Young people may challenge the tidiness of linguistic borders in their daily language practices by drawing on their language repertoire in different ways. Lamarre (2013) studied 15 multilingual college students in Montreal. She wrote that they used their languages “in ways that completely escape census and other surveys built on questions that asked ‘which language do you use the most often at work, with friends, in the home, etc.’” (p.47). Through excerpts of interactions recorded by participants, Lamarre demonstrated how difficult it was to tease out which languages the college students used, and how, when, and where they used their languages, since they tended to mixed their languages or code switch. Some researchers might refer to these students’ practice as semilingualism, suggesting they lack mastery of their languages (Skutnabb-Kangas, 1981, in Lamarre, 2013). Lamarre (2013) argued instead that for most participants this “parler multilingue” (in French in an article written in English) (p. 48) was another linguistic resource, since the students were also able to “perform ‘unilingually’” (p.48). Lamarre (2013) suggested that, as researchers, we needed to go beyond a model of languages as bounded systems associated with bounded communities: languages, language identities and communities are “socially constructed and, hence, subject to change” (p.52) and suggested the students’ daily language practices could be described as “flexible multilingualism”, referencing Creese and Blackledge’s work (2011). Creese and Blackledge (2011) reported on the range of linguistic practices of multilingual students and their teachers and on the “nuanced negotiations of identities” (p.1197) taking place in eight complementary (heritage) schools in the UK. In their paper, they argued that there were two contradictory constructions of bilingualism at play in these schools: “separate bilingualism” and “flexible bilingualism”. The authors 54 defined separate bilingualism as an approach in which languages were viewed as discrete and tied to culture (a separation approach); whereas they defined flexible bilingualism as heteroglossia, as “the simultaneous use of different kinds of forms or signs” (Bakhtin, 1986, 1994, in Creese & Blackledge, 2011, p.1197). Creese and Blackledge (2011) argued that both constructions were present and performed in the heritage schools they studied. In a construction of separate bilingualism (used mostly by teachers) maximum exposure to the heritage language was seen as the best pedagogical approach, and helped to “counter the hegemony” of “mainstream” English institutions (p.1197). In spite of the institutional monolingualism, classrooms were multilingual. Teachers and students used a range of linguistic resources when teaching and learning. In a construction of flexible bilingualism, all linguistic resources can contribute to meaning making, and meaning is created “in the complex interplay of codes and conventions at work” (p.1203). Creese and Blackledge (2011) concluded by suggesting that flexible linguistic practices were students’ sophisticated responses to their complex and multilingual world, allowing them to negotiate multiple subject positions. The works reviewed in this section allowed for reflection on what the contours of a Discourse of separate bi/plurilingualism versus a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism. On the one hand, a Discourse of separate bi/plurilingualism would carry an “identity kit” (Gee, 1996, p.127), which stresses the “fixed, rigid nature” of languages (Creese & Blackledge, 2011, p. 1196): languages are separate entities to be used in different situations, and code-switching would not be a legitimate practice. Moreover, in certain spaces or situations, one language could dominate the other(s) and be viewed as more important than other languages. In Francophone minority schools in Canada, such a Discourse may be adopted to counter the hegemony of English, the other mainstream Canadian language. Such a Discourse, however, could prevent bilingual or plurilingual speakers from positioning themselves as speakers of a specific language since this subject position would be reserved for monolingual speakers. On the other hand, a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism, as suggested in the works of Lamarre (2013) and Creese and Blackledge (2011), would carry an “identity 55 kit” (Gee, 1996, p.127) recognizing a dynamic view of linguistic repertoires, with language being a resource without definite boundaries and allowing for the inclusion of different levels of competence in many languages (Coste, et al., 2009a,b; Grosjean, 1993; Moore, 2006). This Discourse would allow for practices such as code-switching or translanguaging18 and for positioning as monolingual, bilingual, and plurilingual. The Discourse of separate bi/plurilingualism and the Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism are important in this research: both of them influenced focal students’ process of linguistic positioning as plurilingual at École Félix-Leclerc. In my discussion of the school’s Discourse in chapter Four, I will outline how these Discourses were stated and performed at the school. Discourse on language awareness In the following paragraphs, I review empirical studies that used the language awareness approach. This approach, as suggested earlier, shares features with what I titled the “plurilingual school Discourse”, but it focuses on comparative analysis of diverse linguistic resources. Language awareness activities bring students into contact with oral and written corpora in different languages and invite them to manipulate the languages (Armand, Dagenais, & Nicollin, 2008). These activities draw students’ attention to how languages function, and they facilitate a comparative analysis on the different linguistic codes and practices (Dagenais, 2008). This approach can also help students to develop an appreciation of linguistic diversity (Dagenais et al., 2009). There is a range of activities developed under the umbrella “language awareness / Éveil au language”: exploration of affirmative and negative sentences in different languages (Geoffrey, Dufresne, & Armand, 2013), an exploration of “congénères et faux amis19” in poems in Romanian, English, and Spanish (Nolin, 2015), metaphonological plurilingual activities with 18 Translanguaging describes how plurilinguals purposefully mobilize their resources in their repertoires to negotiate meaning (Garcia & Wei, 2013; in Prasad, 2015, p. 8). 19 The word “congénères” refers to words that look alike in two languages and also have a similar meaning (e.g. “amore” in Italian and ‘amour” in French). The expression “faux amis” refers to words that look alike in two languages, but have different meaning (e.g. “gâteau” in French and “gato” in Spanish). 56 preschoolers (Armand, Sirois, Abadou, & Maraillet, 2005), and critical literacies activities with a focus on linguistic landscape (Dagenais, Moore, Lamarre, & Sabatier, 2009). The language awareness approach has its roots in the United Kingdom, in the works of Hawkins (1984, 1992) in the 1980s; it was taken up in the 1990s in Europe (Candelier, 2003) and in Switzerland (Perregaux et al., 2003) (in Armand, et al., 2005; Dagenais, Moore, Sabatier, Lamarre and Armand, 2009). The language awareness activities, I would argue, assume a Discourse in which bilingualism/plurilingualism are additive. All languages (home, heritage, L1, L2, additional languages) are seen are tools for learning, and a plurilingual repertoire is defined as an asset, not as a limitation. A Discourse of language awareness shares features with a multilingual school Discourse, which led to the creation of multilingual identity texts. A language awareness approach provides great opportunities for educators and for students. Language awareness fosters positive attitudes towards plurality of languages (Armand, et al., 2005; Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Dagenais, et al. 2009) and also recognizes and values home languages of immigrant, refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students (Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Nolin, 2015). For students being taught in their L1 (French in Québécois schools, for instance), language awareness activities allow them to put themselves in the shoes of students having to be schooled in a language other than their L1 (Nolin, 2015). Summary and conclusion There has been important research done on Francophone and bilingual identities, and on the (often perceived as negative) influence of the English language on the Francophone identity. Language use (French and English, in this case) is described as very important in the processes of identification and in developing a sense of affiliation to the Francophone community and/or to the Anglophone community. Research has shown that youth and children use languages as tools in their process of subject positioning (e.g. by codeswitching between French and English). Throughout this review of empirical research, I have shown the popularity of bilingual identities among young people in Francophone minority contexts in Canada. The plurilingual identities have not 57 been studied as thoroughly, but researchers focusing on plurilingual identities pointed out that schools afforded plurilingual students limited opportunities to display the cultural and linguistic knowledge they had gained as members of their families and communities. Some plurilingual youth, however, were able to select linguistic resources, such as Verlan and BESL and used these resources in their process of positioning themselves as plurilinguals. In this review of empirical studies, I also looked at out-of-school and classroom digital literacy practices among plurilingual youth. This part of the review highlights the great potential multimodal literacy activities can have since they can allow plurilingual students to draw upon the full range of their linguistic and cultural experience. They can also affirm and enhance students’ identity investment. There have been, however, few studies on multimodal literacy and identities in Francophone minority schools in Canada. This review of empirical research also helped me to reflect on and define the contours of a number of Discourses in research in Francophone, in French immersion and in other minority contexts. Through my exploration of a number of studies, I have identified and named the following Discourses: genealogical vs. linguistic Discourses, monolingual Discourse, Discourse on bi/plurilingualism and power, Discourse on bi/plurilingualism (flexibility vs. separate languages), and a Discourse of language awareness. So far, there has been little research focusing on the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students in Francophone minority contexts and on the Discourses influencing plurilingual subject positioning in the same context. The goal of my study was to better understand the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students within the context of classroom literacy events in a Francophone minority school in British Columbia and to explore the role played by different Discourses in plurilingual students’ process of identity negotiation. In Chapter Three, I describe the research design selected for this research project to gather and analyze data in response to my questions regarding the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students within the context of classroom literacy events in a 58 Francophone minority school, as situated within the broader research context in Chapter Two. Chapter Three details the qualitative case study design I adopted, the ethnographic methods, and the data sources. After outlining data collection procedures, I present my approach to data analysis. This chapter ends by considering issues of quality and trustworthiness. 59 Chapter 3: Qualitative Case Study at École Félix-Leclerc The province of qualitative research, accordingly, is the world of lived experience, for this is where individual belief and action intersect with culture. (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005, p. 8) Introduction Everyday we negotiate subject positions as we interact with people and texts at home, on the street, at work, or at school. Subject positioning is a rich, complex, and “contemporary phenomenon within a real-life context” (Yin, 2009). I designed my research methodology to allow for the exploration of how grade six students at École Félix-Leclerc negotiated subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural speakers in the context of literacy events in the classroom. In this chapter, I describe and contextualize the methodological approaches for collecting the qualitative data required for my inquiry into the process of positioning of plurilingual focal students. I begin with a short note on my epistemological stance before I introduce my qualitative interpretive paradigm and explore how a case study design is a suitable approach for my study. I also explain what is a Francophone minority school in British Columbia. I follow with an introduction to the classroom and an in-depth introduction to the focal students (Blastoise, Tria, Alexandra and Bob2). Then, I describe how I collected and analysed my data. I conclude this chapter with remarks on trustworthiness, on myself as a researcher, as well as on qualities and limitations of this study. Notes and reflections on epistemology The role of the social scientist then becomes that of accessing others’ interpretations of some social phenomenon and of interpreting, themselves, other’s actions and intentions. (Glesne, 2011, p. 8) This study is situated within a qualitative interpretive paradigm influenced by a social constructivist worldview. As a qualitative interpretive researcher, I assume that 60 realities are multiple and socially constructed (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Merriam, 2009), and that the world cannot exist independently of knowing minds. There are multiple realities, which are constructed: they exist not only in individuals’ mind, but also as social constructions (Glesne, 2011). Knowledge – what counts as knowledge or what is considered true – is therefore a matter of agreement within a socially and historically bounded context (Smith, 1983 p.10). Moreover, a particular construction of reality can be shared among a more or less large group of people, but others can also construct the same reality in different ways. As a researcher, I believe that human beings actively create multiple and local knowledge and realities through social relationships and interactions; that is, they develop varied and multiple subjective meanings of their experiences (Creswell, 2007). My aim as a researcher, therefore, is to explore and understand the complexity of views rather than predict or constrict the meanings into a few categories. My paradigm and worldview called for a research design and for methods that included “interacting with people in their social contexts” and a “focus on in-depth, long-term interactions with relevant people” (Glesne, 2011, p.8) or, as Denzin and Lincoln (2005) explained, “a naturalistic (in the natural world) set of methodological procedures” (p. 24). Being able to explore the process of subject positioning of plurilingual students demanded I was able to observe and interact with participants in the specific contexts in which they live and study (Creswell, 2007), such as their school and classroom contexts. This paradigm informed my research inquiry from the beginning and influenced my choice of a case study design to pursue my research endeavour. Design: Qualitative case study with ethnographic methods In line with my worldview and paradigm, I wanted to work in a school because it is an important social context (Glesne, 2011) for students. I was interested in the complex process of subject positioning, specifically how students negotiated plurilingual and/or pluricultural subject positions in the context of a Francophone minority school. Merriam (1988) and Yin (1984) suggested that a case-study approach is especially suited to situations where the phenomenon’s variables are numerous, and when they are extremely 61 difficult, if not impossible, to separate from their context. These features of a case study design echoed my epistemology and worldview, and this design befitting my goal to better understand the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students within the context of classroom literacy events. Moreover, this research design also allowed for prolonged engagement with participants (Glesne, 2011). In this study, I adopted a case study design (Stake, 1995) and used ethnographic methods to collect data. I worked with Creswell’s (2007) definition of case study design: Case study research is a qualitative approach in which the investigator explores a bounded system (a case) or multiple bounded systems (cases) over time, through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (e.g., observations, interviews, audiovisual material, and documents and reports), and reports a case description and case-based themes (p. 73) [original emphasis]. This research design allowed me to conduct in-depth data collection over time and to use multiple sources of information (Creswell, 2007), such as field notes, videos and audio recordings, individual interviews, and multimodal texts. My case was instrumental (Stake, 1995): I used it to understand a phenomenon of interest. This phenomenon was the processes of subject positioning of plurilingual students during literacy events. To select the bounded system or case (Creswell, 2007; Merriam, 1998; Stake, 1995), I used purposeful convenience sampling (Creswell, 2007; Merriam, 1998) and selected a grade six classroom at École Félix-Leclerc, a Francophone minority elementary school in an urban area in British Columbia. In the next paragraphs, I situate Francophone minority schools within the context of British Columbia. In this province, Francophone minority schools are administered by the Conseil scolaire francophone (CSF). These schools share commonalities with other institutions where French language education is provided, such as French Immersion programs and French International schools, but they also differ from them. First, Francophone minority schools and French Immersion programs both follow the curriculum mandated by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. Language instruction in Francophone schools, 62 however, is referred to as French as a first language (Français Langue première), whereas, in French immersion schools, the curriculum is identified as French as a second language. Second, while French immersion programs and Francophone schools are both part of the public education system, the former are administered by English-speaking school boards and the latter by the CSF, a province-wide Francophone school board. French International schools, for their part, operate as private institutions: they charge tuition fees and offer a curriculum set by the Ministry of Education in France. The CSF was created in 1995. Before that, the French program was known as the programme-cadre and was administered by English-speaking school boards. British Columbia’s Education Act was amended in 1997 “afin que soit reconnue définitivement l’autonomie du CSF dans la gestion du programme francophone” [in order to permanently recognize the CSF’s autonomy in administrating the French program] (my translation) (Gérin-Lajoie & Jacquet, 2008, p. 37). The CSF’s responsibilities were first limited to the Greater Vancouver area but, in 1998, its responsibilities were extended to all French language schools in British Columbia. According to a report published in 2012-2013, the CSF is responsible for 37 schools, with a total of 5,100 students (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2013). These schools serviced 78 communities in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas across the province (Gérin-Lajoie & Jacquet, 2008). Some of these schools were identified as “homogènes” (stand-alone), others as “hétérogènes,” which meant they shared infrastructures with schools administered by English-speaking school boards. Francophone minority schools are major social institutions of francophone minority populations in Canada: they are considered, according to Landry, Allard and Deveau (2011) and Levasseur (2013a, b, c), an effective means to fight linguistic assimilation [to the English language]. When I conducted my doctoral research, there were more than 300 students at École Félix-Leclerc, ranging from kindergarten to grade six. They had French as a common language, but the majority also spoke English, and many students spoke one or more additional languages; that is, they spoke languages that were not one of the two official languages in Canada. Students attending Félix-Leclerc did so because one of 63 their parents (or both of them, in some cases) was a member of the Francophone minority, one of the two official Canadian linguistic minorities. In the next paragraph, I explain how students are identified as eligible to enroll in the school as per the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Department of Justice, 1982). According to Pilote (2007), Canada is a multicultural country within a bilingual framework, thanks to the 1982 Constitution Act which, “a conféré aux minorités linguistiques officielles une reconnaissance particulière” [gave specific recognition to official linguistic minorities] (my translation) (p. 122). Since Canada has two official languages, French and English, Anglophones are considered to be members of an English minority community in Québec, where French is the dominant language, and Francophones are identified as members of French minority communities outside of Québec, where English dominates. The rights to education for Canada’s linguistic minorities are addressed in the 23rd section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Department of Justice, 1982). It stipulates that in provinces where English is the dominant language, such as in British Columbia20, those citizens who meet one of the following criteria have the right to send their children to a Francophone school, instead of the English alternative. Therefore, citizens: (1) whose first language learned and still understood is French; (2) who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in French, following a French first-language curriculum; (3) of whom any child has received or is receiving primary or secondary school instruction in French in Canada (Section 23, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms). The rights to education written into the Canadian Charter are meant to guarantee access to minority language education “afin d’assurer la reproduction linguistique et culturelle 20 In April 2013, the Board of Regional Trustees of the Conseil scolaire francophone de la C.-B. adopted a new policy pertaining to admission of students into its schools. Children whose parents are not eligible under the provisions of the Charter, but who meet other criteria, including the ability of the child and the parents to speak French, may be admitted (see http://www.csf.bc.ca/doc_pdf/english_information/CommAdmission20avril2013_en.pdf and http://www.csf.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/ressources/Politique_D-400-2_admission_des_eleves.pdf). Data for this research was collected before the adoption of this new policy. 64 des communautés francophones [ou anglophones au Québec]” (in order to ensure Francophone [or Anglophone in Québec] communities’ linguistic and cultural reproduction) (my translation) (Pilote & Magnan, 2012, p. 172). However, being a federation, Canada operates under a constitutional division of power, and education is under provincial jurisdiction (Foucher, 2007). Therefore, the process of creating French language school boards and schools in English-speaking regions happened on different timelines in different provinces. Such school boards and schools now exist in all provinces (Foucher, 2007; Pilote, Magnan, & Vieux-Fort, 2010). Parents of students attending École Félix-Leclerc opted for sending their children to a Francophone school; however, many of these parents and their children also use languages other than French in their home and in the community. École Félix-Leclerc Félix-Leclerc is a Francophone minority school situated in a multicultural and multilingual city in British Columbia. It serves the Francophone population, which represents a small percentage of the province’s and of the city’s population. According to Statistics Canada (2012b), in British Columbia only 1.3% of the population reported French only as their mother tongue in the 2011 census, whereas only 0.4% spoke French only most often at home. In comparison, 70.3% of the population reported English only as mother tongue, and 80.5% of the population reported speaking English only most often at home. As well, 26.5% of British Columbia’s population reported only a non-official language as their mother tongue, whereas 15.4% spoke only a non-official language most often at home (Statistics Canada, 2012b). In 2011, the population of Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA) was 2,313,328 (Statistics Canada, 2012a). Only 3,415 people reported speaking French only at home (0.1% of the population), whereas 1,328,780 citizen reported speaking English only at home (58% of the population). In total, 712,000 people reported speaking a non-official language most often at home (Statistics Canada, 2012b); this represents more than 30% of the population of Vancouver CMA. What these statistics tell us is that French speakers – in British Columbia and in Vancouver – are outnumbered by English 65 speakers as well as by the total number of speakers of all non-official languages combined in Canada. In 2012-2013, according to the CSF annual report (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2013), there were 5050 attending one of its schools. Of the number, 2557 spoke English at home (around 50% of the students) whereas 1802 spoke French (around 35%). Other languages identified as home languages were Arabic (95 students), Spanish (95), Swahili (28), Japanese (19), Romanian (19), Other African languages (19), Russian (14) and Chinese (10)21. Therefore, speakers of non-official languages in Canada represented about 13% of the students in the school board. The linguistic context of the school was, therefore, rich and complex because of the linguistic diversity of the school board, the city, the province, and the country. French, in Canada, has an official status: it is an official language and official minority language. In the context of British Columbia, however, English is dominant, and many additional or non-official minority languages have a greater presence in relation to the numbers of speakers who use French at home. In the school context, at École Félix-Leclerc, French was the official language, but English was omnipresent as the dominant language in the broader community: it was present in students’ speech and was part of many students’ home Discourses. Non-official minority languages had no official status at school and were also rarely heard in that space. École Félix-Leclerc is an elementary school where students are taught all subjects in French, except for English Language Arts (ELA), which students begin to study as a subject in grade four. Brigitte (from September to December) and Elizabeth (from January to June) taught all subjects to their students (except for ELA), even music and physical education. Students were expected to read, write, and speak in French at all times (again, except during ELA). The program of study was Français Langue première [French as a first language], and evaluation of students was closely tied to their ability to produce texts (written, oral, and multimodal) in standardised French. 21 There is a discrepancy between the total number of students (5050) and the number of students listed under each home language. The latter only amounts to 4658 students. There are therefore missing data on home language for 392 students. 66 Grade six classroom and focal students There were 25 students in the selected grade-six classroom. Of this number, 19 brought back the consent forms signed by the student and by a parent or guardian, consenting to participate in the study. The six other students did not hand in the consent forms. Throughout the data collection period, I also interacted with two teachers who participated in the study: Brigitte, who taught the students from September to December, and Elizabeth, who taught the students from January to June. They allowed me to spend time to observe, interview, and discuss with students. I also led a few discussions or activities with the students. During one of these researcher-led activities, I asked the students to create a linguistic map (Dagenais & Berron, 1998) to represent all the languages they spoke at home. They also included which members of their families they spoke each language with on their map. This activity allowed me to gather the following information: none of the participants was monolingual, ten were bilingual (French and English), and nine were plurilingual. I also identified the following languages as being spoken at home by the 19 participating students: Arabic, Chinese/Cantonese, English, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Rwandan, Sign language, Spanish, Swahili, and Tagalog. Of the 19 participants, four consented to act as focal/plurilingual students: Alexandra (French, English, Polish), Blastoise (French, English, Russian), Bob2 (French, English, Cantonese), and Tria (French, English, Tagalog). In the following paragraph, I introduce each of them, to allow readers to get to know them a bit better. The information presented in the following paragraph comes from individual interviews conducted with each of the focal students, with their teachers, and from observations in the classroom. Alexandra Alexandra was 11 years old when I began this study. An only child, she was born in British Columbia, but she had lived in Poland as a child, before moving back to British Columbia when she was in grade one. She started grade one at the École Félix-Leclerc, and had done most of her schooling there, except for some weeks here and there at a 67 school in Poland. When I asked her about going back and forth between British Columbia and Poland, she told me: Alexandra: ben je suis née comme ici à (ville) [en C.-B.] Geneviève: ok Alexandra: et ben je suis Polonaise. [Alexandra: well I was born like here in (city) [in BC] Geneviève: OK Alexandra: and well I am Polish.] (my translation) Alexandra understood, spoke, wrote, and read Polish, English, and French. At home, she spoke Polish and English to her father, and Polish, French, and English to her mother. Her grandmother lived close by, and Alexandra spoke mostly Polish to her. She also had a friend with whom she spoke Polish and English, but this friend was not a student at Félix-Leclerc. At school, she spoke French and English. According to Alexandra, there were no other Polish speakers at Félix-Leclerc. During the interview, she told me it was easier for her to write in Polish. She loved to draw comics, and her favourite character was Momo, a soft toy bird she carried everywhere with her. She drew comics featuring him as the main protagonist. She showed me a number of her comics in French and in English, but she said she had not designed any in Polish. I would describe Alexandra as somewhat of an outsider in the class. She was absent during the first month of the school year. She was in Poland with her family and attended a school there. As a result, she missed the start-of-school activities that usually help students to bond with their classmates. Alexandra often chose to sit at her table with Momo, drawing comics instead of interacting with her classmates. The only student with whom I saw her play regularly was Apricaka, a bilingual boy in the class. When all the students got excited about participating in the conseil étudiant [student council], Alexandra opted not get involved. She stayed in the classroom and played with Apricaka, the only other student who was not on a team (Field notes, 2013-10-15). She did not seem to be friends with any of the other girls in the class. 68 During the first interview with Brigitte, in early October, I asked her to describe Alexandra. Alexandra had just returned to Félix-Leclerc at the end of September. She had spent the month of September in a school in Poland. Brigitte said Alexandra had “une personnalité particulière ou des fois une façon peut-être de penser différente” [a distinct or “peculiar” personality or sometimes maybe a different way of thinking] (my translation) (Transcript of first interview with Brigitte, 2013-10-09). Brigitte knew that Alexandra spoke Polish, but she was not sure if she could read and write in Polish. She said that every time she had heard Alexandra speak in the classroom, it was in French. Blastoise Blastoise was 11 years old when I started to visit his classroom. Born in British Columbia, he started school at École Félix-Leclerc in kindergarten and had done all his schooling at this school. His father was born in Québec, and his mother was a Russian born in Tajikistan. On his linguistic map, Blastoise indicated that he spoke French with his father, Russian with his mother, his grandmother and his older brother, and English with his younger brother. His parents spoke English to each other. Blastoise understood, spoke, wrote and read Russian, English, and French. Every Saturday, he went to Russian school where he studied mathematics, history, sciences, and music. He was passionate about Pokémon and video games. In class, he was very interested in mathematics and sciences. He often worked on class projects with Tarik, Apricaka, and Donald-Smith. Tarik and Donald-Smith were also plurilingual. At school, I heard him speak French and English, but only heard him speak Russian on rare occasions. According to Blastoise, the only other Russian speaker at Félix-Leclerc was his brother. I would describe Blastoise as a bright student, interested in sciences and math. He often mentioned documentaries or books he was reading. For instance, he suggested atome one morning as one of their vocabulary words for the week. When I asked him why, he said he had watched a documentary of WWII, in which they spoke about the two atomic bombs that were dropped over Japan. When his teacher asked him a question during a class discussion, however, he often lowered his eyes and looked at the table or at 69 his hands before he answered. He also sometimes looked at the floor when he walked around the classroom (Field notes, 2013-10-30). On a few occasions, he surprised me with very decisive actions. For instance, he ran with three other boys for the conseil étudiant. When they presented their program if they were elected, they had to go from classroom to classroom. He led the three other boys in the corridors with their schedule in hand, and he spoke in a very firm and calm voice to all the other classes (Field notes, 2013-10-15). Brigitte had only known Blastoise since the beginning of September. During the first interview, she said he had no problem academically, was fascinated with Pokemon, and participated well in class. She said that when he was not interested in a topic or a project, however, he would do only what was necessary (First interview, 2013-10-09). She also noted that he volunteered the information that he was attending Russian school every Saturday quite early in September. Because he attended that school, Brigitte assumed he could read and write in Russian. Bob2 Bob2 was 11 years old at the beginning of this study. Like Blastoise, he was born in British Columbia and had been attending the same school since kindergarten. His father was born in Québec, and his mother was born in Peru to Chinese parents. On his linguistic map, Bob2 wrote he spoke Cantonese with his mother and his grandmother, French and English with his mother, father, and younger brother. His mother also spoke Spanish with him. Bob2 said he understood Spanish, but would answer in English. His father and mother spoke English to each other. Bob2 understood, spoke, wrote, and read English and French. He spoke and understood Cantonese and understood some Spanish. Bob2 was a hockey player: he often had practices before class (at 6 a.m.) and played three to five hockey games per week. As a result, he regularly missed classes for games, and sometimes appeared a bit tired. He also played the violin. He was part of a group of four boys – Bob1 and Daniel, two bilingual students, and one plurilingual boy who did not to take part in the study – that had been friends for many years. At the school, I only heard him speak French and English. I asked teachers in the school, and 70 they said there were other Cantonese speakers at Félix-Leclerc, but during my time in the class, I did not hear Bob2 speak Cantonese. Brigitte already knew Bob2 when he entered sixth grade because she had taught him in grade five. During the first interview, Brigitte spoke at length of Bob2 and his parents. She knew his parents’ professions [they worked in the travel industry] and suggested it may have influenced the importance Bob2 placed on languages: “Moi j’ai comme l’impression que ça peut influencer la valeur qu’il accorde à l’ouverture sur le monde, aux langues et tout ça” [I have a feeling it may influence how much he values openness to the world, to languages and all that](my translation) (First interview, 2013-10-09). Bob2 mostly spoke French in the classroom, but during recess, he spoke English with his friends. According to Brigitte, he enjoyed getting little moments of glory: moments where he received all her attention as well as his classmates’ attention. Brigitte laughed as she provided some examples of what he did to get attention: “comme s’asseoir au dessus des casiers, changer de place. Là, je vais arriver puis il va être assis à mon bureau, mais juste pour qu’on le remarque” [like he will sit on top of the lockers. I’ll come in and he will be sitting at my desk but just so we will notice him] (my translation) (First interview, 2013-10-09). Brigitte did not know, however, if Blastoise could read and write in Cantonese. Tria Tria was 11 years old when I began this study. Like Blastoise and Bob2, she was born and raised in British Columbia and had been attending the same school since kindergarten. Her father was born in Québec, and her mother was born in the Philippines. On her linguistic map, she wrote that she spoke English to her sister, French and English to her father, and English to her mother. Her mother spoke Tagalog to her and to her sister, but her parents spoke English to each other. Tria understood, spoke, wrote, and read English and French. She understood Tagalog, but said she was not fluent. At school, I heard her speak French and English. Brigitte mentioned that she had heard her speak a few words of Tagalog with another student in the classroom who spoke the same language. 71 Tria was a very artistic student, with talent for drawing and painting. She often used her skills during class projects (e.g., to create posters for Halloween or cards for special occasions), but she would also make drawings for her teachers and her friends, such Mai, Avril, and Rachelle. Brigitte had known Tria for a whole year since she had taught her in grade five. During the first individual interview, Brigitte commented that Tria seemed more at ease in her class than during the previous year: “C’est l’fun de voir Tria (…) L’an dernier elle était tellement gênée (…) Des fois, elle était blanche et j’allais la voir et je lui demandais si ça allait. Cette année, ça marche bien.” [It’s very nice to watch Tria (…) Last year she was very shy (…) Sometimes she was white in the face, and I would go see her to ask if she was okay. This year, it works well] (my translation) (Field notes, 2013-11-14). Brigitte said she learned last year that Tria spoke Tagalog, but only because Tria’s mother came to school for her daughter’s birthday. These four students were at the centre of my case study. I was interested in understanding how they developed multiple subjective meanings of their experiences (Creswell, 2007). During my fieldword, when I was in the classroom, my attention was on Alexandra, Blastoise, Bob2, and Tria. I observed their interactions with their classmates and teachers, and I noted which linguistic resources they used and how they used them in their interactions. I also focused on the modes of representation they used when designing their digital texts. In the following section, I provide details about how I collected data, about the types of data sources, and about my approach to analysis. Data collection Procedures I contacted Brigitte, a former colleague at École Félix-Leclerc to introduce my research project in May 2013. We decided I would begin the study in the autumn of 2013. On my first visit to the classroom in September, I discovered I knew all the students in her group; they had attended Félix-Leclerc a few years ago when I was working there as a teacher-librarian. The students were very curious and wanted to know 72 why I was there. They inquired if I was going to be their teacher-librarian again. I explained I was doing a doctorate and told them I would be in their class to observe and ask questions. I also presented my topic of interest – plurilingual students – and asked which students were plurilingual. Only three students raised their hands. I led a short discussion on plurilingualism, and after the discussion, three more students raised their hands. In mid-September, I handed French and English consent and assent letters and forms to the students and to the teacher. The letters informed families that a study of students’ subject positioning during classroom literacy events would be taking place in the class (see Appendices C to I for copies of consent and assent letters). In these letters, I asked for parents/guardians’ permission for their child to participate in the study as a regular participant or a focal/plurilingual participant. The letter outlined what each type of participation in the study entailed. Most students returned the form within two weeks. In November, Brigitte announced she had been appointed an education consultant for the school board and had accepted the new position. She would not be coming back in January. Elizabeth, the new teacher, was hired in December and came for a one-day visit. I told her about my research project, and we agreed to meet in January to discuss it at length. When we met in the New Year, she agreed to continue the project with me, and signed the consent form. I resumed my weekly visits to the classroom and actively collected data until the end of April. I collected data from the beginning of October 2013 to the end of June 2014. From October to April, I was in the classroom two to four days per week. Some visits lasted only an hour, in which I observed a specific literacy activity; other visits lasted entire days. In May and June, as I was wrapping up my research, I continued to visit the classroom but only once a week. I used the following methods to collect data: field notes, videos and audio recordings, individual interviews, and multimodal texts. 73 Data sources Participant observation and field notes I observed the focal participants in the classroom. During this research, I used participant observation as a research method to gather data. According to Glesne (2011), we can think of participant observation as ranging across “a continuum from mostly observation to mostly participation” (p. 64). Even if researchers place themselves anywhere along the continuum, they often find themselves at different points along this continuum at different times in the data collection process. My role in this study alternated between observer as participant and participant as observer (Glesne, 2011; Merriam, 2009). As an observer as participant, my participation in the classroom community was secondary to my data gathering activities (Merriam, 2009); that is, I observed first and had little interaction with the students and teacher. As a participant as observer, my observer activities were subordinate to my role as a participant in the classroom; that is, I acted first as a member of the classroom community and second as an observer. Depending on the activity in the classroom, my role varied along that continuum. Duff (2008) suggests that when researchers use participant observation, they often play another social role in the research site, such as a teacher, a co-worker, or a co-participant. Because I worked as a teacher-librarian in this school previously, the students easily accepted me as as adult who could help them, to whom they could ask questions or go to if they had a problem, but who still represented the Discourse of the school. Indeed, when acting as a member of the classroom community, my actions paralleled the teacher’s actions. I did not, however, participate in any kind of evaluation or assessment activities. I stayed away from enforcing classroom discipline as much as possible, but it was difficult not to intervene. If Brigitte or Elizabeth were in the classroom, they were entirely responsible for classroom management, but they did step out of the classroom at times, knowing I was there and fully capable of “managing” the students. Such situations happened only occasionally and lasted a few minutes. 74 While in the classroom, I wrote descriptive field notes as well as observer comments (also called analytic field notes) (Glesne, 2011; Merriam, 2009). Field notes served to detail the social and interactional processes that made up the focal students’ everyday lives in the classroom. In the descriptive notes, I wrote the date and time of each observation and a description of the setting, the people, and the literacy events. I also tried to capture interactions involving focal students and their peers and write direct quotations. The observer’s comments were mixed with the descriptive notes and clearly identified by an OC (for Observer’s Comments). The observer’s comments contained feelings, impressions, questions, and speculations about what was going on. Both descriptive field notes and observer comments were an essential resource for writing coherent accounts (Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw, 1995) of the focal students’ processes of negotiation of subject positions. They were indispensable to fulfil my aim as qualitative researcher, which was to explore and understand the complexity of the process of subject positioning, rather than predict it or constrict the process to a limited number of categories. Videos and audio recordings When in the classroom, I videotaped all literacy events in which students used digital tools. I filmed at different times of the day, as well as different days of the week. I used my smart phone to film and uploaded the files to my computer. I also audio-recorded a number of classroom interactions by giving the four focal students a small handheld digital recorder. I asked them to simply put it in front of them and their teammates or to walk around with it if their work required moving around in the classroom. These recordings do contain some instances where students “acted out” (e.g., students saying “”Bonjour Geneviève” or saying “we are being recorded”), but these small devices seemed easily forgotten. Most videos last about two minutes, with the longer ones being about 15 minutes. The shortest audio recording lasts 20 minutes and the longest is more than an hour. Both video and audio recordings were uploaded to my computer and transcribed. These recordings allowed me to access detailed interactions by 75 focal students and to try to understand the different tools they used in their processes of subject positioning during literacy activities. Interviews I conducted three individual semi-structured interviews (Merriam, 1998, 2009) with Blastoise, Bob2, Tria, and Alexandra. In order to be fully engaged with the participants during the interview and not be distracted by the task of recording observations, I recorded these interviews using a digital recorder, uploaded them to my computer, and transcribed them afterwards. Informal interviews (Dyson & Genishi, 2005), because of their spontaneous quality, were not recorded, but were included in my field notes. During the first interview, I focused on getting to know the focal students and their linguistic repertoires. During following interviews, I discussed classroom literacy events with focal students. The interviews were invaluable in gaining insights into the focal students’ home Discourses; however, they did not provide insights into the “ordinary” oral classroom interactions which were the focus of my analyses. The interview data, therefore, was not included in those analyses. Documents for analysis I collected documents of interest displayed in the school and in the classroom, such as texts presented by the teacher during literacy events, but texts produced by the focal students were central. Stille (2011) suggests, following Stein (2008) and Rowsell and Pahl (2007), that texts produced by learners “are material forms which instantiate learners’ identities” (p. 67). I collected multimodal digital texts created by the students during four literacy projects. The projects, involving literacy and multimodality, were as follows: Agence spatiale [Space travel agency], Histoire dont vous êtes le héros [Choose you own adventure], Skype mystère [Mystery Skype chat] and Jeux Olympiques [Olympic Games]. These projects integrated more than one subject area as the students learned and used skills and knowledge in French language arts, mathematics, sciences, and geography: They were multidiscplinary like most projects at the elementary level. In the project Agence spatiale, students worked as a team to create an advertisement for a 76 trip into space. They used Keynote, presentation software application, to create their advertisement. In the project Histoire dont vous êtes le héros, students created a “choose your own adventure” type story, using Keynote. Blastoise worked on his own, but Bob2, Tria, and Alexandra worked with a classmate. The project Skype mystère involved Brigitte’s group and a “mystery” group, which they contacted using Skype. The two teachers knew where the other group was, and they had decided on a time for the call. The students from both classrooms, however, did not know the other group’s location. The aim of the activity was for each group to locate the other group (country and city) as fast as possible by asking closed questions. The project Jeux Olympiques was a series of literacy events. Prior to the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the students engaged in a number of literacy events where they compared and contrasted Canada and Russia as well as Vancouver and Sochi, since the previous 2010 Winter Olympics had been in Vancouver, Canada. When the Olympics began in Russia, students researched Olympic sports and athletes from Canada and other countries, and they kept track of medals for each country. In the following section, I outline my approach to analysis and provide more details on these projects, as needed. Approach to data analysis I analyzed literacy events using the lens of literacy as socially situated practice (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Barton, Hamilton & Ivanic, 2000; Purcell-Gates, Perry & Briseño, 2008) to explore this study’s research questions. The overarching question I asked in this study was: During literacy events, how do plurilingual students negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural? I approached my broad research question using the following two sub-questions: 1) In the context of oral interactions in the classroom, what roles do linguistic and cultural resources play in the students’ negotiation process? 2) In digital multimodal texts, what role does multimodality play in the students’ negotiation process? In this research, plurilingual subject positions are linguistic. The focal students negotiated such a position when they used their plurilingual competence; that is, when 77 they used their additional language or when they referenced their skills in their additional language. Pluricultural refers to a subject position that the focal students negotiated when they drew onto their pluricultural competence. This competence entails the ability to use their experience in several cultures (Council of Europe, 2001) to communicate in a multicultural environment. Following a literacy-as-social-practice framework as well as my interest in the role of digital and multimodal texts, I began by organizing my data set according to the four literacy projects I had selected. Within these different projects were numerous literacy events (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Barton, Hamilton & Ivanic, 2000), which became my unit of analysis. I created a table in which I inputted the following information: date, project, description of the literacy event, participants involved in the event, and sources of data. Table 1 presents a sample of this table. Table 1 – Sample of table describing the data set Following the creation of this table, I transcribed all interviews, videos, and audiorecordings related to these four literacy projects. To consolidate, reduce, and interpret the data (Merriam, 2009), I created a coding frame (Purcell-Gates, Perry & Briseño, 2008, 2011; Schreier, 2014) (See Appendix A) that would serve for analysis of Date Projects Description of the literacy event Participants (Focal students and peers in interaction with them) Sources of data Fieldnote (FN) Recording (R) Video (V) Photo (P) Interview (I) 2013-12-05 Histoire dont vous êtes le héros. - Beginning of the project Histoire dont vous êtes le héros. Students pick their teams for this project. Alexandra wants to work with Scarlett and Tria. They accept her in their team. Alexandra, Tria and Scarlett FN 2013-12-11 Skype Mystère Second time the students do a Skype Mystère. It takes them about 40 minutes to find the location of the other group, but the other group find their location in less than 10 minutes. Students like Alexandra stop trying to find the location after about 10 minutes, and move on to playing games on her computer with Apricaka. All participants and focal students Alexandra Apricaka FN R ! 78 the literacy events (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Barton, Hamilton & Ivanic, 2000), the unit of analysis. The initial categories in the coding frame were theoretically-motivated codes (Purcell-Gates, Perry & Briseño, 2008, 2011): they were based on the theories of literacy as social practice, subject positioning, plurilingualism, pluricultural competence, and multimodality/multiliteracies, as defined in the theoretical framework. The coding frame also allowed for flexibility. When I began coding the transcripts from interviews, audio and video recordings, as well as my field notes, I also created data-driven subcategories (Schreier, 2014) by using inductive analysis (Thomas, 2006; Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009) to reflect what was in the data itself. For instance, the category ‘linguistic subject positions’ was theoretically-motivated, but the subcategories (French-Speaker, English-Speaker, Bilingual, Plurilingual, and Speaker of L+) were data-driven categories. The complete descriptions of the categories and sub-categories are found in the Appendix A. As a researcher subscribing to a social constructivist worldview, I used these codes as one reality, not as the truth. I used the coding manual as a tool to help me explore and understand focal students’ multiple subjective meanings of their experiences. I used NVIVO 10, (QSR International Pty Ltd, 2014) to code the interviews, audio and video transcripts, as well as my field notes. Using the coding frame, I undertook two separate rounds of coding on a sample of my data, which included transcripts of one interview, one audio-recording, one video recording, and one set of fieldnotes. When there were inconsistencies, I clarified the definitions of the categories and subcategories (Schreier, 2014). For instance, during the first round of coding, I coded one turn under “Speaker of L+”, whereas in the second round of coding, I coded the same turn as “Plurilingual”. I decided to merge the two subcategories as their definitions shared strong ties. After the two rounds of coding on the sample of data, I coded all of the transcripts related to literacy events in the four projects mentioned above. Using the categories and subcategories from coding frame, I coded the literacy events. Categories and subcategories were assigned not only to entire turns, but also to sentences within a turn, or to single words, if they were responsive to more than one category or subcategory. Figure 1 presents a short example of coded data – a snapshot 79 taken when working with NVivo (QSR International Pty Ltd, 2014). It is a short interaction between Blastoise, one of the focal students, and Elizabeth, the teacher, during a literacy event during the project Jeux Olympiques. Students were supposed to gather information online about Russia and to fill out a work sheet. Elizabeth was asking Blastoise to get his laptop and to work on his own for 20 minutes. Blastoise answered: “I know how to do it”, and he did not get his laptop. Elizabeth then made shushing sounds that were meant from the group as a whole, not for Blastoise directly. Both turns, Elizabeth’s and Blastoise’s, were coded as “French” because it was the linguistic resource they used. Elizabeth’s turn was coded as an instance of “interactive positioning” (of Blastoise) since she was “putting forward” a subject position for Blastoise. Blastoise’s turn was coded as an instance of reflexive positioning, in which he “challenged” the subject position put forward by Elizabeth. Figure 1 – Sample of coding using NVivo 10 (QSR International Pty Ltd, 2014) In the second phase of analysis, I addressed my second research sub-question: In digital multimodal texts, what role does multimodality play in the students’ negotiation process? I used a transcription frame, adapted from the works of Domingo (2011a, 2001b, 2012), in which I inputted data from the digital multimodal texts created by the focal students (See Figure 2, below). First, I placed all the slides from the digital multimodal texts in the frame. Second, I wrote an account for each mode utilized in the particular slide. Third, I wrote a narrative description about the slide and linked the transcription with related reflexive notes, interviews, and observations (Domingo, 2011a, 2011b). Third, the multimodal analyses key, which identifies each mode by color, was applied to the account for each mode, but also in the narrative description. Last, but not 80 least, I used the same coding frame to code the multimodal and digital texts created by the focal students. This approach to data analysis, with a transcription frame, allowed for a linear and a layered reading of the data. My research required close examination of nine modes that were found in the multimodal texts (background, written words, visual effect, images, colour, music/sound, gesture/facial expression, voice, and language) but only one media (Keynote). The first six modes (background, written words, visual effect, images, colour, and music/sound) were in the keynote itself, whereas gesture/facial expression and voice were integrated into the analysis through audio and video recordings done when students were creating or presenting their multimodal texts, as well as interviews with the focal students. Language was present in the keynote and in the recordings. 81 Figure 2 – Sample of multimodal transcription frame The focal students had created multimodal digital texts during the projects Agence Spatiale and Histoire dont vous êtes le héros, either by themselves or with a teammate. I, therefore, analyzed two texts for the project Agence Spatiale. Tria (focal student), Alexandra (focal student), and Daniel created one; Blastoise (focal student), Apricaka, Tarik, and Donald-Smith created the other. Bob2, unfortunately, never gave me a copy of that text. I also analyzed three texts for the project Histoire dont vous êtes le héros. Bob2 (focal student) created one with Bob1, Tria (focal student) and Alexandra (focal student) created one with Scarlett, and Blastoise (focal student) created the last one 82 on his own. In these texts, as in the interactions, students positioned negotiated a number of subject positions, but my focus was on positionings as plurilingual and as pluricultural. In Chapter Four, I present the findings from the analysis of multimodal texts in which focal students’ negotiated subject positions as plurilingual and pluricultural. Before moving on to the findings, however, I conclude this chapter with some notes and reflections on trustworthiness and on my own subject positions within this research project, as well as limitations of the study. Trustworthiness Issues pertaining to the validity of research are a hotly debated topic in qualitative research (Glesne, 2001). In fact, Denzin and Lincoln (2005) wrote that the term “validity” was a positivist criterion. Following Glesne (2001), I adopt the term “trustworthiness,” which is more in line with my research paradigm and worldview. To ensure plausibility and credibility (Glesne, 2001, p.49), I used a number of strategies that contribute to trustworthiness in qualitative research: prolonged engagement, peer review and debriefing, and rich, thick description. Through a narrative exploring my different subject positions, I also engage in clarifying my bias as a researcher. When conducting data collection for this doctoral research, I visited the classroom from September to June, one to four days per week. I interacted with the students and the teachers during their regular classroom activities. I spent time in the classroom both as an observer as participant and as a participant as observer (Glesne, 2011; Merriam, 2009). This prolonged engagement (Creswell, 2007; Glesne, 2011) allowed me to establish a good rapport and to learn about the classrooms and the school’s Discourse. Prolonged engagement allowed me to explore the different meanings and realities created and lived by the students and teachers in the classroom. I was also involved in peer review and debriefing (Creswell, 2007; Merriam, 1988) on a regular basis. While I was collecting data, I discussed my methods for collecting data, the data itself, and my initial findings with Brigitte and Elizabeth, as well as with fellow doctoral candidates. I also engaged in an ongoing discussion about my research with my supervisors and committee member from the time I crafted my proposal to the end of the 83 long process of writing and rewriting my dissertation. My supervisory committee asked hard questions about my research design, the choice of excerpts to analyze, my approach to analysis, and the theories informing my research. Such questions kept me focused on why and how I was doing the work. My interactions with teachers, fellow doctoral candidates, supervisory committee, throughout the research project, also challenged me to write rich, thick description (Creswell, 2007; Merriam, 1988). These detailed descriptions of the school and the focal students, the different literacy projects I studied, and the specific literacy events I analyzed were needed to invite my colleagues and readers to enter the classroom and the school with me. These descriptions helped them understand the participants. As a researcher, I also recognize that my own background shapes my interpretation of data and the way I present and discuss the findings. My interpretation flows from my “personal, cultural, and historical experiences” (Creswell, 2007, p. 21). I will, therefore, explore different subject positions that I believe have influenced my work. Considering the complexities of my various subject positions, I am aware that my cultural background as a Québécoise and a French speaker, my professional experience as a teacher-librarian, and my status as colleague and/or researcher influenced how I conducted my research project. I am a Canadian citizen, born in the province of Québec, and French is my first language. I learned English as a second language at school in Québec but also through extended stay in British Columbia, as a teenager, and in Saskatchewan, as a young adult. I moved to British Columbia in 2004 to pursue a graduate program. Before moving here, I had asked myself very few questions about myself as being part of a linguistic minority in Canada: I was not a linguistic minority in Québec since where I lived – a small town and Québec city – French was the language of the vast majority. Moving to a province in which English was the dominant language led me to position myself as a Francophone in many of my interactions and to seek work in a Francophone school. I worked for four years at École Félix-Leclerc as a teacher-librarian. In that position, I interacted with all the students in the school, from kindergarten to grade six. I interacted with them in 84 French only, as this was the school and school board policy. A number of interactions led me to discover that many students spoke more than French and English and were fluent in languages they never spoke at school. Prior to moving to British Columbia, and working as a teacher-librarian, I had little exposure to young plurilingual speakers. I began to questions what it meant for them to negotiate a subject position as a Francophone, and if they identified as such. My own experience working as a teacher-librarian at École Félix-Leclerc was the impetus for conducting my doctoral research: this work sparked my interest in plurilingualism in a minority context, in plurilingual students, and in the range of subject positions they were able to negotiate in their everyday life at school. I took a leave from the École Félix-Leclerc two years prior to my fieldwork in Brigitte’s classroom. When I came back to school for my doctoral research, I already knew most of the teachers as well as the majority of students in the upper grades. Brigitte and her students welcomed me in their classroom and, after a few days of questions about what I was writing in my notebook, I was “accepted”. I became someone who was allowed in the classroom – another adult to whom students could ask questions. I was able to negotiate a subject position akin to that of a teacher aid. I believe this “insider” status helped in establishing good rapport with the students, but it may have also influenced the way they interacted with me. For instance, French being the official school language, even if I told focal students we could do the interviews in French or in English, they all chose French. Another subject position prominent in my field notes and in my first interview with Brigitte was that of a colleague, of someone with whom she could share her thoughts on the spot. For instance, on my first visit at school, the students had an English Language Arts class. After a few minutes of listening to them, Brigitte whispered to me: “it’s strange because they are different when they speak English” (Field notes, 2013-09-11). We also had many discussions about classroom issues such as how to group students or how to say something in French. During the first interview, I used my experience as a former teacher-librarian at school, as well as my prior knowledge of the school and the 85 students, as a resource for our discussion. I positioned myself as a colleague who understood her work: I talked about how, in the previous years, we always told the grade six students that they were the big kids in the school, and we asked them to act the part. Brigitte agreed with me, accepting my position of a colleague sharing common experiences (Individual Interview, 2013-10-09). This subject position as a colleague was less prominent in my interaction with Elizabeth, as I did not know her when she took over the class in January. For instance, Elizabeth wanted to know what activity I was observing, and why, and how long I would stay in the classroom during each visit. She positioned me as the researcher who came into her classroom. This subject position was of importance to me since, as a doctoral candidate, it was a fairly new subject position, and I had had little experience negotiating it. All of these subject positions (and maybe others, unbeknown to me), along with my worldview and research paradigm, were interwoven, and played their part in how I conducted my research. They were an integral part of who I was as a researcher during this project and actively participated in how I created varied and multiple subjective meanings of my experiences in the classroom as a researcher. Qualities and limitations There are, of course, limitations to this study, but they also indicate possibilities for further research or analysis. First, this study examined data gathered at one Francophone minority school situated in a multicultural, multilingual city in British Columbia. The distinctiveness of this setting limits the generalizability of the findings of this study to other Francophone minority schools in British Columbia or in other provinces in Canada. As Stake (2005) stated, however, a case report does not aim at representing the world; its purpose is to represent the case. I have endeavoured, in this dissertation, to report on the case at hand, and to provide readers with thick description to understand and experience a particular classroom, to provide them with a “vicarious experience” (Stake, 2005, p. 460) of the classroom. This research can serve as a departure point for a study about plurilingual and pluricultural subject positioning in another school, but it can also inform education stakeholders. Second, I gathered most of 86 my data through interviews and participant observation. Access, availability, and willingness of the participants have, therefore, limited the research. Third, due to my focus on the process of positioning as plurilingual and/or pluricultural, and to my in-depth analysis of moments of positioning, some breadth may have been lost as not all focal students’ subject positioning (linguistic and others) were analyzed here as fully as I would have desired. Every focal student’s process of positioning was complex and intricate; it is with regret that I did not discuss moments of positioning as bilinguals, as French- or English-speakers in this dissertation, as well as moments of positioning as expert in video games or in comics. Summary In Chapter Three, I outlined my research paradigm and reviewed the research design employed for this qualitative case study of plurilingual students’ process of positioning. I presented an overview of the settings and participants, described the methods, introduced the data sources, and explained the coding, analysis, and interpretation process. In Chapter Four, I address the study’s overarching research question: During literacy events, how do plurilingual negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural? I explore the seven moments of positioning and the multimodal digital texts created by the plurilingual focal students. 87 Chapter 4: Discourses at Play and Moments of Positioning as Plurilingual and Pluricultural In the previous chapters, I described the concept of literacy events as being classroom activities in which reading, writing, or oral language were central components (Barton & Hamilton, 2000; Heath, 1983; Street, 1993, 2003, 2009). In this research, I focused more specifically on literacy events in which students created digital multimodal texts. In these texts, meanings were created with more than one mode (written word, image, speech, gesture, music, sound, and moving image) and media (e.g., books, films, Keynote presentations). This chapter presents findings from the analysis of literacy events and digital multimodal texts created by the focal students. These findings address my inquiry into focal students’ negotiation of subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. To begin, however, I present findings related to the school Discourses in policy: These findings will be echoed in my discussion of school Discourses in practice and moments of positioning. School Discourses in policy On its website, the CSF displays its vision and mission. Its vision is that “tous nos élèves atteindront leur plein potentiel, fiers de la langue et des cultures francophones” (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2011). [All our students will reach their full potential, taking pride in their French language and Francophone culture22]. As for its mission statement, it outlines the following goal: Développer chez l’élève, dès le plus jeune âge, une maîtrise de la langue française, une culture d’apprentissage continu, des habitudes de vie saine et un esprit de contribution à la société (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2011). 22 This translation was taken from the CSF’s website at https://www.csf.bc.ca/en/. Strangely, the word culture is plural in French, and singular in English. 88 [To develop in our students, from an early age, proficiency in the French language, a culture of life-long learning, a healthy lifestyle, and a desire to contribute to society23]. These two short statements provide important information and help in drawing the contours of the school board’s linguistic Discourse. First, there is an emphasis on the French language: Students will be proud of and develop proficiency in the French language. Second, English and bilingualism are not mentioned in the school board’s documents. This does not mean, however, that the CSF does not acknowledge the (omni)presence and the importance of the English language in British Columbia. For instance, there is an English version of the CSF’s website. Some of the school board’s official documents are available in English. For example, there is an English summary of the school board’s strategic plan for 2010-2015 on the website, but the complete document is only available in French. I would argue that the CSF, through its mission, vision and Website, puts forward a linguistic Discourse that recognizes society’s bilingualism, but neither encourages nor overtly supports students’ bilingualism. The mission and vision statements also fail to mention the possibilities of plurilingualism and the presence of non-official languages, whether immigrant or Aboriginal languages. While the board puts forward a Discourse of separate bilingualism – by acknowledging the presence on English and offering translations of official documents and of the Website – there appears to be, at the level of the school board, a monolingual Discourse on maintaining and mastering the French language for students. These documents are usually aimed at adults (probably parents and/or guardians) who are registering children in Francophone minority schools. Therefore, the Discourse appears to recognize that some parents may not speak French but may still want to send their children to a Francophone minority school. This Discourse, I would suggest, is of separate (English/French) bilingualism in official documents, but of monolingualism when it comes to 23 This translation was taken from the CSF’s website at https://www.csf.bc.ca/en/. 89 students, since the vision and mission only recognize proficiency in the French language. The CSF’s linguistic Discourse recognizes that bilingualism is present in society but puts forward Francophone as the legitimate identity position for students in Francophone schools. Paradoxically, according to its website, the school board is considered one of the most culturally diverse school boards in French Canada (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2016). And, when it comes to culture, the vision statement does mention multiple cultures24. These multiple cultures, however, are Francophone cultures – as suggested by the CSF’s vision statement, which refers to “cultures francophones” [Francophone cultures] – rather than a range of cultures. In this way, the school board appears to construct a Discourse that recognizes the cultural diversity of the students and their families. As a matter of fact, since 2007 the school board has offered a range of service to “les nouveaux arrivants francophones” [Francophone newcomers] (my translation) through their TÉFIÉ (Travailleuses et Travailleurs en Établissement des Familles Immigrantes dans les Écoles) [Workers in Settling Immigrant Families in Schools] (my translation) (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2016). Services include welcoming families, match-up program for families or students, liaising between teachers and school staff, students and families, etc. One of the TÉFIÉ’s mandates is integration: they help immigrant students and families to develop integration strategies to allow them to take on an active role in education. There is, from the CSF, recognition of cultural diversity through the services they offer to immigrant families, but I would argue that the cultural Discourse recognizes mostly multiple Francophone cultures as indicated in the excerpt of the vision statement above. This Discourse, however, is not a full-fledged multicultural Discourse, and it does not promote the “freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage” (Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985, para. 3.1a). The CSF’s cultural Discourse recognizes that students may come from different countries and cultural backgrounds but does not put forward the idea of pluricultural identity positions in which students could use their pluricultural 24 Cultures (plural) only appears in the French version. The English translation uses culture (singular). 90 competence. It would seem that the most legitimate cultural subject position is Francophone. How is the school board’s Discourse translated or enacted at the school level? To begin with, École Félix-Leclerc’s purpose is success for all students and the development of high-quality French in a minority setting. Its website also outlines that parents who choose this school need to engage in the promotion of French in their children’s lives. Furthermore, one of the school’s rules pertains directly to the use of the French language. It states that École Félix-Leclerc is a Francophone school where students speak French at all times, except during ELA. This reference to ELA at least opens up to the idea that English is part of school’s daily life (albeit restricted to the space of the English classroom), since students are taught ELA and can use English in during that course. At Félix-Leclerc, there were frequent reminders for students of the centrality and importance of French. In the corridors and the classrooms, all posters were in French, and the CSF’s vision and mission were posted at the entrance of the school. The principal’s morning announcements were in French only, and the students listened to a new French song every week during these announcements. Monthly assemblies, as well as special celebrations (e.g., Remembrance Day event, Christmas show, Terry Fox run, etc.) were in French only. In the classroom, the same reminders were present: posters, announcements, maps, etc. There were also frequent reminders of French being the only legitimate language of communication when students were reminded to speak French, either individually or as a group, not only by Brigitte and Elizabeth, but also by their English Language Arts teacher (see the second example, below). In the following paragraphs, I introduce some excerpts from my field notes to show how the school’s linguistic Discourse is enacted. In one instance, Brigitte and her students were working on the rules in the classroom for the year. They decided on the following rules: raise your hand, speak French, do not disturb other students, be respectful of others and materials, be respectful when people are talking, listen, have a positive attitude, and have fun. When a student suggested the “speak French” rule, Brigitte said: 91 “Tu viens à l’école pour vivre en français et améliorer ton français. Ce n’est pas parce que le français est la meilleure langue, ce n’est pas ça le but. Si tu vas à l’école de mandarin et que tu parles français, on va te dire “parle mandarin.” Alors ici, on parle en français.” “You come to school to live in French and to improve your French. It is not because it is the best language -- that is not the point. If you go to Mandarin school and you speak French, they will tell you “speak Mandarin.” So here we speak French” (Field notes, 2013-09-11). In a second instance, students were in ELA class. One student told the ELA teacher that a group of girls had a major problem to discuss, and she asked if they could go into the corridor to talk. The teacher agreed, but as they were leaving the class, she told them in French: “Parlez en français si vous allez dans le corridor” [Speak French if you are going in the corridor] (Field notes, 2013-10-01). In a third instance, students were getting ready for a celebration of Remembrance Day. They had to learn a song in French. Brigitte told them that the song was originally in English and asked if they would like to hear the original English version of the song. All students agreed. Brigitte then said: “Ok, bon, là il faudra pas dire que je fais jouer des chansons en anglais tout le temps” [Okay, well, but don’t go around saying I play English songs all the time] (Field notes, 2013-11-05). In a fourth instance, Elizabeth was reading a note to her students. The note had been written during lunchtime by the vice principal. The vice principal had stopped by the classroom during lunch time, and had heard the students speaking English, despite the fact that school’s rules explicitly state that students are to speak French at all times. The note, which was clearly a reprimand, said: “Madame Elizabeth. Ça ne parle qu’anglais dans la classe [Ms. Elizabeth. Everyone speaks English in this classroom].” Elizabeth commented: “Tu viens à l’école en français et il y a des règles. Quand je conduis mon auto, il y a des règles. Le policier il est là pour m’aider, mais si je passe six fois sur la lumière rouge, il va y avoir des conséquences. [You come to school in French and there are rules. When I drive my car, there are rules. The police officer is there to 92 help me, but if I run a red light six times, there will be consequences]” (Field notes, 2014-01-06). I would argue that, at École Félix-Leclerc, the linguistic Discourse puts French at the centre. The Discourse is both of French monolingualism and of separate English/French bilingualism. Bilingualism is acknowledged, since students are allowed to speak English during ELA, but even the English teacher asked the students to speak French during her course when they went out to the corridor. The monolingual Discourse is very influential: Teachers expected students to speak French at all times, even if teachers were aware that all students also spoke English. Brigitte even recognized that English could be a resource for meaning making when she asked the students if they would like to hear the original English version of the song. However, this recognition was paired with an admonishment not to go around telling (probably their parents, friends, and other teachers in the school) that she played English songs all the time in her class. There was a tension between acknowledging English as a resource and enacting the monolingual official Discourse. As a dominant language, English is seen as the primary language that educators in Francophone minority schools like École Félix-Leclerc must “fight” against in order to promote and maintain the French language. Children, as well as many educators and parents, may interpret such admonishments not to use English, as the ones presented above, to signify that all languages other than French are disrespectful or offensive, and that all other languages are a threat to the survival of the French language. As for culture, the school’s website stated that Félix-Leclerc is a school open to the world, thanks to the cultural diversity of the people it welcomes. When the word multicultural is used on the Website, it is closely tied with an event, such as “une soirée multiculturelle” [a multicultural evening]. On the school’s Website, in contrast with the school board’s Website, there are no references to Francophone cultures only; the only clear reference to culture is the one mentioned above. In its omission of any reference to Francophone cultures, the Discourse about cultural diversity at the school level could be seen as more inclusive than the Discourse about cultural diversity at the level of the 93 school board. The school, however, does not otherwise discuss or integrate aspects of multiculturalism as a policy on their website or official documents. On a daily basis, there was a presence of multiple cultures in the classroom, and students appeared to know other students' various cultural backgrounds. There was no evidence, in my data, that students adopted a cultural Discourse that focused on diversity in Francophone cultures only. I would argue that, in practice, there might be a tension between students’ broader Discourse on culture – which included a more general cultural diversity and may be closer to the school Discourse on culture – and the school board’s cultural Discourse, which focused on diversity within “la Francophonie.” School Discourses in practice In this research, I focused on the process of positioning as plurilingual and/or pluricultural, and on the subject positions of plurilingual and/or pluricultural. My analysis of literacy events led to the identification of seven instances of positioning in which focal students used their linguistic and/or cultural resources in the process of subject positioning as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. These instances were situated in particular interactions taking place in specific places and times. Their temporality was of importance; they were moments in time. These instances reminded me of Ibrahim’s (1998, 1999, 2005, 2008a, 2008b) “moments of identification”, which he defined as “where and how they [the youth in Ibrahim’s study] saw themselves reflected in the mirror of their society” (2008a, p. 65). Mirroring Ibrahim’s phrase, I adopted the expression “moments of positioning” to refer to these seven instances in which focal students negotiated subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. Moments of positioning always involve both reflexive (or self) positioning and interactive positionings (Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). When analysing the literacy events, I used the focal students’ participation to define the moments of positioning as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. Participation occurred when a focal student negotiated a subject position. A moment, therefore, begins with an instance of interactive or reflexive positioning involving a focal student, and ends when that focal student stops participating in the moment. Moments of positioning identified in 94 the data varied in length from three to twenty turns, which means that it may have contained only one instance of reflexive or interactive positioning, or a number of instances. Some moments were continuous interactions between a focal student and other participants in the study, like in the example in Table 2. Other moments of positioning were made of discontinuous turns. Table 2 introduces the format used to present the moments of positioning. All the moments of positioning are presented in a box. Original data – that is, my transcription of what participants said – is presented first and is followed by a translation in English in italics (see Appendix J for Transcription Conventions). In this dissertation, I adopt a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism, as discussed in my theoretical framework. Within this Discourse, languages are not seen as fixed and separate entities to be used in different situations, but as resources contributing to meaning making (Lamarre, 2013; Creese & Blackledge, 2011). Words in different languages, therefore, are not identified in the data excerpts with a different font or font style. All turns by participants (focal students, classmates, and teachers) are numbered. Table 2 – Example of moment of positioning 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Alexandra: Oh do you want to see my [pause] rusty house in Poland? Apricaka: mm mm Alexandra: okay um [pause] yeah okay [typing] (…) Donald-Smith: Je vais trouver ma maison. I will find my house. Alexandra: Attend je crois que j’ai trouvé ma maison. Attend je vais essayer de la trouver. Wait I think I found my house. Wait I will try to find it. Apricaka: Attend. Est-ce que ça c’est Freedom Bakery? [pause] Oui! Freedom Bakery! Wait. Is this Freedom Bakery? [pause]. Yes! Freedom Bakery Donald-Smith: Ah? Oh ouais! Ah? Oh yeah! Alexandra: Mon house! Ça c’est mon house! Ça c’est mon rusty old house! My house! This is my house! This is my rusty old house! [voice cheerful] Donald-Smith: Oh vraiment? Oh really? Alexandra: Ouais! Yeah! [voice cheerful] End of recording 95 Of the seven moments of positioning identified, two moments featured Alexandra, and five moments featured Blastoise. There were no moments of positioning in the data in which Bob2 and Tria negotiated subject positions as plurilingual and/or pluricultural. Alexandra’s moments of positioning took place during two different literacy events, one during the project Agence spatiale and the other during the project Skype Mystère. Blastoise’s moments of positioning took place during one literacy event, while students were working on their project Jeux Olympiques. In the following paragraphs, I briefly introduce the focal student involved in the moment of positioning and provide the context of the literacy event and project from which the interaction was taken. Following this introduction, I present the moments of positioning: the turns, the interactive and reflexive positionings, and the linguistic and cultural resources used by the participants in the interaction. I also discuss why each moment was selected, and what it illustrates, from a theoretical perspective. I briefly outline the Discourses (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005) that influenced the subject positioning of the plurilingual focal students in these moments, drawing from the Discourses I identified in the review of empirical research and in the theoretical framework, as well as my analysis of the school and school board’s Discourses. First moment of positioning - Alexandra The first moment of positioning I analyse took place during their project Agence spatiale. Brigitte introduced this project in mid-September. She told the students that they were now part of an agence de voyage spatiale [the space travel agency]. In the beginning, students read and listened to a number of texts about the solar system and its planets, as well as about moons, comets, asteroids, satellites, and dwarf planets in the solar system. After this introduction, Brigitte asked the students to work in teams of four to create a 2-minute advertisement, in which students acted as advertising agents selling a new destination in the solar system to potential clients. In their booklet describing the project, students were asked to choose a destination (i.e., a planet, a satellite, a moon, etc.), to compile the information they already had about their chosen destination, to identify new pieces of information they wanted to gather as well as where they would 96 find that information (e.g., textbooks, non-fiction, Wikipedia, websites, experts). Once this was done, all the members of the teams began researching one area, bringing back the information they found to the others in the group. Each team then began creating a short advertisement using the program Keynote. At the end of the project, they presented their advertisement to their classmates. In this project, Alexandra worked with Tria (a plurilingual girl), Daniel (a bilingual boy) and a student who did not participate in the study. I will refer to this student as NP student, for Non Participating student. As a team, they created an advertisement for Callisto, a moon of the planet Jupiter. During this project, Alexandra researched and wrote notes, but when the three others were exchanging information and talking about fonts and colours to use on the Keynote presentation, she often sat by herself, drawing cartoons. The following interaction took place on November 5. Alexandra’s team was sharing a table. She was sitting close to Daniel and Bob1 (a bilingual boy), who was not on their team, but was friends with Daniel. In this interaction, Daniel and Bob1 were chatting about their respective team’s work. Alexandra tried to interact with them three times (lines 12, 18, and 23), but received very little response. I will argue, in the following paragraphs, that Alexandra’s last turn (line 23) was an attempt at reflexively positioning as a plurilingual speaker. The moment of positioning as plurilingual itself is very short, but the preceding and following turns provide context for the positioning. Excerpt 1 – Introduction to first moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bob1: C’est tout ce que tu as écrit jusqu’à présent? That’s all you have written so far? Daniel: Ouin. Yeah. Bob1: Ouais t’as écrit quand même pas mal pas beaucoup de choses. Yeah you did not write much. Daniel: Je sais parce que c’est difficile de les trouver. I know because it’s hard to find them. Bob1: (xx) sur les nuages seulement les nuages (de Mars). C’est plus difficile de trouver les nuages que de trouver Callisto. (xx) about cloud only clouds (Mars). It’s harder to find clouds than to find Callisto. 97 8 9 10 11 12 Daniel: (xx) Callisto. Bob1: yeah but les nuages (xx) look [typing] Callisto. Yeah but the cloud (xx) look [typing] Callisto. Daniel: Okay but look at this. [pause] Bob1: I know (xx) Daniel: (xx) (website for Callisto though) Bob1: Callisto [typing] Alexandra: What the heck? [very softly, looking at Daniel’s laptop] Daniel and Bob1were discussing how little information they had found so far on their respective topic of research (Callisto and Mars), and they were arguing about who had had the harder time finding that information. Alexandra spoke to the two boys (line 12), in a very soft voice, trying to attract their attention to something she saw on Daniel’s computer. She used English as the boys had done in the turns right before hers. The boys (below) continued their conversation without acknowledging her verbally and without including her in their conversation. Excerpt 2 – Introduction to first moment of positioning 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Daniel: Actually no. Bob1: No. Daniel: The Wikipedia doesn’t do anything for you. It doesn’t work at all. Bob1: Okay. Daniel: Ça ne fonctionne pas. Je l’ai essayé Bob1. It doesn’t work. I tried Bob1. Alexandra: Qu’est-ce que c’est ça? What is this? Daniel: Maintenant tu détruis mon ordinateur [very calm voice]. Now you are destroying my computer [very calm voice]. [Voices of students from other teams] Tria: Awkward awkward NP Student: (xx). Tria: Ouh regarde j’ai trouvé quelque chose pour toi. Ouh look I found something for you. [Voices of students from other teams] Daniel and Bob1 were still interacting with one another. Alexandra, using French this time, tried again to get their attention on what she saw on Daniel’s laptop (line 18). Daniel did not respond directly to her but appeared to react to her comment (line 19), 98 exclaiming that Bob1 was destroying his computer. The three following turns belonged to Tria and the NP student and were related to their work on their ad on their laptop. At this point, Alexandra made a third attempt to interact with her teammates (below). Excerpt 3 – First moment of positioning 23 24 25 Alexandra: Yé! Je peux traduire Wikipédia en polonais. Yeah! I can translate Wikipedia in Polish! [Voices of students from other teams] NP Student: [The student is wondering is s/he should research the distance between Earth and Callisto] Tria: Non comme est-ce que tu veux savoir [pause]. No like do you want to know [pause]. Alexandra, by stating she could translate Wikipedia in Polish, appeared to be telling her teammates that she was able to change the language on Wikipedia from French to Polish but, and most importantly, that she was able to read Wikipedia in Polish. This comment could be related to an earlier interaction between Bob1 and Daniel about Wikipedia (line 15). Following this turn, other students in the classroom spoke, but there were no clear uptakes or reactions to Alexandra’s comment from Daniel, Bob1, Tria, or the NP student. Alexandra’s earlier turn in this interaction could be described as an instance of reflexive positioning; however, it is with her third comment (line 23) that she reflexively positioned herself as plurilingual using her plurilingual competence. According to Moore (2006), plurilingual speakers, such as Alexandra, are usually able to select and activate, from their repertoire of linguistic resources, the tools they need to communicate effectively in a given interaction. Their choices of linguistic resources are influenced by the local discourses in the classroom and by the subject positions these discourses allow (Mathis, 2013; Moore, 2006). In this case, Alexandra selected and activated French, the legitimate language of interactions in the classroom, to make a reference to Polish, and to say that she was able to read a text in Polish, something her classmates were unable to do. She positioned herself as plurilingual, not by using her additional language, but by referencing her competence in an additional resource from her linguistic repertoire. 99 On the one hand, the CSF and Félix-Leclerc’s Discourses put forward French as the only legitimated language in the classroom in their official documents. In the school Discourse, there are also numerous reminders to use French as the language of interaction. Polish, on the other hand, could be defined as an illegitimate resource in the classroom. It is illegitimate not only because of the classroom’s Discourse and its French-only policy, but also because none of Alexandra classmates spoke Polish. Alexandra, as a skilled plurilingual speaker, selected French instead of Polish because it was a resource shared among her teammates. Her use of French to adopt a linguistic subject position – other than that of French-speaker – is an original way to mobilize linguistic resources (Coste & Simon, 2009). There may be more than one reason explaining the lack of reactions to Alexandra’s reflexive positioning as plurilingual. It is unlikely her teammates did not hear her, since she was sitting right beside them. One plausible explanation relates to Alexandra’s status as an outsider in the classroom. Her turn (line 23) was not directly related to the work at hand and sounded more like a comment to a friend. Alexandra often did not participate in friendly chatter; her teammates may have been unaware she was addressing them. Moreover, Daniel, Tria, Bob1, and the NP student may have been unwilling to engage in a friendly interaction with her. The fact that Alexandra’s teammates did not respond to her self-positioning does not mean that they did not interactively position her. In an interaction, people have a certain level of agency in the process of positioning (Holland & Leander, 2004), but other participants in the interaction may reject or ignore a subject position. Alexandra selected a linguistic subject position she wanted to put forward in this interaction, but her teammates’ lack of reaction could be interpreted as a challenge to her reflexive positioning as a plurilingual speaker. This moment of positioning is an example of the “perpetual tension” discussed by Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001), and Pavlenko and Blackledge (2004) between reflexive positioning and interactive positionings of plurilingual speakers. Her teammates may have challenged this subject positioning because they did not believe Alexandra could read Polish. They may also have 100 challenged it because the classroom Discourse did not allow for plurilingual subject positions. A Francophone subject position was, I would argue, the legitimate and most desired linguistic subject position offered by the monolingual school board and school’s Discourses. The official school board and school’s Discourse, as I have argued at the beginning of the chapter, could be defined as a Discourse of separate bilingualism in relation to society, but it is one of French monolingualism, in relation to students and the day-to-day school life. The legitimate language was French, and the linguistic subject position that was legitimate was a Francophone subject position. This Discourse may have influenced Alexandra’s choice of French to position herself as plurilingual, and it may also explain, in part, why her classmates ignored her attempt at positioning herself as plurilingual. There were, however, also instances of flexible bilingualism by the students in this excerpt: they used both French and English in their interaction, similar to the students in the heritage schools in Creese and Blackledge’s study (2011) or the plurilingual college students in Lamarre’s (2013) study. However, even if a Discourse of flexible bilingualism was at play alongside the Discourse of French monolingualism at Félix-Leclerc, it did not lead Alexandra’s classmates to accept or support her positioning as a plurilingual speaker of French, English, and Polish. Second moment of positioning – Alexandra The second moment of positioning also features Alexandra, and it provides a contrast to the first moment of positioning. This moment took place on December 11, during a Skype Mystère call: a literacy event that involved Brigitte’s group and a “mystery” group through Skype. The teachers decided together on a time for the call, and the students from both classrooms were expected to locate the other group (country and city) as fast as possible by asking closed questions. Only the teachers knew the location of each group. During this call, students in Brigitte’s group took on a role and specific responsibilities. Table 3 introduces each role as well as the responsibilities tied to this role. 101 Table 3 – Students’ roles in Skype mystère call Roles Responsibilities and/or tasks Détectives (Inquirers) These students greet the other class. They ask and answer the questions. They are the voice of the classroom. Penseurs de questions (Question keepers) These students keep track of all the questions and answers for the class to review, if needed. They also come up with the next questions to ask. Penseurs d’indices (Clue keepers) These students keep track of the clues based on the information the other group provides. They worked closely with question keepers and inquirers to help guide them in their questioning. Googlographes (Google mappers) These students use their computers to look up any pieces of information provided by the other group on Google and Google maps. Cartographes (Atlas mappers) These students use atlases to piece together clues. They cross out areas or countries that do not fit the clues gathered. Relayeurs (Runners) These students run from group to group, relaying information. Génies (Problem solvers) These students help with any issues the group may encounter during the call. Photographe (Photographers) and Vidéaste (film makers) These students document the call with still images and video. During the call, Brigitte’s students sat at their table with the materials required to accomplish their tasks. For instance, the Atlas mappers had maps and atlases, and the Clue keepers had papers and pencils to write down clues. The “mystery” group could only see the Detectives from Brigitte’s classroom, and Brigitte’s students could see the Detectives from the “mystery” group on the Smart Board. Alexandra sat with Apricaka (bilingual boy) and Donald-Smith (plurilingual boy). She was a Google Mapper, and she had her laptop to look up information on Google and Google maps. Apricaka and Donald-Smith were both Atlas Mappers and did not have their laptop at the beginning of the call. 102 Alexandra, Apricaka, and Donald-Smith’s interest in the Skype call wavered quickly. After only a few minutes into the call, they began talking about zombies. Ten minutes after the beginning of the call, the other group found Brigitte’s group location. Brigitte’s students reorganized in response to their location being identified so quickly: everyone began using their computer, even if, according to the description of their roles in the Skype call, they were not supposed to used a laptop. Apricaka and Donald-Smith now had access to their laptops. Along with Alexandra, they began to play games on the Internet, instead of looking for information about the other group’s location. The following moment of positioning happened forty minutes after the beginning of the Skype Mystère call. In this moment of positioning, Alexandra positioned as pluricultural. It began with an instance of self-positioning by Alexandra (line 5) and was followed by instances of interactive and reflexive positionings by Alexandra, Apricaka, and Donald-Smith. Excerpt 4 – Introduction to second moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 Alexandra: Je suis dans Québec, je vais faire un (xx). Je drive un tank. Je arrive à le city. Je continue dans le north. Keep going north. I am in Québec, I will make a (xx). I drive un tank. I’m arriving at the city. I continue north. Keep going north. Donald-Smith: Oh je l’ai trouvé. C’est ma maison juste ici. Oh I found it. It’s my house right there. (…) Alexandra: I’m climbing the mountain. [pause] Keep going north. [pause] Alexandra: I’m driving a tank [pause] Alexandra is busy playing at driving a tank on Google maps – a game she had been playing with Apricaka and Donald-Smith for the last few minutes. Donald-Smith (line 2) exclaimed that he found his house in British Columbia (on Google maps). It is not clear if he was addressing Alexandra and/or Apricaka, but none of them reacted right away. Alexandra continued to play driving a tank for two turns (lines 3 and 4). Then, she 103 appeared to react to Donald-Smith’s earlier questions about finding his house (see below). Excerpt 5 – Second moment of positioning 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Alexandra: Oh do you want to see my [pause] rusty house in Poland? Apricaka: mm mm Alexandra: okay um [pause] yeah okay [typing] (…) Donald-Smith: Je vais trouver ma maison. I will find my house. Alexandra: Attend je crois que j’ai trouvé ma maison. Attend je vais essayer de la trouver. Wait I think I found my house. Wait I will try to find it. Apricaka: Attend. Est-ce que ça c’est Freedom Bakery? [pause] Oui! Freedom Bakery! Wait. Is this Freedom Bakery? [pause]. Yes! Freedom Bakery Donald-Smith: Ah? Oh ouais! Ah? Oh yeah! Alexandra: Mon house! Ça c’est mon house! Ça c’est mon rusty old house! My house! This is my house! This is my rusty old house! [voice cheerful] Donald-Smith: Oh vraiment? Oh really? Alexandra: Ouais! Yeah! [voice cheerful] End of recording Alexandra inquired about their interest in seeing her house (line 5), including a specification that was absent from Donald-Smith’s earlier turn (line 2): she asked if they were interested in seeing her house in Poland (not her house in British Columbia). Something of a contest began between Donald-Smith (line 8) and Alexandra (line 9), who were both looking for their house. Alexandra found her house, and her voice was more cheerful than before (line 12). In this second moment of positioning, as in the first moment, Alexandra initiated the process of positioning. In this case, however, she was reflexively positioning (line 5) as pluricultural, and not as plurilingual. She put forward a pluricultural subject position by using her pluricultural competence; that is, she made a reference to her house in Poland, something she had also done during her individual interview (Individual interview, Alexandra, 2013-11-05). I would argue that being able to locate a physical space in another country, a space that belongs to her (“‘my’ rusty old house”), played a part in her pluricultural subject positioning since it allowed her to differentiate herself 104 from her classmates. According to Gee (1996), to be part of a Discourse means others can recognize you as a member of that Discourse, because of how you speak, what you believe and feel, how you dress and act, etc. One way of positioning oneself would therefore be to align with a known Discourse attached to a subject position. I would suggest that another way of positioning oneself would be to appeal to a different Discourse and to speak, dress, act, and do in different ways. It appears that this is what Alexandra was doing. A child attending a Francophone school in British Columbia resides in British Columbia; s/he has a home (e.g. a house, an apartment) in British Columbia. Alexandra may be using the possibility to locate her house in Poland as a way to break apart from the Discourse of students in Francophone schools in British Columbia, like Donald-Smith who chose to locate his house in British Columbia. During this moment of positioning, being able to show her rusty old house in Poland to her classmates was used as a tool for positioning as pluricultural. In this second moment of positioning, Alexandra selected English to initiate the process of reflexively positioning as pluricultural (line 5). During her following turn, however, in which she continued to position herself as pluricultural, she used French (line 9) as well as a mix of French and English words during her last turn (line 12). Alexandra was already in interaction with Apricaka and Donald-Smith when she first positioned herself. Negotiation of subject positions happens in the interplay between interactive and reflexive positioning (Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004), and I would argue that Alexandra selected the linguistic resources that were most likely to draw responses from Donald-Smith and Apricaka to engage them in her process of positioning. Another reason that may have motivated her choice of French and English has to do with the Discourses at play in the classroom. There is, of course, the school and classroom Discourse promoting French as the legitimate language. There is also the Discourse of the community outside of the school, in which English is predominant and legitimate. Somewhere in between, there is the Discourse of students attending a Francophone minority school in an English-dominant environment: French and English (separated or mixed) are legitimate languages in this Discourse. It is a Discourse of 105 flexible bilingualism (Creese & Blacklegde, 2011). In this moment of positioning, Alexandra used the two linguistic resources she shared with Apricaka and Donald-Smith as well as her pluricultural competence to negotiate her subject position as a pluricultural. The two boys also used the same linguistic resources, and they did not comment on her use of French and English. Comparing the two moments of positioning featuring Alexandra brings to light the importance of friends or supportive addressees in the process of subject positioning. The turns in which she initiated her process of positioning were similar in both moments: she was on the Internet and made a reference to her Polish Discourse (without activating Polish). In the first moment of positioning, Alexandra’s attempt at reflexively positioning as plurilingual was met by her teammates’ silence, and she did not pursue the process. There may have been a tension (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004) between her self-chosen subject position as plurilingual and how the others positioned her and/or with the available positions within the classroom’s Discourse. In the second moment of positioning, Alexandra interacted with her friend Apricaka and Donald-Smith, a friend of Apricaka’s. Apricaka and Donald-Smith showed some interest in her positioning – interest which took the format of affirmative sound (line 6) and a question (line 13). Thanks to these interactive positioning, Alexandra pursued the process of positioning herself as pluricultural. The classroom Discourse was the same, but her addressees were different. In this second moment, Alexandra, Donald-Smith and Apricaka appeared to adopt a Discourse of flexible bilingualism. A Discourse of flexible bilingualism could be interpreted as a challenge to the official school Discourse of monolingualism but, as Creese and Blackledge (2011) have argued, the two Discourses (flexibility vs. separation of languages) may cohabitate. Languages, as Lamarre (2013) wrote, are not bounded systems; they are socially constructed and can be adapted to events. Plurilingual (and bilingual) speakers, such as Alexandra, Apricaka, and Donald-Smith, are able to mobilize their linguistic and cultural resources in many ways to negotiate a range of subject positions (Coste & Simon, 2009). They can choose some of their linguistic resources or 106 use their pluricultural competence to signal their alignment with local peer groups, as the minority youth in Doran’s study (2004) did by activating Verlan. In this case, Alexandra used her bilingual skills to align with her teammates, and she used her pluricultural competence to negotiate a pluricultural subject position. Third moment of positioning - Blastoise Blastoise was a plurilingual boy who understood, spoke, wrote, and read Russian, English, and French. During my time in the classroom, Blastoise sometimes seemed very shy. For instance, I often saw him look down at his table after the teacher has asked him a question and utter a barely audible answer. I also saw him, however, volunteer to answer questions, share information from books he had read or from documentaries he had watched. Among the focal students, he was the one who talked the most about his additional language and Discourse (Russian). For instance, during almost every Monday morning chat, Blastoise talked about attending Russian school on Saturdays. During my research project, the Winter Olympics were taking place in Russia. Elizabeth was really interested in sports and in the Olympic Games. Her first project with the students when she started teaching in January was the project Jeux Olympiques de Sochi. Prior to the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the students engaged in a number of literacy events where they compared and contrasted Canada and Russia as well as Vancouver and Sochi, since the previous 2010 Winter Olympics had been in Vancouver, Canada. When the Olympics began in Russia, students researched Olympic sports and athletes from Canada and other countries, and they kept track of medals for each country. I recorded the following excerpts during a literacy event for this project. The literacy event began with students watching a video on YouTube titled Vancouver Hands Over To Sochi - Winter Olympics Presentation. The video featured highlights from a presentation made at the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver in honour of the Sochi 2014 Olympics. When Elizabeth showed that video, she did not know that Blastoise spoke Russian or that he attended Russian school every Saturday. His classmates, however, did. 107 Some of the following moments of positioning are constituted by more than one excerpt; that is, some moments are made of discontinuous turns. The excerpts may be separated in time by a few minutes, but they are linked either by the tool Blastoise used for reflexive positioning (see the third moment of positioning) or by participants (friends, other classmates, the teacher, and myself) with whom Blastoise negotiated a plurilingual and/or a pluricultural position (see the fourth, fifth, and sixth moments of positioning). In the first excerpt, Elizabeth and the students just finished watching the video, and Elizabeth was leading a discussion. Her turns and those the students answering her questions (Madison, Bob1, and Nathalie) are presented in the right column. Instead of participating in the discussion with Elizabeth and the other students, Blastoise engaged in his own interaction using the digital recorder I had handed him at the beginning of the literacy event. His turns overlapped with Elizabeth’s and the other students’ turns; they are, therefore, presented in two columns (see Appendix J for Transcription Conventions). Excerpt 6 – Third moment of positioning 2 5 7 Blastoise: I can’t learn anything cause I already know everything [whispering in the recorder] Blastoise: And I [am] never talking [whispering in the recorder] Blastoise: Hey that’s not nice [it is Elizabeth: Maintenant dans la présentation. Qu’est-ce que tu as appris des gens de la Russie dans la présentation? Now it this presentation. What did you learn about people in Russia in this presentation? [pause] Madison: Il y a beaucoup de danseurs. There were a lot of dancers. Elizabeth: Beaucoup de danseurs. Les arts de la danse [pause] très importante pour les Russes. Est-ce que t’as vu d’autres choses? Many dancers. Dancing [pause] it’s very important for Russia. Did you see something else? Elizabeth: Oui. Yes. 1 3 4 6 108 11 13 unclear if he is talking to himself or to another student at his table] Blastoise: Just music [whispering in the recorder] Blastoise: Balalaïka [whispering in the recorder] [a guitar-like musical instrument] Bob1: Ils adorent chanter. They love singing. Elizabeth: Chanter. Il y avait de l’opéra. Singing. There was opera. [pause] Elizabeth: On va dire la chanson là c’était très très classique. Ils ont sûrement des discothèques là-bas là mais c’est pas ça qu’ils voulaient nous présenter. Oui? Let’s say that song was very very classical. They must have clubs there but it’s not what they wanted present to us. Yes? (Nathalie): Ils aiment les chorales. They like choirs. Elizabeth: Les chorales [pause] mmm oui et non c’était l’hymne national souvent c’est une chorale qui chante l’hymne national. Oui. Choirs [pause] mmm yes and no it was the national anthem often a choir sings the national anthem Blastoise: Musique. Music. Elizabeth: La musique [pause]. Donc le côté musical était très important. Music [pause] so the music was important. 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 Elizabeth asked the students to share what they had learned about Russian people during the presentation (line 1). Blastoise provided an answer to her questions – he learned nothing because he already knew everything about Russia (line 2). Instead of raising his hand and sharing his answer with Elizabeth and his classmates, he whispered it into the recorder. A girl answered Elizabeth’s question (line 3) at the same time as Blastoise was whispering his into the recorder. The interactions continued in that matter – with students answering Elizabeth’s questions at the same time as Blastoise who was whispering his answer into the recorder – until turn 14. In that turn, Elizabeth talked about choirs and national anthems. Blastoise abandoned whispering into the recorder and 109 instead repeated out loud for the whole class one of his previously whispered turns (line 15). In this moment of positioning, Blastoise’s process of positioning could be interpreted in many ways, but I argue here that one of the subject positions he put forward was that of pluricultural. As a plurilingual speaker with a pluricultural competence, Blastoise selected and activated from his repertoire of resources and experiences the tools he needed to communicate in this interaction (Moore, 2006). In his first turn (line 2), Blastoise initiated the process of positioning (line 2) using English to state that he could not learn anything [about Russians and Russia] because he already knew everything. With this turn, he used his pluricultural competence and hinted at his knowledge of Russian cultures to put forward a pluricultural subject position, as Alexandra had done in her second moment of positioning. In this moment of positioning, Blastoise chose to reflexively position as pluricultural through “sly” comments (“I already know everything” and “I [am] never talking”) using English and the digital recorder. He did not completely withdraw from what was going on in the classroom: his turns (left column) were connected to what was happening in the classroom (right column) (except for line 7). Blastoise chose, however, not to take part in the classroom discussion. He instead engaged in a parallel interaction via the digital recorder using English. Activating English from his repertoire of linguistic resources allowed for creating some distance between him and the official discussion with the teacher, which was happening in French, the legitimate language of the classroom. Blastoise may have selected English because it was a “means of contesting that authority” (Heller, 1996, p.146), of contesting the official monolingual Discourse and the legitimate Francophone linguistic and cultural subject position. According to Coste and Simon (2009), bilingual or plurilingual linguistic practices can reflect symbolic affiliations to a community (or, I would argue, to a Discourse) to which an individual belongs, and speakers’ variable use of the linguistic resources can be a sign of positioning (Beacco, 2005; Moore, 2006). The other students interacting with Elizabeth selected French from their linguistic repertoire, abiding by the French-monolingual 110 Discourse of the classroom and positioned themselves as French speakers. Engaging in a parallel interaction, using English in that interaction and his pluricultural competence were ways for Blastoise to show his affiliation with a community or Discourse other than the French one, and to position himself as pluricultural, as someone who had experience and knowledge of other Discourses, in particular Russian Discourse. In this moment of positioning, however, Blastoise did not openly challenge the legitimacy of French as the linguistic resource in the classroom’s discussions or of the Francophone linguistic subject position itself. When he decided to take part in the classroom’s discussion (line 14), he did so using French, abiding by the official school Discourse. This moment of positioning, I would argue, is an illustration of the influence of the school and teachers on students’ linguistic practices: Levasseur (2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c) and Creese and Blackledge (2011) both suggested that separate bilingualism was a construction (or Discourse) mostly adopted by teachers. In this moment of positioning, I would argue that the digital recorder, a medium (Jewitt & Kress, 2003) not normally available to Blastoise, was instrumental in the process of negotiating a pluricultural subject position. During fieldwork in this research project, I handed a digital recorder to each of the focal students during literacy events I wanted to record. A small sticker identified the recorders, and I always handed out the same recorder to the same focal students. I once handed out the “wrong” recorders to two focal students and both were quick to report my mistake. I also have many instances in the audio recordings of classmates grabbing a recorder and recording silly things. The focal students always objected to these behaviours and told their classmates the recorders belonged to them. The focal students were protective of their recorders, and were usually happy when I handed them one to record what was going on at their tables. This medium may have accorded a special status to the focal students, Blastoise in this case, since they were allowed to use a tool not available to others. The digital recorder became a medium for Blastoise to record his sly comments and to have a parallel interaction; this allowed him to negotiate a subject position as pluricultural. It was an additional medium used to distribute his message. 111 In my analysis of Alexandra’s second moments of positioning, I argued for the importance of the interactive positioning and, more precisely, for the importance of friends or supportive addressees participating in the negotiation process. In this third moment of positioning, Blastoise did not interact with friends, but the recorder acted as an addressee, playing the interactive part in the process of positioning. It seemed to allow Blastoise to negotiate an “illegitimate” subject position as pluricultural in a classroom context. Blastoise may have been aware that I would be the only person listening to the recording of this literacy event, and he may have been recording his sly comments for me. In this case, I would suggest that I acted as an “imagined” addressee. He may, therefore, have positioned me as a less “threatening” adult than his new teacher (Blastoise had known Elizabeth for less than two weeks) or as a receptive addressee interested in his Russian Discourse since we had chatted together during his individual interview about Russia and the Russian language. This moment of positioning is an example of the affordance of media in the process of negotiating a range of subject positions; a new medium allowed Blastoise to realize his interest “as makers of a message/text” (Jewitt & Kress, 2003, p.17). Excerpt 7 below followed the previous excerpt by less than a minute. Elizabeth was wrapping up the discussion about the video on Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympics. As Elizabeth’s turn was quite lengthy, I created a separate column for its English translation, instead of putting it at the end of the original turn in French. In this excerpt, there is again a turn by a “NP Student” (for Non Participating Student). That turn was impossible to hear on the recording, so I used (xx) and did not paraphrase the content of the turn (see Appendix J for Transcription Conventions). 112 Excerpt 7 – Third moment of positioning (continued) 17 18 19 20 21 22 Blastoise: And I am not talking [whispering in the recorder]. Blastoise: Russians are badasses. [whispering in the recorder]. Blastoise: Oh wow [not spoken direcly into the recorder; Blastoise sounds unimpressed] NP student: (xx) Blastoise: I can help you [not spoken direcly into the recorder] Blastoise: Je suis Russe alors je vais Elizabeth: Merci. Alors [pause] la raison pourquoi c’était les premiers Nord Américains et Américains qui ont gagné la médaille d’or aux derniers olympiques c’est qu’avant c’était toujours des Russes. Les Russes c’est une puissance au niveau du patinage artistique et du hockey. On le voit pas beaucoup on voit juste un joueur à la fin mais on le voit pas beaucoup. Alors cette après-midi, je te demande de compléter [pause] seul pour le premier 20 minutes [pause] donc jusqu’à 2h tu vas travailler seul avec ton ordinateur. Je te remets un document sur la Russie. Je veux que tu trouves la population. Je veux que tu trouves la capitale. Je veux que tu trouves le territoire russe. C’est quoi, le climat. [Name of a NP student] je veux que tu trouves ta bonne humeur. Ça se peut pas qu’à chaque chose qu’on propose dans une journée ça fasse jamais ton affaire c’est pas moi qui est le problème dans ce temps-là. Dans ton cas c’est une attitude à travailler. Alors [pause] dans 20 minutes je te laisse travailler en équipe de deux maximum. Elizabeth: Thanks. So [pause] the reason why they were the first North Americans and Americans to win a gold medal at the last Olympics is because before that it was always the Russians. Russia is a powerhouse in figure skating and in hockey. We don’t see that much we only see on player at the end but we don’t see him much. So this afternoon, I ask that you finish [pause] on your own for the first 20 minutes [pause] so until 2pm you work on your own with your computer. I am handing out a document about Russia. I want you to look for the population. I want you to look for the city capital. I want you to look for the Russian territory. What is the climate. [Name of a NP student] I want you to look for cheerfulness. It is impossible that every activity in a day makes you unhappy. I am not the problem in this case. In your case this is an attitude to work on. So [pause] in 20 minutes I will let you work in teams of two, maximum. You can choose your teammate. If you prefer to work alone, you can do so. Okay? So I have students who are 16 113 totalement [pause] faire ce test facile. I’m Russian so I will totally do this test easily [whispering in the recorder]. Tu choisiras ton coéquipier. Si tu as le gout de continuer seul tu continues seul. d’accord? Donc j’ai des distributeurs de feuilles. Je veux que tu la gardes cette feuille-là. Elle est importante pour notre projet des olympiques. Donc tu vas la mettre dans un duo-tang dans un cartable? Tu as un cartable où tu mets tes papiers? C’est pas clair (xx) responsible for handing out worksheets. I want you to keep this sheet. It is an important one for our project on the Olympics. You should put it in your binder? Do you have a binder in which you place your papers? It’s not clear to me (xx) In this excerpt, Blastoise continued his parallel interaction, in English, using the digital recorder and, therefore, continued his negotiation of a pluricultural subject position. Blastoise seemed to have decided he did not need to participate in the classroom discussion because he already knew everything (line 2, 8), and he was Russian (line 22, Excerpt 7). The pluricultural subject position he was negotiating was in opposition to that of a good student and with the monolingual Discourse put forward in Francophone schools in British Columbia. Being a good student was tied to using the French language in the classroom, to answering the teacher’s questions, and to putting forward a Francophone linguistic subject position. Of interest in Excerpt 7 was Blastoise’s comment about Russians being “badasses” (line 18). Mainstream and pop-cultural on-line dictionaries define this term in different ways (Taylor, 2010). Thefreedictionnary.com defines a “badass” as a “mean-tempered or belligerent person” or as “a tough or aggressive person.” Wikidictionary.com also defines a badass as “a person with unpleasantly extreme attitudes, behavior or appearance”, but it also provides a contrasting definition as, “a person considered impressive due to extreme attitudes, behavior or appearance.” The term “badass” has also been used in academic research, for instance, in criminology to define criminal types (i.e., youthful badass) (Katz, 1988; Kopak & Sefiha, 2014), in an 114 ethnographic research study focusing on the subjectivities of street youth in Mexico City (Gigengack, 2014), and in research on dance to qualify a marginalized femininity captured in the performances of blues women and women breakdancers (Johnson, 2014). In Blastoise’s case, the expression “Russians are badasses” seemed positive: his voice sounded cheerful and proud when he said it. Because of his tone of voice, I surmised that by using the term “badasses,” Blastoise meant that Russians were “impressive” due to some “attitudes, behavior or appearance” (Wikidictionary.com). Asserting that Russians were “badasses” could be described as a positioning strategy in which Blastoise made a direct reference to his Russian Discourse. By positioning Russians as “badasses,” he could also be positioning himself as “badass,” since he explicitly positioned himself as Russian in his last turn (line 22, Excerpt 7). In his last turn, Blastoise made a shift in linguistic resource, and activated French for the first time in his sly comments spoken directly in the recorder. I would argue that, by using French, Blastoise may have been attempting to make his subject position as a pluricultural more official, or at least more visible, by using the official language of the school Discourse (Conseil scolaire francophone, 2011). This, I would suggest, is an example of the different value and power given of linguistic resources in different contexts (Moore, 2006). As Verlan was the language of peer interaction for participants’ in Doran’s (2004, 2007) study, French was the language of classroom interaction, and Blastoise may have wanted to inscribe himself into the classroom Discourse. In excerpts 6 and 7, more than one Discourse came into play and may have influenced Blastoise’s process of positioning. Blastoise appeared to adopt a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism (Creese & Blackledge, 2011; Lamarre, 2013) allowing him to use both French and English to negotiate a pluricultural subject position in which he had great knowledge of Russian Discourse. This knowledge appeared to have great value to him, allowing him to easily accomplish the work demanded by his teacher. This value placed on languages is reminiscent of the Discourse adopted by parents in Dagenais (2003), and Riches and Curdt-Christiansen (2010), in which the parents attributed different symbolic values and to the different languages their children were learning. 115 Fourth moment of positioning - Blastoise The following moment of positioning is one of the few in which I heard and was able to record a focal student using his additional language. I heard Blastoise talk about Russia and about Russian school many times, and he had told me he could read and write in Russian. This moment took place while the students were working on the worksheet about Russia, after they had watched the video on Vancouver and Sochi. Right before this moment of positioning, Blastoise was filling in a worksheet and was not sure what kind of information to write under the heading “territoire russe” [Russian territory]. He turned to me to get some help. As we were talking, I noticed he had written Moscow (in English) instead of Moscou (in French) on his worksheet next to the heading “capital city”. Excerpt 8 – Fourth moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Geneviève: Sais-tu comment l’écrire [écrire Moscou] en français? Do you know how to write it [to write Moscow] in French? Blastoise: [he writes] Geneviève: Es-tu capable de l’écrire [écrire Moscou] en russe? Are you able to write it [to write Moscow] in Russian? Blastoise: [he writes] (…) Blastoise: Ça se prononce Mosk Mosk Москва [Moskva]. It is pronounced Mosk Mosk Москва [Moskva] Geneviève: Moskva? Blastoise: au lieu de Moscou ça se prononce Москва [Moskva]. Instead of Moscow It is pronounced Москва [Moskva]. Geneviève: Puis ce truc-là qui ressemble à un b, c’est un son /v/ ? And this thing here that looks like a b, it’s the sound /v/? Blastoise : Oui les sons sont /m/ /o/ /s/ /k/ /a/. Yes the sounds are /m/ /o/ /s/ /k/ /a/. Geneviève: aaah ok. Aaa okay. In excerpt 8, I used French to interactively position Blastoise as I asked him if he knew how to write Moscow in French (line 1) and if he was able to write it in Russian (line 3). “Sais-tu comment” [do you know how] and “Es-tu capable” [are you able to] are 116 often used to inquire about skills. They could be interpreted as uncertainty regarding Blastoise’s writing skills in French and in Russian. I knew, however, that Blastoise was able to write in French and in Russian, and I was not asking him if he was able to, but if he would do it for me. I would argue that my first turn could be interpreted as an interactive positioning, an invitation to adopt a position as a Francophone and a good student who was able to fill out his worksheet in French, and not in English (line 1). This turn was in line with the monolingual school Discourse at Félix-Leclerc and adopted by teachers (Lamoureux, 2005; Levasseur, 2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c). I followed up, however, with an invitation to adopt a position as plurilingual, as one who was able to write in Russian (Line 3). This turn echoed what I titled the language awareness Discourse (Armand, Dagenais, & Nicollin, 2008; Armand, et al., 2005; Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Nolin, 2015), which values home languages and attempts to foster positive attitudes towards plurilingualism. Blastoise’s reaction – he wrote in French then in Russian (lines 2 and 4) – seemed to show he had understood my requests and could also be interpreted as an acceptance of these two linguistic subject positions, and as reflexive positionings as Francophone and plurilingual. Blastoise also morphed my interactive positioning into that of an expert in Russian, able to teach how to pronounce a word (line 5). He modeled the pronunciation for me – pronouncing only the initial syllable, then the whole word – showing that he interactively positioned me as a learner and reflexively positioned as an expert in the Russian language. Accepting his interactive positioning as a learner, as I repeated the word (line 6), I also reinforced his own process of self-positioning as an expert. He then built on his position of Russian language expert and restated the pronunciation (line 7), but he also underlined his knowledge of the French language, by saying the name of the capital in French. I then inquired about a specific letter (line 8) I had recognized from a Russian language course I had taken many years before. With that inquiry, I continued to adopt the position of a learner, and to reflexively position Blastoise as an expert in Russian therefore reinforcing his own process of self-positioning as an expert. He was then able to answer my question (line 9) and continued to position himself as the expert 117 by telling me about all the letters and sounds. This excerpt was another example of the importance of supportive addressees and of reflexive and interactive positioning working together in the process of negotiation of a subject position. It is often difficult to isolate the two processes from one another since when a person self-positions, s/he also positions the person s/he is addressing (Evans, 2011). In the few seconds before excerpt 8, Blastoise was using English, speaking to himself about the work he had to do. He shifted to French when he addressed me, reflecting the prevalence of the French monolingual Discourse in the classroom. I continued using French with him throughout this interaction, and he answered in French, but he also used Russian when positioning himself as an expert. In the previous excerpts (6 and 7), Blastoise used English to reflexively position as pluricultural, but he was in interaction with the digital recorder and not with an adult. When a student addresses adults in the school, except for the English language arts teacher, they are to address them in French (Levasseur, 2013a, b, c). Since I initiated the positioning and was an adult – in a position of authority even if I was officially not a teacher in this classroom – Blastoise continued to use French to accept the position of plurilingual/Russian speaker I offered, and to morph it slightly into that of an expert who was teaching me some Russian. As he adopted that morphed position, he used Russian, alongside French. We adopted a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism (Creese & Blackledge, 2011; Lamarre, 2013). In this short interaction, through the process of positioning, Blastoise and I co-constructed his linguistic subject position as a plurilingual who could speak and write in French and in Russian and as an expert in Russian who could teach the pronunciation of a Russian word. As a plurilingual, Blastoise showed that he was able to make choices to activate more than one of his linguistic resources in his repertoire according to the situation and his addressee: he was interacting with someone who spoke French but who was showing interest in Russian. The Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism (Creese and Blackledge, 2011) influenced the negotiation of linguistic subject position between Blastoise and me. It allowed Blastoise to use all his linguistic resources in his process of 118 meaning-making, and in his process of positioning as plurilingual. There are also echoes of the Discourse of language awareness since all of Blastoise’s linguistic resources were recognized (Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Nolin, 2015). Moreover, my goal was not to teach Russian; Blastoise remained the expert of his home language (Geoffrey, et al., 2013). Fifth moment of positioning - Blastoise The next moment of positioning took place about three minutes after the students began working on their worksheet about Russia, less than a minute after the end of Excerpt 8. All the students were searching for information about Russia on Internet, using their laptops. Blastoise, however, had chosen not to use his laptop. As Elizabeth was walking around, she noticed what Blastoise was (not) doing. In the following excerpts, turns spoken at the same time are presented in two separate columns. Excerpt 9 – Fifth moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 5 Elizabeth: Blastoise va chercher ton [pause] portable. Tu fais ça seul pour le prochain vingt minutes. Après c’est en équipe. Blastoise go get your [pause] laptop. You do it on your own for the first twenty minutes. After that, you can work as a team Blastoise: Je sais comment le faire. I know how to do it. [very low voice] (…) [About one minute goes by] Elizabeth: Blastoise? Pourquoi tu prends pas ton ordinateur? Blastoise? Why are you not using your computer? Blastoise: Mmm parce que. Mmm because. Elizabeth: Tu vas le remplir comme ça tout seul? Tu vas vérifier après c’est ça? You are going to do like that, alone? You are going to check after right? Avril: Il [Blastoise] va à l’école russe. He [Blastoise] goes to Russian school. 7 119 6 Blastoise: ahh (xx) population (xx) [working without getting his laptop] Elizabeth: Il va à l’école russe? Ben moi je suis allée à l’école française et je ne pourrais pas te dire la population du Québec par cœur comme ça. He goes to Russian school? Well I attended a French school and I would not be able to tell you the population of Québec by heart like that. 8 At the beginning of this excerpt, Elizabeth seemed to interactively position Blastoise as a difficult student who did not listen to simple instructions (line 1). Blastoise did not comply with her request to get his laptop, which can be interpreted as a rejection of Elizabeth’s interactive positioning and as an attempt to put forward a different subject position. It is not clear, however, what subject position Blastoise was putting forward at this point in the interaction. One minute went by before Elizabeth asked again why Blastoise was not using his computer (line 3). Following Blastoise’ evasive answer (line 4), Elizabeth tried again (line 5), suggesting he might use his laptop to check his answers afterward. At this point in the interaction, she seemed to be interactively positioning him as a student with a different way of working than the one she suggested (line 5). Blastoise did not answer and continued to write on his worksheet (line 6). When analyzing only this moment of positioning, an argument could be made that Blastoise was reflexively positioning himself as a student who was able to do the work without his computer. He used French (lines 2 and 4), the same linguistic resource Elizabeth used, inscribing himself in the official Discourse of the classroom. When analyzing this moment of positioning in the light of the previous moments of positioning, however, an argument could be made that Blastoise was trying to build on his earlier positioning as a plurilingual and a pluricultural student, with knowledge and experience of a Russian Discourse. What could be described as attempts to reject Elizabeth’s interactive positioning, however, were either spoken in a very low voice (line 2) or were evasive (line 4). In comparison to previous turns – such as “Je suis Russe alors je vais totalement [pause] faire ce test facile [I’m Russian so I will totally do this 120 test easily] (line 22, Excerpt 7) or “I can’t learn anything cause I already know everything [whispering in the recorder]” (line 2, Excerpt 6) – these attempts at self-positioning did not draw on his knowledge as plurilingual and pluricultural, with experiences of a Russian Discourse. Elizabeth did not respond to his first attempt (line 2): she may have ignored it or not heard it. She seemed to hear Blastoise’s next turn (line 4), but her response was still in line with her interactive positioning as a “different” or “difficult” student. In this moment of positioning, Blastoise appeared either unable to negotiate his pluricultural position with Elizabeth or unwilling to put forward such a position even if he had done so earlier during this literacy event. In this moment, he seemed unable or unwilling to clearly bring forward his knowledge of Russian and his experiences of a Russian Discourse when interacting with Elizabeth. More than one reason could explain his inability or unwillingness. One reason may be that Blastoise is, generally speaking, a shy student: he said so himself (Second Individual Interview with Blastoise, 2013-12-18), and I also observed behaviours that looked like shyness during my time in the classroom. Blastoise did not know Elizabeth very well and may have been too shy to talk about his knowledge and experiences of a Russian Discourse. Doran (2004) suggested that plurilingual individuals may choose in some contexts to hide part of their repertoire according to their interpretation of the situation. In this case, it may be that Blastoise chose not to put forward a plurilingual or a pluricultural subject position because he did not know Elizabeth very well. Another reason that could explain Blastoise’s inability or unwillingness to adopt one of these subject positions may be the “illegitimacy” of such positions in the classroom. Mathis (2013) and Moore (2006) both have suggested that local discourses allow some subject positions as legitimate, which means that other subject positions may be seen as illegitimate. It may be that, when interacting with a teacher, the legitimate linguistic and cultural subject position was that of a Francophone. In the case at hand, a Francophone subject position was not helpful to Blastoise because it did not explain why he did not have his computer in front of him, like all the other students in the classroom. Blastoise was, therefore, unwilling or unable to adopt the position of Francophone because it did not explain his actions, and he was 121 unwilling or unable to adopt the position of plurilingual or pluricultural as they were “illegitimate” subject positions in the school linguistic and cultural Discourses. Avril, a classmate, intervened in the interaction between Blastoise and Elizabeth, therefore intervening in the negotiation of subject positions. Avril was not a focal student, but like Blastoise, she was also plurilingual. She challenged Elizabeth’s interactive positioning of Blastoise as a difficult or different student with a short sentence “Il va à l’école russe” [He goes to Russian school] (line 7). I would argue that this short statement carried all necessary explanation for Blastoise’s non-compliance to Elizabeth’s request. If I were to expand her sentence, in order to make it very explicit, I would surmise Avril meant something like: “he does not need his laptop because he knows all the answers to the questions on the worksheet because he goes to a Russian school and he speaks Russian.” With her short sentence, Avril did more than challenge Elizabeth’s interactive positioning of Blastoise; she also interactively positioned Blastoise as someone who knew about Russia and who spoke Russian. In this case, I would argue that the subject position she put forward for Blastoise shared similarities with the pluricultural subject position he adopted in his sly comments on the digital recorder, as well as the plurilingual subject position he negotiated in his interaction with me earlier in this activity. It is unclear from the recording if Blastoise heard Avril’s comment, but he did not interact with her following her turn. Elizabeth, on the other hand, heard Avril: she repeated her exact words, adding a raising intonation to transform the sentence into a question. By interactively positioning Blastoise, Avril also offered Elizabeth an opportunity to change her positioning of Blastoise, from a difficult student to that of a knowledgeable student on a topic of great interest to the project Jeux Olympiques. In this moment of positioning, Avril’s adopted a Discourse in which Blastoise’s additional (home) language and knowledge about Russia was seen as an important asset, and not as a limitation. Her Discourse shared ties with a plurilingual Discourse, similar to the approach adopted by researchers and educators who used and researched dual-language or multilingual identity texts (e.g. Armand, et al., 2014; Cummins, et al., 2005; Cummins, et al., 2006; Cummins & Early, 2011; Giampapa, 2010; Giampapa & Sandhu, 122 2011; Meredith, 2011; Stille, 2011). At this point in the interaction, however, Elizabeth did not review her positioning of Blastoise: instead, she dismissed Avril’s comment (line 8), apparently rejecting the girl’s positioning of Blastoise as plurilingual and pluricultural. Elizabeth’s reluctance could be explained by a potential tension between subject positions (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004) at play in the moment: that is, between her interactive positioning of Blastoise as a difficult student and Avril’s positioning of Blastoise as a as plurilingual and pluricultural with valuable linguistic and cultural resources. The two positionings are relying on different Discourses. The next excerpt is the second part of the fifth moment of positioning since Blastoise was still interacting with Elizabeth. It is one of the moments made of turns that were interrupted by other interactions in the classroom. This excerpt took place 11 minutes after Excerpt 9. During these minutes, Elizabeth told me she did not know she had a Russian student in the classroom (Field notes, 2013-01-15). During the first ten minutes between these two excerpts, Blastoise did not work on his computer. When he began using it, less than a minute went by before Elizabeth came to chat with him. Excerpt 10 – Fifth moment of positioning (continued) 9 10 11 12 13 14 Elizabeth: Qui est russe dans ta famille? Who is Russian in your family? Blastoise: Hum ma mère. Um my mother. Elizabeth: Ah oui! Elle vient de quelle région? Oh yes! What region is she from? Blastoise: Hum elle vient ben hum ma grand-mère était née à Moscou mais ma mère est née à Tadjikistan. Um she is well um my grandmother was born in Moscow but my mother was born in Tadjikistan. Elizabeth: Oh wow! Est-ce que tu y es déjà allé? Oh wow! Have you ever been there? Blastoise: Hum j’étais déjà été en Russie pendant l’été c’était très très chaud [pause] hum je suis allé à quelque part qui est 6h par train de Sochi. Um I have been to Russia during summer it was very very hot [pause] um I have been to a place 6 hours away by train from Sochi. By showing interest in Blastoise’s Russian Discourse, Elizabeth seemed to be revisiting her initial positioning of Blastoise as difficult student. I would argue that 123 Avril’s interactive positioning of Blastoise (see line 7, Excerpt 9) played a role in initiating this change. Positioning does not happen in a vacuum. It is influenced, among other things, by the information we have about someone and the values attributed to these pieces of information. By providing a new piece of information, April provided a new basis for Elizabeth, a new set of criteria to position Blastoise. By intervening in the interaction, Avril assisted Blastoise in constituting and reconstituting himself (Davies & Harré, 1990, p.46). Elizabeth inquired about Blastoise’s Russian background through a question about his family (line 9), and not him as Russian, even if she had referred to him as Russian in her interaction with me (Field notes, 2013-01-15). There are a number of reasons that could explain this inquiry into Blastoise’s family. Her question (line 9) could be interpreted as a willingness to accept to the plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions put forward by Avril for Blastoise. By asking about his family, Elizabeth appeared to show willingness to interactively position someone in his family as Russian, and by extension to recognize Blastoise’s positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. To her question about who was Russian, Blastoise could have answered himself: he had explicitly reflexively positioned as Russian before during this activity (see, for instance, line 22, Excerpt 7). As he had done previously in his interaction with Elizabeth (Excerpt 9), Blastoise was unable or unwilling to directly negotiate a plurilingual or a pluricultural subject position with Elizabeth. He referenced neither his knowledge of Russian nor his experiences of a Russian Discourse. He did not say he was Russian, but he said his mother was. This may be because of his shyness or because a Russian subject position would be at odd with the school’s legitimate Francophone cultural and monolingual subject position. In this moment of positioning, more than one Discourse may have influenced Blastoise’s process of subject positioning. On one hand, the school’s French-monolingual Discourse and its legitimate Francophone subject position appeared to be at play in Excerpt 9. It may have limited Blastoise’s ability or willingness to self-position as pluricultural; it may also have prevented Elizabeth from assessing the range of 124 Blastoise’s cultural and linguistic resources (Benson, 2014). Avril, on the other hand, appeared to adopt a plurilingual Discourse, one that allowed for recognition of all linguistic and cultural resources as useful in the classroom. Elizabeth might have also relied on a genealogical Discourse to recognize the plurilingual/ pluricultural subject positioning put forward by Avril for Blastoise. Dallaire and Denis (2000) and Dallaire (2008) suggested that in the genealogic Francophone discourse, there was a direct link between a Francophone identity and Francophone heritage; Elizabeth might be referring to a similar view to “assess” if Blastoise can claim a Russian linguistic and cultural subject position. Sixth moment of positioning - Blastoise The sixth moment of positioning also featured Blastoise and took place about 6 minutes after the fifth moment of positioning. The students had been working on their worksheet with a partner for about 4 minutes. Blastoise seemed to collaborate with Donald-Smith, another plurilingual boy. There was another boy who sat close to them and interacted with them, but he did not participate in the study (NP student) (see Appendix J for Transcription Conventions). Excerpt 11 – Moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Donald-Smith: Moscow right? Blastoise: yeah actually (you should write it like) this. Москва [Moskva]. (xx) Donald-Smith: (xx) NP student: [This student says that they are not Russians] Blastoise: You should learn Russian so. Donald-Smith: (ok après) attend. (OK after) wait. Blastoise: Ah! мафия в вашей стране! [There is mafia in your country!] (??): (xx)! Blastoise: J’ai dit que le hum des deux hum nos deux hum pays ont une mafia [smiling] cause Italian mafia25. I said that um our two um our two um countries have a mafia [smiling] cause Italian mafia. NP student: [giggles] Blastoise: Il y a le mafia italien et il y a le mafia russe. Ouais? There is Italian 25 Donald-Smith listed Italian as one of his linguistic resources when he created his linguistic map. 125 12 13 14 15 16 mafia and there is Russian mafia. Yeah? Donald-Smith: Duh. NP student: [The student tells Blastoise that he is strange, then he giggles] Blastoise: Je ne suis pas bizarre. I’m not strange. [laugh] Donald-Smith: Ouais il y a le mafia (xx). Yeah there is a mafia (xx) [Voices from other students] Blastoise: population de Moscou [typing] Donald-Smith was working on his worksheet, and he asked Blastoise to confirm the name of Russia’s capital city (line 1). In doing so, he was interactively positioning Blastoise, but what position was he putting forth? It could be that he was positioning Blastoise as a student who always knows the answers or as someone always willing to help when he needs it. However, like April, Donald-Smith knew Blastoise attended Russian school every weekend, and he had seen Blastoise fill out his worksheet without using Internet. I would argue Donald-Smith offered a position as an expert about Russia, a subject position close to the pluricultural and plurilingual subject positions Blastoise negotiated earlier during this activity. Blastoise confirmed that Donald-Smith had the right answer (line 2), thereby accepting the interactive positioning. He even suggested that Donald-Smith write Москва (Moskva) using the Russian alphabet instead of Moscow. Donald-Smith continued to work (line 6) and, from the audio recording, unfortunately, I cannot tell if he wrote Moscou, Moscow, or Москва (Moskva). Blastoise, building on the subject position offered by Donald-Smith, reflexively positioned as plurilingual in his three following turns (lines 7, 9 and 11). In the first turn (line 7), he used only Russian even if none of his teammates and classmates spoke Russian. As I have suggested before, in formal structured and supervised activities, students used French predominantly, whereas English, and a mix of French and English, was used among friends and in informal or less-structured classroom activities. Additional languages were rarely heard in this grade-6 classroom. This sentence is the only full sentence in an additional language I was able to record during my time in this classroom. In previous moments of positioning, Alexandra and Blastoise used English or French to reflexively position as plurilingual and as pluricultural because they shared these linguistic resources with their classmates. Positioning is not done in isolation: it is a 126 negotiation, and it happens in the interplay between interactive and reflexive positionings (Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). I would argue that using Russian was a “bold” move on Blastoise’s part for many reasons. First, using a language other than French and English was seldom done in this classroom. Second, Blastoise was the only student who understood Russian. Third, Russian was neither a legitimate nor predominant language in the school, classroom, or friendship Discourses. It was such a “bold” move, that Blastoise almost immediately translated his sentence into French and explained it in English (line 9). His French translation, I would argue, was a way to situate himself in the Francophone classroom Discourse and to better defend his reflexive positioning as plurilingual. The explanation in English of his sentence in Russian may have been a way to situate himself within the Discourse of friendship and make his reflexive positioning accepted by his classmates. Blastoise did not receive a quick answer from Donald-Smith, following his translation and explanation; only the NP student reacted by laughing (line 10), and laughter could be explained in different ways. In this case, Blastoise may have interpreted the NP student’s laughter as a challenge to his position as plurilingual because he decided to provide another explanation (line 11) for his sentence in Russian. He might also have interpreted it as a reaction to his bilingual explanation (line 9) since his next turn was in French only (line 11). This time, Blastoise directly asked for a confirmation that he had been understood (Ouais? Yeah?), and Donald-Smith simply said “duh” (line 12), a word often used when something obvious is stated. The NP student then suggested that Blastoise was strange and giggled again. Blastoise contradicted the NP student (line 14) right away. Blastoise might have taken the NP student’s turn and giggles as a challenge to his reflexive positioning. Donald-Smith finally provided Blastoise with a clear acknowledgement of his statement about mafia (line 15), at the same time reinforcing Blastoise’s positioning as plurilingual. Donald-Smith’s unwillingness to interactively position Blastoise could simply be because he had already done so earlier in the interaction, when he positioned Blastoise (line 1) as an expert about Russia. He might have not seen the need to do so again. Subject positions are not stable entities 127 (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001), however, and as a plurilingual subject position was not the legitimate position in the school Discourse, Blastoise was asking a confirmation from him because he was involved in a process of positioning himself (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001) as plurilingual. A number of Discourses may have been of influence in this moment of positioning. Blastoise and Donald-Smith appeared to be subscribing to a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism (Creese & Blackledge, 2011; Lamarre, 2013). Blastoise used all the linguistic resources from his repertoires to negotiate a plurilingual subject position, and Donald-Smith reacted to the content of the message, not to the languages used. Donald-Smith, however, did not use Italian, one of his linguistic resources. Bi/plurilingual practices often sprinkle plurilinguals’ conversations (Moore, 2006), and teachers often perceived them as “des énoncés fautifs relevant d'interférences” [faulty utterances with interferences from other languages] (p. 161). In this case, however, Blastoise was in interaction with classmates, and Donald-Smith did not seem to view the practice negatively: he did not mentioned Blastoise’s use of Russian or English as something problematic or something to avoid in the context of a Francophone school or classroom. The NP student’s laughter and comments, however, may have been a way to challenge Blastoise’s plurilingual practices and plurilingual subject position. His reaction may be influenced by the need to abide by official French-monolingual school Discourse and by a Discourse of separate bilingualism. It is unlikely, however, because in informal learning activities in which students were working among themselves, bilingual practices were often the norms. In this case, there may be tension between an accepted flexible bilingualism among students and a flexible plurilingualism, since the NP student may not have been plurilingual26. Seventh moment of positioning - Blastoise The seventh moment of positioning took place while students were still working on their worksheets about Russia. In this moment of positioning, Blastoise interacted 26 This student did not participate in this study; therefore, I do not know if s/he was bilingual or plurilingual. 128 with Elizabeth, Tria (a plurilingual focal student), and with the same two teammates in the previous moment. At the beginning Excerpt 12, Elizabeth was across the room from Blastoise, helping another group of students. Excerpt 12 – Seventh moment of positioning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Elizabeth: Blastoise si jamais on a besoin d’information de noms de nourriture vas-tu pouvoir nous aider? Blastoise if we ever need information about food can you help us? Blastoise: Ouin. Yeah [noncommittal tone] [pause] Elizabeth: Ben parce que [une élève] a trouvé des images. Ça me dit quelque chose mais je sais pas comment ça se dit. C’est comme hum ça ressemble à un petit pâté là c’est beaucoup de pâte. Because [a student] found images. It looks familiar but I don’t know how to say it. It’s like um a small pâté like with a lot of dough. Blastoise: [Breath intake] Oh! “пельмени” [pelmeni]! Ça c’est mon nourriture préféré! Oh! “пельмени” [pelmeni]! It’s my favourite food! Elizabeth: C’est comme un pâté avec de la viande au milieu là? Mais je sais pas c’est quoi. It’s like dough with meat in the middle but I don’t know what it is. Blastoise: “пельмени” [pelmeni], [p-e-l-m-e-n-i] [spelling] Tria: [Blastoise! Qu’est-ce que tu as mangé pour lunch? What did you eat for lunch? Elizabeth: [laugh] Blastoise: That’s just racist. NP Student: [giggles] Elizabeth: Ok au pire tu vas nous le dire demain puis on va l’écrire. Okay worst comes to worst you can tell us tomorrow and we can write it down. Blastoise: Ok. Okay NP student: [giggles] (xx) Blastoise: I eat russian food every day! Dude my favourite food I almost didn’t eat it for like [pause] almost a year. Then I ate the last time I ate my favourite food was like [pause] Racist! [Last word in a low grating voice] NP student: [giggles] [pause] [voices from the other students in the classroom] Donald-Smith: noooo NP student: [giggles] Tarik: hey (??): (xx) Blastoise: (barbarism) [neutral tone] 129 At the beginning of this excerpt, Elizabeth appeared to recognize that Blastoise had some knowledge and experiences of a Russian Discourse, in relation to Russian food. Her question (line 1) can be interpreted as an interactive positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. Blastoise had negotiated in earlier moments using the digital recorder, and in interaction with the researcher and with his teammates/friends. In this case, however, Blastoise seemed less than thrilled by this positioning: he simply answered “Ouin. Yeah”, in a very noncommittal tone. He showed little interest in helping to find the name of the Russian dish (line 2) and in accepting the interactive position offered by Elizabeth. Blastoise reacted much more strongly to Tria’s question about what he had eaten for lunch (line 7). With this turn, she seemed to equate Blastoise and Russian, as if they were synonymous: whatever Blastoise ate for lunch must be what Russians eat, so it must be Russian food. Moreover, if Blastoise is Russian, then he must eat Russian food at every meal. Tria seemed to adopt an ‘essentialist’ (Goodhart, 2003) view of culture. In this case, Blastoise was “essentialized” through a reference to food and a direct association between Russian food and what he had for lunch. Blastoise rejected the positioning, exclaiming “That’s just racist” (line 9). He used English – a linguistic resource that was not legitimate in the classroom and school Discourses, but had some legitimacy in interactions with peers – to reject Tria’s interactive positioning. More than one reason can explain his choice of English to reject the positioning. This interaction happened during a formal activity (i.e. filling out a worksheet), but the actual filling out of the worksheet, since the students were working in small groups, was not an activity that was fully structured and supervised by the teacher. English is often the linguistic resource used in such an activity. Moreover, his classmates were most probably the ones supposed to hear his comment, not by his teacher. English was often the language used among classmates and friends, when discussions were not directly related to school topics. Using English in this case, however, could also be a way to contest authority, as Heller (1996) suggested, if Elizabeth was meant to hear his comment. Why did Blastoise reject the positioning offered by Tria, and show little interest in helping Elizabeth with naming a Russian dish? I would argue that one answer lies in 130 the difference in defining the position. Blastoise had been reflexively positioning as a plurilingual and pluricultural student, with knowledge in Russian and experiences, and also accepted a similar interactive positioning from me and from his teammate Donald-Smith. I would argue, however, that the position Tria was offering was that of THE Russian: she was using an essentialist view of cultures, treating Russian culture as folkloric artifacts or fixed things (McCarthy, 1998, in Gérin-Lajoie, 2011, p. 25). In doing so, she was boxing him into a position as a Russian who eats Russian food every day. This may be an example of how the critical and transformative aspect multiculturalism never really took hold in Canadian schools (Gérin-Lajoie, 2011). During this interaction, there was laughter from Elizabeth (line 8), following Tria’s question about Blastoise’s lunch. There were also giggles from a NP student, and they happened right after turns by Blastoise (lines 10, 13, and 15). There is more than one reason that could explain the laughter and giggles in this moment of positioning. Elizabeth may have been: 1) Challenging Tria’s “essentialist” interactive positioning of Blastoise as THE Russian; 2) Challenging the plurilingual and pluricultural subject position as an illegitimate position in the context of the classroom; or 3) Accepting the “essentialist” positioning. Blastoise’s reaction (he said “that’s just racist”) suggested that he interpreted Elizabeth’s laughter as acceptance of the “essentialist” position as THE Russian, a position that he himself strongly rejected. The giggles from the NP student could also be explained in different ways. It may be that the NP student was also rejecting the essentialist positioning offered by Tria and Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Tria, in this moment of positioning, seemed to be drawing on a liberal and celebratory multicultural education Discourse, or “food and festival” approach (Gérin-Lajoie, 2011) or on an ‘essentialist’ (Goodhart, 2003) view of culture, in order to position Blastoise THE Russian. Blastoise rejected such a positioning. There was clearly tension around the attempts to position Blastoise and his self-chosen subject 131 position (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). The tension appeared to be not about the subject position itself, but about the definition of the subject position: Tria and Elizabeth adopted a essentialist view the Russian plurilingual and pluricultural position which was at odds with Blastoise’s daily experience of this position, and with a position defined from a plurilingual Discourse in which home languages and Discourses are welcomed and valued. Blastoise refuted Tria and Elizabeth’s positioning by saying he had not eaten his favourite Russian dish in almost a year and by using strong words such as racist and barbarism. The use of these words was in sharp contrast with Blastoise’s quiet responses to Elizabeth’s comments and questions in Excerpts 9 and 10. What enabled Blastoise in this moment of positioning? It may be that he had experienced such an essentialist positioning before or had witnessed it and knew how to react. Summary of findings from moments of positioning The focal students in this research, Alexandra, Blastoise, Bob2, and Tria, were able to activate French and English from their respective linguistic repertoires, separately or in combination in a sentence, in a turn or in a moment of positioning. However, only Alexandra and Blastoise used their linguistic and cultural resources to negotiate subject positions as plurilingual and/or as pluricultural, and only Blastoise used a linguistic resource other than French or English in this process. In two of the moments of positioning, Alexandra and Blastoise used French only in their process of positioning. Alexandra (Excerpt 3) was in interaction with her teammates, and Blastoise (Excerpts 9 and 10) was in interaction with Elizabeth, his teacher. In these interactions, using French only could show that Alexandra and Blastoise were aware of the official monolingual school Discourse, which demands that students speak French only at school, even when negotiating plurilingual or pluricultural subject positions. Blastoise and Alexandra, as well as most of the other students in the classroom, had been socialized into their school’s secondary Discourse (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005) since they began kindergarten at École Félix-Leclerc. That is, Blastoise and Alexandra were adept at interpreting a situation and were able to select the legitimate 132 linguistic resource. These moments of positioning may also illustrate, as Heller (1996) argued, an acceptance of the school authority. These moments of positioning, however, were not Blastoise and Alexandra’s most “successful” moments of positioning as plurilingual or as pluricultural; that is, they were not moments when these subject positions were accepted or reinforced by their interlocutors. Blastoise, in excerpt 9, was unable or unwilling to use his knowledge of Russian and experiences of a Russian Discourse and, therefore, did not put forward a subject position as plurilingual or as pluricultural, even if he had done so earlier during the same literacy event. In Excerpt 3, Alexandra’s teammates did not reinforce or support the position. It may be because of Alexandra’s outsider status or because of the importance of the monolingual school Discourse. I would suggest that the use of French only was so closely tied with a Francophone linguistic and cultural subject position – the legitimate subject position offered by the school Discourse – that Blastoise and Alexandra experienced some difficulties when they activated French only to negotiate plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions in the classroom. I would argue, however, that Blastoise and Alexandra have mastered the secondary school Discourse (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005) well enough to work around that Discourse in some situations. To reflexively position as plurilingual and pluricultural, they added English in their interactions with teammates. For instance, Alexandra, in Excerpt 5, exclaimed: “Mon house! Ça c’est mon house! Ça c’est mon rusty old house! My house! This is my house! This is my rusty old house!” (Line 12). Her reflexive positioning was met with interest and support by her teammates, and there was an actual negotiation of subject position (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004); that is, there was an interplay between interactive and reflexive positionings. Linguistic and cultural resources in plurilinguals’ repertoires may, according to Beacco (2005), be used as material to express membership in a group. Alexandra and Blastoise activated the resources that allowed them to attain two goals: show their membership to the bilingual group and, at the same time, position as pluricultural. English, I would argue, played an important part in the “success” of their respective negotiation processes. 133 Using French and English together – as Doran (2007) suggested in her study about the use of Verlan by minority youth in a suburban community in France – helped Alexandra and Blastoise in delimiting “the we-group” (Doran, 2007, p. 504). It could be described as an “act of identity” (LePage & Tabouret-Keller, 1985; in Doran, 2004, p. 106), which signalled alignment with classmates. It may also be, as Heller (1996) argued in her study of a Francophone school in Toronto, that English was students’ principal means for challenging the school authority; in other words, it was a tool used to challenge the Francophone monolingual school Discourse and the Francophone subject positions. My analysis suggests that bilingual practices with friends or supportive teammates were more conducive to a negotiation of a plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions. Alexandra did not activate Polish to position herself as plurilingual, but Blastoise did activate Russian, combined with French and English, to position himself as plurilingual. In the first of these moments, he was in interaction with me and I, interactively, positioned him as plurilingual, as someone who was able to write in Russian (Excerpt 8). We spoke French together, but Blastoise was welcome to use Russian. As a matter of fact, he needed to activate Russian to respond to my inquiry. This moment is reminiscent of the language awareness approach (e.g., Armand, Dagenais & Nicollin, 2008; Dagenais, 2008; Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Nolin, 2015) or of language awareness Discourse, as I have suggested in my review of literature. It is an illustration of a way French could be used to recognize and value additional languages in the classroom. In the second moment in which Blastoise activated Russian, he was interacting with classmates only (Excerpt 11) and, in the third one, he was in interaction with some classmates and his teacher (Excerpt 12). In both cases, the use of Russian was not extensive (a sentence and a word), but I would argue that, in the case of the interaction with classmates27, it was significant. It was noteworthy because Blastoise was the only 27 In the case of the interaction with classmates and teacher, Blastoise used the name of a Russian dish. I would suggest that this is akin to someone saying they are eating sushi or quesadilla, even if they do not speak Japanese or Spanish. This excerpt (12) will be discussed in depth in the section focusing on negotiation and tension in positioning. 134 focal student to activate his additional language in his process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. Moreover, he said a full sentence in that language only once. These facts call for further reflection. Blastoise, through this one sentence, could be seen as demonstrating the importance of Russian for him, in his process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. Plurilingual students’ language choices are inextricably tied with linguistic subject positioning, and the links between language and identity are complex at best. It may be that, because he had mastered the secondary school Discourse (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005), he knew there was little space for Russian in this Discourse. It may be that he chose to rarely activate Russian in order to downplay that subject position, or that he preferred to highlight a bilingual subject position rather than a plurilingual subject position. As Doran (2004) suggested, individuals can “activate different parts of their linguistic repertoires selectively in order to highlight particular aspects of their social identities (and to downplay others) in particular settings” (p. 96). Positioning as pluricultural in multimodal digital texts In the following section, I address the second sub-question in this research: In digital and multimodal texts, what roles do multimodality plays in the negotiation process of subject positions as plurilingual and pluricultural? I have analysed the multimodal texts created by the plurilingual focal students to find out how they negotiated different linguistic subject positions through the use of different modes. Only Blastoise, however, along with Donald-Smith, one of his teammates, negotiated a pluricultural subject position. Therefore, in the following section, I focus on him and his multimodal text, titled “Vénus la planète brûlante” (Venus the Burning Planet). I also contrast his work with a multimodal text created by Alexandra and Tria (two of the focal students) during the same project. With their teammates, they used modes in a similar way as Blastoise’s team but not to positioned themselves as pluricultural. I begin by introducing the project during which Blastoise, Tria and Alexandra created their multimodal texts, the project Agence spatiale. Following this introduction, I present the modes, the relation between the modes, and how Blastoise used them to negotiate a pluricultural subject positioning. 135 Multimodal literacy projects and focal students During the project Agence spatiale28, three of the focal students (Tria, Alexandra, and Blastoise29) created a short advertisement using the program Keynote, which they then presented to their teacher and classmates. Detailed instructions for the students on creating their advertisement can be found in Appendix M. Tria and Alexandra worked with Daniel (a bilingual student) and another teammate (a NP student) to create an advertisement titled Callisto. La lune de Jupiter [Callisto. Jupiter’s Moon] (see Appendix K, for a pdf version of the advertisement). Tria was a plurilingual girl who understood, spoke, wrote, and read English and French. She also understood Tagalog very well but could only speak and write a little in this language (Individual interview, 2013-10-22). It was Tria’s second year with Brigitte as her teacher and, according to Brigitte, Tria was doing very well: “cette année je la vois comme s’ouvrir plus, parler beaucoup plus que l’année dernière” [this year, I see her like opening up more, talking more than last year] (my translation) (Individual interview, 2013-10-09). During this project, Tria engaged with the group work, searched for information, and often interacted with Daniel about how to format their slides. Tria was friends with the fourth person on their team. Alexandra, the other focal student involved in creating the advertisement for Callisto, understood, spoke, wrote, and read Polish, English, and French. During this project, Alexandra often sat at the same table as her teammates without participating in their interactions. She was often drawing instead. She told me she enjoyed doing this project, and presenting their advertisement to the classroom. She also said she was a bit bored because she had nothing to do since she was done with her part (Individual interview, 2013-12-17). Blastoise worked with Tarik, Apricaka and Donald-Smith to create his advertisement during the project Agence spatiale. Their advertisement was titled Vénus la planète brûlante [Venus the burning planet] (see Appendix L, for a pdf version of the advertisement). Blastoise understood, spoke, wrote, and read Russian, English, and 28 For a more detailed description of the project Agence spatiale, see the first moment of positioning in this chapter. 29 Bob2, unfortunately, never provided a copy of the multimodal text he created during that project. 136 French. Tarik and Donald-Smith, two of his teammates, were also plurilingual. Tarik listed Arabic, English, and French as his linguistic resources, and Donald-Smith listed Italian, English, and French. Apricaka was bilingual. During the project, the four boys often sat along one side of their table, each working on his laptop computer and arguing about what information to include or what visual effects to use on the slides. Blastoise explained they had to remove some information from their advertisement because their presentation was too long, and he was very disappointed that they had to do so (Individual interview, 2013-12-18). Negotiating pluricultural subject positions In the process of positioning themselves as pluricultural through the creation of multimodal texts, focal students did not use all the modes available to them. Modes have different potentials and limitations when used in the process of creating a multimodal text (Kress, 2005; Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996) and in the process of positioning. There were also Discourses (such as the French-monolingual school Discourse, flexible vs. separate Bilingualism) at play that influenced the way the students used the modes and chose the subject positions negotiated. In the following paragraphs, I discuss the multimodal text titled Vénus la planète brûlante (see Appendix L) created by Blastoise, Tarik, Donald-Smith, and Apricaka. On most slides (See Figure 3 for an exemplary slide and Appendix L for the complete slide show), the four boys appeared to be putting forward a number of linguistic and cultural subject positions but not that of plurilingual or of pluricultural. However, on one specific slide, I argue that the affordances of images as a mode allowed two of the teammates – Blastoise and Donald-Smith – to reflexively position as pluricultural (See Figure 4). 137 Figure 3 – Exemplary slide from Vénus la planète brûlante In the exemplary slide above, and in most of the other slides in the advertisement, written words took up most of the space and always appeared first and disappeared last through various effects. In fact, the visual effects were at times overwhelming, with every bit of written words and images appearing and disappearing through flames, shimmering, flipping, dropping, or blasting in and out of slides. Written words carried most of the information about Venus in this multimodal text, and French was the only linguistic resource used by students. This choice can be explained in different ways, but I would argue that the main reason was that French was the dominant language in the official classroom Discourse – that is, it was the language required class – and the only language allowing students to get a good mark. As we have seen in the moments of positioning presented earlier in this chapter, French has been used to negotiate a pluricultural subject position by referencing a Discourse other than the Francophone Discourse (e.g., Alexandra talking about her house in Poland or Blastoise talking about pelmeni), but it was often mixed with English. In the case of this multimodal text about Venus, by using French only, the boys seemed to be putting forward the subject position of good students, which I argue, is tied to the linguistic subject position of Francophone. When they reached their second to last slide (see Figure 4), the teammates had shared all their information on Venus; they decided to introduce themselves. 138 Figure 4 – Slide from Vénus la planète brûlante On this slide, there are four photographs, one of each boy. Blastoise, Donald-Smith, and Apricaka are posing in front of a national flag: Russia for Blastoise (first from the left), Italy for Donald-Smith (second from the left), and Canada for Apricaka (first from the right). Tarik’s background looks like fireworks (second from the right). The photos of the four boys appeared with the transition (name of the transition: “object flip”) from the previous slide. The title followed (name of the effect: “orbital”), then the boys’ names, and their goodbye (name of the effect: “shimmer”). Next, the names and goodbye are built out (name of the effect: “blast”), followed by the title (name of the effect: “comet”), but the photos remained. Then the slide transitioned into the next (name of the transition “mosaic”). The boys used four modes on this slide to negotiate subject positions: written words, image, visual effect and language. When presenting their keynote in front of the class, the boys also used the following modes: language, voice, and gesture/facial expression. I would argue that image, however, was the mode used by Blastoise and Donald-Smith to put forward their pluricultural subject positions. The meaning the modes of images and written words were consistent with each other: both images and written words (the boys’ four names and the “nous/us” in the title) showed or told who created the multimodal text. When it came to subject positioning, however, the photos of the three boys each posing in front of a different flag 139 greatly extended the meaning of the written words. Each boy posed in front of a national flag, which shared ties with one of their linguistic resources: Donald-Smith listed Italian, English, and French as his linguistic resources and chose to position himself using the Italian flag; Blastoise listed Russian, English, and French as his linguistic resources and chose to position himself using the Russian flag, and Apricaka listed English and French as his linguistic resources and chose to position himself using the Canadian flag. One could argue that, by using these flags, the boys used a normative or essentialist view of a country (Goodhart, 2003) or that they used a folkloric artifact (McCarthy, 1998, in Gérin-Lajoie, 2011, p. 25) to position themselves. For instance, Russian is the official language in Russia, of course, but there are also more than 120 other ethnic groups in the country, and they speak many languages (Russia, 2016). I would argue that, because of the school and the classroom Discourses, a Francophone linguistic and cultural subject position was the legitimate and most desired subject position to put forward in their multimodal text. However, Blastoise and Donald-Smith decided to put forward a position as pluricultural, as someone with experience and knowledge in a Discourse related to a country in which most people spoke either Russian or Italian. It is unclear whom, of Blastoise and Donald-Smith (or even Apricaka who might be putting forward a pluricultural subject position using the Canadian flag), first put forward a subject position different from the Francophone/good student they had been putting forward throughout the rest of the advertisement. Whoever did it first, he reflexively positioned himself and, when the others joined in, it acted as an interactive positioning that reinforced and supported the initial reflexive positioning. This was the case with the second moment of positioning, in which Alexandra’s reflexive positioning as pluricultural was met with interest from her friend, and it suggests the importance of friends or supportive teammates in the process of subject positioning. Through the simple addition of this slide, their keynote became akin to an identity text, as discussed by Cummins et al. (2005), even if the multimodal digital text created by Blastoise, Apricaka, Tarik, and 140 Donald-Smith was not multilingual. Their layering (Domingo, 2011a, 2011b, 2012) of images and words allowed them to stretch out meaning (Pahl & Rowsell, 2006), and also to position themselves (as pluricultural) within the multimodal texts they created (Sanford, et al. 2014). When the boys presented their slide show to their teacher and classmates, they used their voices to read, word by word, what they had written on their slides, in a monotonous tone. When they came to the slide presented in Figure 4, there were some giggles from their classmates, as well as from the teammates themselves. There had been no giggles when the boys showed the previous slides. There may be more than one reason explaining the giggles: classmates may have laughed at Tarik or Apricaka’s smile, at Blastoise’s serious face, or at Donald-Smith’s pose on their respective photo. Giggles may, however, also be interpreted as an interactive positioning, a challenge to the “alternative” pluricultural subject positions put forward on this slide by three of the boys. The digital multimodal text had, so far, been putting forward the legitimate Francophone linguistic subject position by layering (mostly, but not exclusively) images, words, and French language. On this slide (see Figure 4), however, three of the boys put forward alternative subject positions, as bilingual and as plurilingual. Despite these bilingual and pluricultural positionings having been reinforced as the boys created the text together, in front of the class, the giggles from classmates seemed to create a hesitation from Blastoise, who looked at the screen, and Donald-Smith, who looked down and hid his face with his hands. Both boys, however, were still smiling. Blastoise, Tarik, Donald-Smith, and Apricaka were not the only team who introduce themselves through the mode of image. Tria, Alexandra, Daniel and their teammate also used an image in that manner when they created their digital multimodal text, titled Callisto. La lune de Jupiter (See Appendix K). As Blastoise’s team had done, Tria and Alexandra’s team used predominantly written words to present information on most of their slides (See Figure 5, for exemplary slide, and Appendix K for the complete slide show). Written words were dominant in their advertisement: they took up all of the space on the slide, and they carried most of the information about Callisto. As was the 141 case in the multimodal text by Blastoise and his teammates, French was the main linguistic resource used by Tria, Alexandra, Daniel, and their teammate in their multimodal text. Figure 5 – Exemplary slide from Callisto. La lune de Jupiter In the second to last slide in their advertisement, however, Tria, Alexandra, Daniel, and their teammate included one photo to introduce themselves (See Figure 6). The photo of the teammates and the title/invitation appeared as the slide transitioned (name of the transition: “doorway”) from the previous slide. The title/invitation were then built out (name of the effect: “dissolve”), but the photo remained. Then the slide transitioned into the next (name of the transition: “iris”). Similar to Blastoise’s team, they layered (Domingo, 2011a, 2011b, 2012) the modes of images, written words, and French language on the slide they created to introduce themselves. 142 Figure 6 – Slide from Callisto. La lune de Jupiter The photo showed Tria, Alexandra, Daniel, and their teammate, heads together, looking directly at the camera. Daniel and Tria were sticking out their tongues, Alexandra had a little smile, and the fourth teammate was smiling widely. Contrary to the previous team who used individual photos and a different background for each photo, this team represented themselves as a group, all of them on one photograph, using their classroom as their background. I would argue that they were positioning themselves as a good team, who worked well together, and maybe even as a Francophone team following on their layering of the modes of French language only and of written words throughout their slide show. This positioning as a group was also put forward during the presentation of their multimodal text to their classmates. When the slide show in Figure 6 appeared, the four teammates read, in unison, their invitation to come to Callisto. Moreover, when the photograph appeared, there were no giggles from the rest of class. This lack of giggling could suggest that their positioning as (Francophone) team was not challenged. Like Blastoise’ group had done, the team used the mode of an image to introduce themselves; however, they did not use the affordances of image as a mode to put forward a pluricultural subject position. Since the team used images as a mode to introduce themselves, I would argue that this slide added a layer to the subject positions negotiated 143 in the keynote. That is, even if the group did not put forward a pluricultural subject position, and even if the text was not multilingual, it still functioned to affirm and enhance students’ identity investment (Giampapa, 2010). It is, therefore, also akin to the identity text (Cummins, et al., 2005). Following my linear and layered reading of my data, as suggested by Domingo (2011a, 2011b), I would argue that both teams used multimodality and adopted the official monolingual school Discourse in their digital multimodal texts created during the project Agence spatiale and when they presented these texts to their classmates. In their texts, the two teams generally favoured written words as a mode to convey information about their planet or moon, and French was the only linguistic resource they used. Through their use of modes and linguistic resources in these texts, focal students and their teammates reflexively positioned as good students, a subject position which required them to activate French only. I would also argue, however, that multimodality played a role in the negotiation of subject positions as pluricultural, since Blastoise and Donald-Smith reflexively positioned as pluricultural by layering modes and Discourses. Domingo (2011a, 2011b, 2012) has argued that, through layering of modes in their videos, Filipino British youth who participated in her study were able to navigate between their communities (that is, Filipino, British, hip hop, and youth pop culture communities) and to position themselves using the discourses of each of these communities. In the Keynote presentation created by Blastoise’s team, Blastoise and Donald-Smith were able to navigate the monolingual Francophone school Discourse and a multicultural Discourse to position themselves as they layered an image, written words, and French language to negotiate a pluricultural subject position. The two boys used the affordances (Kress, 2005; Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996) of images as a mode to put forward a subject position that they had not negotiated in the rest of their multimodal digital text. When they presented their multimodal text to their classmates, the two Discourses – the official monolingual school Discourse and multicultural Discourse – clashed, provoking laughter. The school board tries to create a cultural Discourse recognizing that there are multiple Francophone cultures in its schools; however, this 144 Discourse is not an full-fledged multicultural Discourse, and it does not promote the “freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage” (Canadian Multiculturalism Act, 1985, para. 3.1a). Tria and Alexandra’s team also used an image to introduce their team, but they represented themselves as a group, using the classroom as their background, and they did not put forward pluricultural subject positions. The affordances of the same mode were used to negotiate different subject positions. Summary of the findings In this chapter, I have looked at moments of positioning in which Alexandra and Blastoise negotiated plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions in oral interaction with their classmates, teachers, and researchers. These seven moments took place during three different literacy events in the classroom. Looking at the seven moments of positioning, I would argue that there was little space for plurilingual linguistic subject positions within literacy events in the classroom; pluricultural subject positions seemed easier to negotiate. Alexandra and Blastoise were able to negotiate pluricultural subject positions in their interactions with friends or when using a “new” tool, such as the digital recorder. When Alexandra and Blastoise found ways to position themselves as plurilingual or pluricultural, they did not select large group literacy events, such as formal and structured classroom discussions. Their negotiation was “underground” work, in small groups with teammates or friends. Alexandra and Blastoise used more than one linguistic resource to position themselves as plurilingual and pluricultural, but English was prevalent, even if it was (or because it was) a language that was not legitimated in the classroom and school Discourses. Why is English often used as the resource to position oneself as pluricultural? It may be because French is strongly associated with the French classroom and school Discourses and with a Francophone linguistic and cultural subject position. English may be viewed as a more “polyvalent” resource allowing for a process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. Moreover, English is a legitimated linguistic resource in the Discourse of peers and is the predominant and legitimate language outside of school. Also, some school projects may have more 145 potential for positionings as plurilingual and pluricultural. For Blastoise, the project Jeux Olympiques opened up a space to reflexively position and be interactively positioned as plurilingual and pluricultural. On the one hand, this project seemed to provide opportunities for Blastoise to use Russian and to talk about Russia and the Russian language. On the other hand, it created an occasion for classmates and teacher to “essentialize” him, by interactively positioned him as THE Russian. Blastoise rejected such positionings. The Discourses of monolingualism, separate bi/plurilingualism, flexible bi/plurilingualism, and language awareness also came into play in the focal students’ process of subject positioning. The extent to which they influenced the process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural varied from one moment of positioning to the next. The Discourse of monolingualism or separate bilingualism was prevalent in the classroom and, at times, restricted the focal students’ process of positioning (e.g. First moment of positioning). When focal students inscribed themselves in a Discourse of flexible bi/plurilingualism, however, such a Discourse appeared to allow them to negotiate pluricultural and plurilingual subject positions (see, for instance, the second and third moment of positioning). The Discourse of language awareness also allowed for the negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions (see the fourth moment of positioning). In this chapter, I have also looked at two multimodal texts and at the subject positions negotiated by students in these texts. In these texts, the common subject position defended was that of good student, closely tied with the Francophone subject position. Only Blastoise and Donald-Smith negotiated a subject position as pluricultural by layering images, written words, and French language in one slide of their digital multimodal text. Alexandra, Tria, and Bob2 also layered image, written words and French language to negotiate a subject position, but it was a group position, that of a (good) Francophone team. They chose not to negotiate subject positions as plurilingual or pluricultural in their digital multimodal texts. Multimodality did play a role in the negotiation process of subject positions as pluricultural in digital multimodal texts, but 146 mainly through the mode of images, layered to written words, and French language. The two teams did not use modes such as sounds and music, despite their affordances that could have also allowed for negotiating positions as pluricultural. As outlined in the theoretical framework, I theorized the process of subject positioning as a fluid and dynamic process. Focal students, therefore, did not always negotiate the same subject positions in the same manner for the same reasons. It is, therefore, important to highlight that the moments of positioning and the multimodal texts analysed in this dissertation are moments in time, showing possibilities for two of the focal students, and potentially for other plurilingual students. In the final chapter of this dissertation, I now take the time to step back to discuss the findings of this study through the wider lens of my research question in relation to theory and scholarship in the broader field. In chapter five, I also discuss the significance and implications of my study. Finally, I consider future research and pedagogical directions that could be informed by my study and extend the work I have done. 147 Chapter 5: Discussion, Significance and Recommendations Subject positions are not stable entities (…) people are continuously involved in the processes of producing and positioning selves and others, and in creation of new subject positions. (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001, p. 249) Summary of the study and its findings The goal of my research was to gain a better understanding of the process of negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions by plurilingual students in a grade six classroom at École Félix-Leclerc, a Francophone school in a Canadian province where French is a minority language. To explore this area of research – which, as I have shown in my review of empirical research, has received little attention – I used a qualitative case study design and gathered data through ethnographic methods. My research is theoretically grounded in a framework integrating the New Literacy Studies perspective (e.g., Barton, et al., 2000; Street, 1984, 1993, 2003), the concepts of Discourse (e.g., Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005), multimodality (e.g., Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Kress, 2000a, 2000b, 2004, 2005), identity as position/positioning theory (e.g., Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004), and the lens of plurilingualism and pluricultural competence (e.g., Coste & Simon, 2009; Moore, 2006). Specifically, my study focuses on the linguistic and cultural resources and modes used by plurilingual focal students to negotiate subject positions, and the Discourses of influence in moments of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. Having examined and presented the qualitative findings of this study in chapter four, I now contextualize these results by looking back at the theories and the empirical research introduced in the second chapter of this dissertation. This final chapter, therefore, presents a discussion of the main findings of my research. I begin by discussing my findings in relation to my two research subquestions, which pertained to the roles played by linguistic and cultural resources and multimodality in the negotiation of subject positions by plurilingual students. The discussion of how Discourses 148 influenced subject positioning is woven into the discussion of each research subquestion. Then, I explore the finding that negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions in an ongoing process, both in oral interactions and in multimodal texts. Following the discussion, I outline the potential significance of this study, as well as implications for teachers and other education stakeholders, and for further research in Francophone minority contexts in Canada. In terms of findings, data analysis attended to the research questions as follows: 1) In the context of oral interactions in the classroom, what roles do linguistic and cultural resources play in the students’ negotiation process? In the different moments of positioning analyzed, Alexandra used French and English, whereas Blastoise used French, English and Russian to negotiate plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions. A key finding of my study is that for these two students, English was a useful resource for positioning as pluricultural since, when they used French only, their negotiations were not as “successful” as when they combined French and English. Over the last decades, Francophone minority schools have worked very hard to become meaningful spaces promoting the French language as well as Francophone culture and subject position (Dalley, 2009; Gérin-Lajoie, 2010; Landry & Allard, 2002; Masny, 2002). What my study suggests is that, in some cases, these schools provide students with few opportunities to negotiate other linguistic and cultural subject positions, such as plurilinguals and pluricultural, when using French. As researchers and educators, we may need to think of ways to make French a more polyvalent resource, associated not only with a Francophone linguistic position, in order to make classrooms a space where plurilingual and pluricultural positions are legitimated, accepted, and supported. In the section below on implications for education stakeholders, I suggest ways different approaches could be used to help make French a more polyvalent resource. Another closely related finding of this study is the quasi absence of additional languages in focal students’ negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions 149 during literacy events in the classroom. This finding echoes Duff’s (2007) statement that assimilationist policies in schools in Canada can lead to subtractive bi/multilingualism for some plurilingual learners. This finding can be interpreted in many ways. It could suggest that Francophone minority schools have been successful in promoting French (Dalley, 2009; Gérin-Lajoie, 2010; Landry & Allard, 2002; Masny, 2002), but this interpretation would be dismissing the omnipresence of English in the schools and classrooms, as well as its status as a dominant international language. It could also suggest that there was a lack of space for additional languages in this school, and it may be the same in other Francophone minority schools in Canada. The dominant Discourse circulating in the school and classroom may be part of the reason plurilingual focal students elected not to negotiate plurilingual subject positions more often. The school Discourse is a French monolingual Discourse, and students are encouraged to speak French all the time and to position as Francophones. According to Moore (2006), bi/plurilingual practices are often viewed negatively in schools as teachers usually evaluate these practices as faulty utterances with interferences from other languages. Research shows, however, that children and youth often adopted a view of bi/plurilingualism as flexible (e.g., Creese & Blackledge, 2011; Lamarre, 2013), and my findings also demonstrate this flexibility. When Blastoise and Alexandra used French only, their positions as pluricultural and plurilingual were contested or challenged. When they used more than one linguistic resource, their positions as pluricultural and plurilingual were more often accepted and supported. Furthermore, my study points to the fact that flexible bi/pluriligualism in negotiation of pluricultural and plurilingual subject positions was often “underground” work – something one does out of the teacher’s earshot – and was facilitated through friends. This important finding echoes findings from a number of empirical studies conducted with children attending French immersion schools. Dagenais, et al., (2006) suggested that, in small group interactions, students from immigrant families sometimes positioned themselves as plurilinguals and literate in languages other than French. Dagenais (2003), Dagenais (2008), and Dagenais & Jacquet (2000) also suggested that students from 150 diverse linguistic backgrounds constructed positive representations of their identity as plurilinguals. Dagenais (2008) wrote, however, that schools were not as open to that subject position. Teachers focused almost exclusively on French, and this led them to overlook their students’ skills in other languages and their plurilingual positions (Dagenais, et al., 2006). The lack of space for additional languages may have repercussions on how plurilingual students identify, and on the subject positions they choose to negotiate. In relation to the resources involved in positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural, I would argue that as researchers, teachers and educational leaders working in Francophone minority contexts, we are very aware of the importance of languages. In research, for instance, the use of French has been tied directly to a Francophone subject position or identity. It was linked to performing francophoneness and was a central component of the (Francophone) linguistic and genealogical discourse, as defined by Dallaire and Denis (2000) and Dallaire (2008). It was linked to a more or less strong sense of belonging to the Francophone community (Gérin-Lajoie, 2003; Landry, Deveau & Allard, 2008) or to being recognized as a legitimate speaker (Richards, 2012). High school teachers used the French language as a sign of university students’ ‘real’ linguistic identity (Lamoureux, 2005). I believe, however, that we need to expand our awareness of how additional languages play out in relation to other linguistic and cultural subject positions, and to find ways to recognize and acknowledge students’ cultural and linguistic diversity in our practices. Researchers (e.g., Cummins, 2001; Feuerverger, 1994; Herrera & Murry, 2005; Purcell-Gates, 2007; Schecter & Cummins, 2003; Smythe & Toohey, 2009) working in Anglophone schools in other Canadian contexts have been advocating for such recognition for about two decades. Among other things, they have argued that focusing only on English print literacy risks marginalizing the multiple literacies present in communities in which other languages are spoken. For instance, Smythe and Toohey (2009) suggested that children from the Canadian Punjabi-Sikh community who participated in their study engaged in a diverse range of multiliterate, multilingual and multimodal practices that were ignored in the school curriculum. 151 Researchers, such as Chow and Cummins (2003), have also put forward the argument that reading in any language developed reading ability. Cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as immigration, have been changing Francophone minority schools and communities for at least a decade now (e.g., Gérin-Lajoie & Jacquet, 2008; Heller, 1984, 1996; Prasad, 2012), and we must find ways to adapt to these demographic changes. My study of moments of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural provides a close analysis of some of the factors that inhibit the recognition of students’ cultural and linguistic diversity in a Francophone minority school. In the section below about implications for education stakeholders, I put forward suggestions on how to include additional languages in our schools’ practices. 2) In digital multimodal texts, what role does multimodality play in the students’ negotiation process? Results from my study on multimodal texts and positioning as pluricultural, although limited, suggest that multimodal contexts could facilitate students’ process of subject positionings as pluricultural. This finding is in line with Stille’s (2011) argument that multimodal literacy activities offered great potential to draw upon students’ full range of cultural and linguistic resources. She suggested that these activities opened spaces for students to “re/construct” (Stille, 2011, p. 66) their literate identities at school. Stille (2011) and several other researchers (e.g., Giampapa, 2010; Giampapa & Sandhu; 2011; Lambert, 2011; Meredith, 2011; Ng, 2011) suggested that the creation of bi/multilingual multimodal “identity texts” (Cummins, et al., 2005) certainly helped in opening such spaces. Domingo’s work (2011a, 2011b, 2012) also offers a useful example of use of modes (sounds, images, and colours in videos) by youth to express diverse social identities. In my analysis of digital multimodal texts created by my focal students, however, I observed this re/construction or negotiation in relation to pluricultural subject positions only in one text, created by Blastoise and his teammates. Furthermore, the range of modes my participants used in negotiating such subject positions was limited. 152 Why did the students in this study not rely more on the affordances of the various modes available to them to negotiate pluricultural subject positions? I would argue that the dominant French monolingual school Discourse played a role in their choice not to negotiate such subject positions. I have discussed the influence of this Discourse at length in previous sections of the dissertation; I will, therefore, explore other avenues that may explain focal students’ limited use of modes. One reason could be the lack of skills in using these modes. When students created their Keynote slides for the project Agence spatiale in October and November, I did not observe any explicit teaching from Brigitte, in relation to using background, visual effects, images, sounds, etc. In December, during the project Histoire dont vous êtes le héros, there was some explicit teaching by Brigitte. She sat with small groups of students to explain how to include sounds in their keynotes; however, she did not have time to work with all of her students. When January came, Elizabeth took over the class and I did not witness any explicit teaching on how to include sounds, or any other modes. Blastoise, himself, commented in relation to his multimodal text created for the project Histoire dont vous êtes le héros: “Je voulais comme quand c’était game over de faire le game over sound, mais je savais je savais pas comment faire ça” [I wanted to like when it was game over to do the game over sound, but I did not know I did not know how to do it] (Individual Interview, 2014-01-28). This lack of knowledge, revealed through data analysis, is similar to the situation described by Lebrun, Lacelle and Boutin (2012). They suggested that “la littératie médiatique multimodale” [multimodal media literacy] was having a difficult time finding its way into schools regardless of the fact that, according to these authors, through formal teaching, one could truly acquire skills in multimodal media literacy. In order to support students’ learning of multimodal literacy, Lebrun, et al. (2012) suggested that schools needed to go from the “paradigme de l’écrit ‘classique’ à celui de l’écrit ‘multimodal’” [from the ‘classic’ written paradigm to that of ‘multimodal’ writing] (my translation) (p. 5). Despite using a digital media – that is, the software Keynote – and working from a definition of text that went beyond print based texts (Perry, 2012), focal students in my 153 study still relied heavily on a written paradigm and on written words as their main mode or semiotic system to carry meaning. A lack of skills in multimodal literacy is closely related, I would argue, to an apparent lack of value attributed to modes other than written words. In the instructions for this project (see Appendix M), references to modes did not appear in the section pertaining to the content of the presentation. It appeared in the section about the format of the presentation, and the only two modes mentioned were as follows: “support visuel (images ou photos)” [visual aids (images or photos)] and “intonation et volume de la voix” [voice intonation and volume]. This lack of focus on modes other than written words is not a complete surprise, if we put it in perspective using the Programme d’études 2010 – Français langue première [British Columbia’s 2010 program – French as a First language]. The complete Résultats d’apprentissage prescrits [Prescribed Learning Outcomes] for grade six can be found in Appendix N. There are three sections in this document: learning outcomes pertaining to communication orale (CO), lecture et visionnage (LV), écriture et representation (ÉR) [Oral Language (Speaking and Listening), Reading and Viewing, Writing and Representing]. In these sections, many references are made to written words and the use of oral language, and it offers detailed learning outcomes. Here is an example from the section on Reading and Viewing. It is expected that students will create a variety of personal writings (ÉR2), everyday texts (ÉR3) and literary texts (ÉR4), and be able to - utiliser des phrases de longueurs et de types (affirmatif, interrogatif, exclamatif) variés (ÉR2, 3, and 4) [use sentences of different lengths and types (affirmative, interrogative, exclamative)] - employer un vocabulaire descriptif, précis et varié (ÉR2 and 3); précis, descriptif et spécifique au sujet (ÉR4) [use descriptive, accurate and varied; accurate, descriptive and specific to the topic] - utiliser des mots de liaison (ÉR2, 3, and 4) [use linking words] (p. 60) Such a detailed description of what and how to use written words offers a clear path for teachers on how to evaluate writing. When it comes to other modes, however, learning outcomes are more limited. I have identified, in the document for grade six, only a few elements pertaining to multimodality, and modes other than written words or oral 154 language. The British Columbia’s 2010 program for French as a First language mentions that students are expected to demonstrate their comprehension of visual texts such as newspapers, cartoons, graphs, illustrations, posters, photos and advertisements (LV7), and that they are expected to use strategies to express their ideas in writing and visually (ÉR5). The program also mentions that, when publishing and presenting their texts (ÉR8), students are expected to choose a format (paper or electronic) and to respect typographical and publishing conventions (that is, centered layout and uses of images) to take into account purpose and intended readers. These prescribed learning outcomes do not mention any other modes than images, except by naming media such as cartoons and advertisements, media that often include sounds/music. These outcomes are unlikely to lead teachers to engage in explicit teaching of modes such as music and images, since they do not provide a way to evaluate the use of these modes. With explicit focus on written words, other modes appeared undervalued by focal students as a way to create meaning, and not necessary to obtain a good mark on their project. One finding that was unexpected in this research was how Blastoise used the digital recorder – a medium (Kress, 2004, 2005) that was not usually available to him in the classroom – to ingeniously negotiate plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions. Instead of answering his teacher’s questions directly (Excerpts 6 and 7), he recorded comments about the discussion in progress by speaking directly into the recorder. We could argue that the recorder acted as an addressee, playing the interactive part of the process of positioning, and allowed this child to negotiate a subject position as plurilingual and pluricultural in a classroom context, subject positions that were not legitimate in the French monolingual school Discourse. We could also argue that Blastoise knew I would be the only person listening to the recording of this literacy event, and that he was recording his comments for me. In this case, I acted as an “imagined” addressee, and he positioned me as a receptive addressee interested in his Russian Discourse or as a less “threatening” adult than his new teacher. This moment of positioning provides a telling example of how the introduction of a medium not usually used in the classroom can play a part in the process of negotiating different subject 155 positions. The new medium afforded Blastoise the opportunity to realize some of his interests “as makers of a message/text” (Jewitt & Kress, 2003, p. 17) in his classroom context. 3) Ongoing negotiation and tension in plurilingual and pluricultural positionings Another major finding in this study is that negotiation of subject positions as plurilingual and pluricultural is ongoing. When teammates or teachers rejected, ignored or contested their subject positions, Alexandra and Blastoise did not simply stop self-positioning as plurilingual or pluricultural. They used another resource, a combination of ressources, a different mode of representation or a new medium to reflexively position as plurilingual or pluricultural. This finding aligns with Blackledge and Pavlenko’s (2001) argument that subject positions – for instance, plurilingual and pluricultural – were not stable entities negotiated once and acquired forever. Plurilinguals, such as Alexandra and Blastoise, are involved in a constant process of negotiating plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions. Davies and Harré (1990) also put forward a similar argument, suggesting that social interactions allowed people to emerge not as a fixed product, but as “constituted and reconstituted” (Davies & Harré, 1990, p. 46) through the varying discursive practices they are engaged in. Davies and Harré (1990) also argued, there is always only one person reflexively positioning and being positioned in interactions, but people can negotiate a diversity of selves or subject positions, and select the subject positions they want to put at the forefront. Another central finding of my study, which is related to the constant negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, is that there were tensions in the process of negotiation, at the level of the definition of subject positions. This tension was evident in Excerpt 12, in which Tria and Elizabeth both interactively positioned Blastoise as Russian/plurilingual and pluricultural, and acknowledged his experience of a Russian Discourse. When doing so, however, they seemed to draw on an ‘essentialist’ (Goodhart, 2003) view of culture, or on a liberal/celebratory multicultural education Discourse (Gérin-Lajoie, 2011), leading an interactive positioning as THE Russian. Blastoise was 156 unwilling to accept their definition of pluricultural, and rejected the positioning. There is not, of course, only one definition of a plurilingual or a pluricultural subject position. In this case, however, the two definitions clashed, and led Blastoise to reject Tria and Elizabeth’s interactive positioning. This moment of positioning was an example of the tension, described by Blackledge and Pavlenko (2001), and Pavlenko and Blackledge (2004) between a self-chosen and self-defined subject position as plurilingual and pluricultural, and others’ attempts to impose a different definition of the aforementioned subject position. Lamarre and Dagenais (2004) also discussed a similar tension between a multilingual identity strategically appropriated by some of the youth in their study to secure inclusion and affiliation, and an identity narrowly defined “in terms of specific national, ethnic and linguistic affiliation” (p. 70) being attributed to them by others because of their physical attributes. Lamarre and Dagenais (2004) suggested that the latter identity could then be a marker of exclusion. The ongoing negotiation of plurilingual and pluricultural positions, however, did not take place during all literacy events. An important finding of my study is that some instructional contexts are more conducive to plurilingual and pluricultural positioning. My analysis of literacy events revealed an important number of moments of positioning as bilingual, and French or English speakers. There were, however, only seven moments in which focal students negotiated plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, and Blastoise engaged the most often in the process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. His moments of positioning took place during one single literacy event during the project Jeux Olympiques. The fact that the 2014 Winter Olympics took place in Sochi, Russia, was most probably pivotal in allowing Blastoise to negotiate a Russian/plurilingual and pluricultural subject position. I would argue that this particular project allowed Blastoise to create a “space” in which he felt his knowledge of a Russian Discourse could be perceived as an asset, or in which a Russian/plurilingual and pluricultural subject position would be accepted. Stille (2011) argued that multimodal literacy activities had the potential to draw upon the full range of students’ cultural and linguistic experiences, creating a space for them to “re/construct” (Stille, 2011, p. 66) 157 their literate identities. I agree with her argument, but would also add that some projects may offer this space for some students and not for others. In this case, a project on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia created a space for Blastoise to negotiate plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, but not for Tria, Alexandra or Bob2. Recommendations for educational stakeholders in Francophone minority contexts Based on my analysis of literacy events, findings and discussion, I offer recommendations for the stakeholders in Francophone minority education in British Columbia. My analysis suggests that focal students seldom used their additional language(s) in the context of the classroom, and that they appeared to downplay plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, in favour of other subject positions. Moreover, when they did put forward plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions, they often combined French with English, which may suggest that French is not perceived as a resource allowing such positioning. Based on the findings of this study, I suggest that stakeholders in Francophone minority schools need to engage in a reflection on the impact of the dominant French-monolingual school Discourse, and find ways to adapt it to students’ bi/plurilingualism. Languages and subject positioning go hand in hand: according to Doran (2004), languages are fundamental tools for the enactment of multiple subject positions. I strongly believe that Francophone schools in British Columbia – and in other Canadian provinces in which English is the dominant language – cannot remain monolingual because, as Levasseur (2013b) suggested, the next generations of Francophones are likely to be plurilingual. Other researchers, such as Lamoureux (2005), Lamarre (2005) and Benson (2014) have also criticized the monolingual view in education. Benson (2014), for instance, argued that a monolingual habitus did not reflect the true linguistic context in most countries around the world. I think that a monolingual view or Discourse in schools limits which language(s) count, and has the effect of pushing aside languages other than the official language of instruction. Conversely, Armand, et al. (2004), in their research with Québécois students, suggested that, by offering students opportunities to use their home or additional languages as a tool at school, we “valorise, réhabilite et 158 légitime cette langue maternelle et on contribue au développement d’une identité culturelle plus harmonieuse” [valorize, rehabilitate and legitimate this first language and we contribute to the development of a more harmonious cultural identity] (my translation) (p. 23). In order to make the classroom a space in which plurilingual and pluricultural positions are legitimated, accepted, and supported, education stakeholders need to find ways to make French a more polyvalent linguistic resource, a resource that can be associated with a range of subject positions, and not only with a Francophone subject position. A plurilingual and pluricultural paradigm has been at the center of my work as a doctoral student; it allowed for a dynamic view of linguistic and cultural repertoires, and for the inclusion of different levels of competence in many languages and cultures (Coste et al., 2009a,b; Grosjean, 1993; Moore, 2006). Prasad’s (2015) work provides promising avenues to explore ways to reach that goal. She suggested that we needed to “shift from teaching from a monolingual paradigm that keeps languages strictly separate to a plurilingual paradigm that recognizes that individuals are continually in the process of expanding their plurilingual repertoires over the course of their lives” (Prasad, 2015, p. 180). She provided examples of creative visual and multimodal methods (reflexive drawing, language and cultural self-portraits, literacy linguistic landscape mapping, plurilingual multimodal ‘identity text’, and collages) that she used in her study, which can be adapted in any classroom to engage students in reflecting on their plurilingualism. Using a plurilingual and pluricultural paradigm in the curriculum and in the classroom can help education stakeholders in Francophone minority schools acknowledge that languages other than French, and cultures other than Francophone cultures, are not the enemy in the classroom. Additional languages – languages other than the target language (TL) – should be redefined as resources that can be used as a stepping stone to scaffold more accomplished performances in the target language (Cummins, 2007; Swain & Lapkin, 2000) – in this case, French. Students should not be asked to leave their additional languages (English included) at the door. As a matter of fact, Cummins (2007) argued that the empirical evidence suggested the utility of an 159 emphasis on “extensive communicative interaction in the TL (ideally in both oral and written modes)” and on “students’ L1 as a cognitive tool in learning the TL” (p. 226-27). Of course, I am not suggesting that teachers in Francophone minority schools should rely more heavily on English, since this is a language known by most students in these schools. Furthermore, I am not suggesting that teachers should be fluent in all the home languages of their students. As Turnbull (2001) suggested, teachers should use the target language as much as possible in the classroom. Students’ bi/plurilingualism, however, can be acknowledged and encouraged in various ways. How can teachers and other education stakeholders in Francophone minority schools include additional languages in their practices? The language awareness approach offers great potential in this matter. Language awareness activities recognize and value home languages of immigrant, refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students (Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Nolin, 2015). A language awareness approach also promotes positive attitudes toward plurality of languages (Armand, et al., 2005; Geoffrey, et al., 2013; Dagenais et al., 2009). It is an approach that can benefit monolingual, bilingual and plurilingual learners in the classroom. Language awareness activities can lead to accomplished performances in French, while at the same time recognizing the importance and value of other languages. The language awareness approach does not rely on teachers’ plurilingualism, but on students’ plurilingualism. Using dual-language books (DLBs) in literacy instruction is another approach that could be included in a plurilingual paradigm within Francophone minority schools. This approach could impact on learners’ literacy development by supporting metalinguistic awareness (Sneddon, 2008a, 2008b) and promote children’s cultural awareness (Naqvi, 2009; in Naqvi, McKeough, Thorne, & Pfitscher, 2013). Sneddon (2008b) also suggested that DLBs were very popular with parents of bilingual children, and these books were useful as a bridge between home and schools. Naqvi et al. (2013) wrote that, using DLBs in literacy instruction could help linguistic-minority students discover reading as an important skill, “valued not only by the dominant language society, but also by members of their own or other language-minority communities” (p. 523). In Francophone minority 160 schools, DLBs would be read, at each session, in French and in another language, chosen among languages spoken in the classroom. Cummins (2007) also provided a very concrete suggestion. He suggested that the creation of multilingual or dual language identity texts (see also Armand, et al., 2014; Cummins, et al., 2005; Cummins, et al., 2006; Cummins & Early, 2011; Giampapa, 2010; Giampapa & Sandhu, 2011; Meredith, 2011; Stille, 2011) could facilitate a shift in the classroom from a monolingual to a multilingual view. Parents and relatives could also be involved in the process of creating these multilingual or dual language books. Stille (2011) argued that such projects helped in increasing parents’ involvement in the school. Naqvi, Carey, Cummins, and Altidor-Brooks (2015) also suggested that parental engagement could be productive in supporting students’ achievement at school. In their qualitative study in a Toronto school, Naqvi et al. (2015) worked with mothers of low socioeconomic status (SES) with an immigrant background. These mothers involved in story-telling sessions in which they shared, read and wrote their own stories (in L1 and English) about identity and diversity. These stories were also shared with other parents, but also with students. Naqvi et al. (2015) argue that for parental engagement to be significant – that is, for it to influence students’ achievement – it had to be two-way: from school to parents, and from parents to school, and “identity-affirming” (p. 29). That is, it had to mobilize parents’ (and students’) funds of knowledge from multiple languages and cultures, and create empowering interactional spaces for parents, students, and teachers. In the context of Francophone minority schools, multilingual or dual language language texts could be created in collaboration with the English Language Arts teachers. Plurilingual students could be used as experts in their home languages to create multilingual books. Blastoise could have helped translate texts in Russian, Alexandra in Polish, etc. Translation as a teaching/learning tool has been largely excluded and discredited in language classrooms (Cummins, 2007). Cummins (2007), however, argued that translation promotes: 1) the acquisition of the target language, 2) bi-literacy development, and 3) identities of competences. ScribJab (see Scribjab.com), a combined 161 website and iPad application allowing users to create multilingual texts, narrate and illustrate them online, could be used to a greater extent in classrooms in Francophone minority schools. Created by Kelleen Toohey, Diane Dagenais and a team of developers at Simon Fraser University in 2014, it has been used to help students publish online books in multiple languages in a number of settings internationally (Dagenais & Toohey, 2016). This tool also allows for an incursion into the creation of multimodal digital texts. An approach focused on multimodality is also an avenue that is worth exploring, in order to allow students to negotiate a larger range of linguistic and cultural subject positions. Following Lebrun and Lacelle (2011) and other seasoned researchers, such as Walsh (2008), Kellner and Share (2007), Hobbs (2007), and Kline et al. (2006) (In Lebrun & Lacelle, 2011), I would recommend a critical multimodal media literacy approach. Within such a holistic approach, teachers create multimodal learning environments and use multimodal texts in order to increase students’ learning through reading and production. This approach: suppose un souci pour l’idéologie critique et une représentation de la politique, une incorporation des médias alternatifs, de même qu’une extension de l’analyse textuelle qui inclut le contexte social. De plus, elle tient compte d’une compréhension des notions d’idéologie, de pouvoir et de domination (dont la prise en compte de (notions) tels que la classe, le genre et la race) qu’on ne retrouve pas dans les autres approches, car elle se base sur un public actif dans la construction du sens. Elle fournit des outils d’empowerment aux marginaux. C’est la voie vers une pédagogie transformée, qui suppose des projets collaboratifs, analyse des matériaux polymorphes, polyvalents, polysémiques qu’il faut déchiffrer comme autant d’éléments culturels. [supposes an interest for critical ideology and a representation of politics, for incorporation of alternative media, as well as for an expansion of text analysis including social context. Moreover, this approach takes into account the comprehension of the concepts of ideology, power and domination (which include concepts such as class, gender and race), something which is not found in other approaches, since the holistic approach is based on an audience actively taking part in the meaning making process. This approach provides tools to empower outsiders. It is the way to a transformed pedagogy, which involves collaborative projects, and analysis of materials that are polymorph, polyvalent, polysemic to be deciphered] (my translation) (Lebrun & Lacelle, 2011, Section 1.3). 162 A critical multimodal media literacy approach would complement and enrich a plurilingual and pluricultural view in Francophone minority classrooms. It is a bottom up approach that allows students to use their knowledge and strengths, in relation to linguistic resources and to modes of representation. It also allows students to reflect and decipher a message while taking into account the context of production of texts. A critical multimodal media literacy approach would also be useful in acknowledging Discourses, such as family Discourses, other than the school Discourses. Communities have different Discourses, and each community develops expertise using different modes in different ways (Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Kress, 2000b). Using French as the language of learning and teaching, students could be taught to analyze modes of representation in picture books, films, videos, advertisements, etc. Critically analyzing and discussing their diverse Discourses, and learning to represent them in their own multimodal texts could lead to empowerment and to the recognition of plurilingual subject positions. Related to a multimodal approach is, I would argue, a pedagogical approach that includes a project-based learning approach, in which students work to answer driving questions that have relevance for them. To find answers to these real-life questions, students work for extended periods of time, and engage in research using many sources, such as experts, the library, and Internet. The possibility of using a range of resources allows plurilingual students, for instance, to use experts or Internet websites related to some of their secondary Discourses (Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005). These sources or experts may be written or may speak a language other than French, but if they can help in finding answers to the questions driving the project, students can translate and adapt the information they provided. Furthermore, when working within a project-based learning framework, students do not need to restrict themselves to a single academic discipline. As workers and professionals do in most fields, students could use whatever they need to solve their problems: mathematics, literature, biology, physics, geography, etc. The teacher would provide a rubric outlining what students are expected to master and how their performance will be measured for each outcome. However, the end product – that is the way students will present what they have learned and mastered – needs to be open 163 ended. By giving students this choice, it allows them to select, use, and/or layer (Domingo, 2011a, 2001b, 2012) a range of modes of representation and media (Kress, 2004, 2005). Potential significance to the field This study makes significant contributions to research on identity construction of plurilingual students in Francophone minority schools in British Columbia and in Canada. My multi-theoretical framework allowed for an exploration of moments of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. It provides a close analysis of some of the factors that impeded the recognition of plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions as legitimate subject positions in the context of a sixth-grade classroom in a Francophone minority school. I argued that one of these factors was the school Discourse at École Félix-Leclerc, which I described as a Discourse of separate bilingualism (Creese & Blackledge, 2011) or as a French monolingual Discourse (Lamoureux, 2005; Levasseur, 2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c). This Discourse, by putting forward a Francophone subject position as the only legitimate subject position and by closely relating this subject position with an exclusive use of French, appeared to hinder focal students’ process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural. A Discourse of flexible bilingualism (Creese & Blackledge, 2011) was also present in some of the moments of positioning, and provided a counter Discourse. Neither official nor entirely legitimate, this Discourse was still present, and provided a “space” in which plurilingual and pluricultural positions could be negotiated. By showing how the school Discourse limited plurilingual students’ process of positioning and how focal students sometimes chose to downplay plurilingual and pluricultural subject positions in their classroom setting, my study is an invitation to Francophone minority schools to begin a reflection on, and a reframing of, their official Discourse. I hope that such reflection can help in developing a more dynamic view of linguistic and cultural repertoires (Coste et al., 2009a,b; Grosjean, 1993; Moore, 2006), as well as in extending the range of legitimate linguistic and cultural subject positions in the classroom. What I am calling for, following Prasad (2015), is a shift from a monolingual to a plurilingual and pluricultural paradigm. 164 My research also contributes to research on identity in the fields of literacy and of language learning. My analysis of moments of positioning supports current views of identity as dynamic, fluid and performed in interactions, and adds to research demonstrating that subject positions are not stable entities negotiated once and acquired forever (Blackledge & Pavlenko, 2001). By analyzing reflexive and interactive positionings – among peers, and between children and a teacher – situated in interactions taking place in specific places and times, I was able to explore how focal students used resources from their linguistic and cultural repertoire in different ways, according to their interpretation of the situation they were in. The expression “moments of positioning”, mirrored on Ibrahim’s (1998, 1999, 2005, 2008a, 2008b) “moments of identification”, may prove to be a useful tool for futher research on subject positioning. In the field of research on multimodality, my research adds to the literature arguing that multimodality can become a powerful tool that youth and children could use when they create texts in which they can construct and negotiate their identities (Sanford, et al., 2014). By layering modes, two students in my study were able to put forward pluricultural subject positions, something that would have been harder if they had used only written words. As Domingo (2011a, 2001b, 2012) suggested, layering of modes allowed students to navigate between their primary and secondary Discourses and to position themselves using these Discourses. However, the focal students did not use the whole range of available modes in their process of positioning as pluricultural in their digital multimodal texts. This study, therefore, also suggests that there is work to be done in school to help students learn how to use all the modes available, and to layer them in different ways to negotiate linguistic subject positions as plurilingual. Directions for future research The findings and analysis of this study contribute to the understandings of students’ process of positioning as plurilingual and pluricultural in the context of a large Francophone minority school in a multilingual and multicultural urban area. It would be beneficial to study the same process of positioning in smaller Francophone schools, in 165 smaller cities. Furthermore, because there are more than 400 students of Aboriginal ancestry attending schools administered by the CSF (Rapport annuel, 2011, DG), there is a dire need for similar studies focusing on how students of Aboriginal ancestry position themselves in the context of a Francophone minority school and classroom. Additionally, to help the shift from a monolingual paradigm to a plurilingual and pluricultural paradigm, it would be helpful to pursue further action research or case studies involving the implementation of different activities focused on plurilingualism – such as language awareness activities, creative visual and multimodal methods (Prasad, 2015), translation activities (Cummins, 2007), critical multimodal media literacy activities (Lebrun & Lacelle, 2011), and activities involving the use of dual-language books (Naqvi et al., 2013; Sneddon, 2008a, 2008b) – in classrooms at different levels in elementary and high schools, in order to develop a curriculum based on a plurilingual and pluricultural paradigm in Francophone minority schools. 166 References Ajayi, L. (2009). English as a second language learners' exploration of multimodal texts in a junior high school. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(7), 585–595. doi. 10.1598/JAAL.52.7.4 Allen, M. (2004). 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Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. 191 Appendices Appendix A – Coding manual Identity Positions and Positioning This coding manual is designed for data collected for a qualitative case-study research project with plurilingual students in a grade-6 classroom in a Francophone school in British Columbia. Linguistic Subject Positioning and Position The main constructs under investigation are subject positioning and identity position. Subject positioning is defined as a process of negotiation in which individuals, in interaction with other people, adopts, resists and offers subject positions (Benwell & Stokoe, 2006; Davies & Harré, 1990). These positions are located in and informed by Discourses (Davies & Harré, 1990; Gee, 1996, 2001, 2005). Identity position is what is being negotiated. There are multiple identity positions, which are enacted differently, negotiated across time and social contexts, and recognized (or not) by other individuals or groups. In this research, I focus on identity positions related to languages, what I refer to as linguistic identity positions. Tools used in Linguistic Subject Positioning Research suggests that individuals use linguistic resources to index their identities. Traditionally, in the literature on bilingualism, linguistic means of negotiation of identities included code-switching, code-mixing, language choice and language crossing (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). More recent research has worked on expanding the understanding of identity negotiation and suggested other linguistic means of negotiation of identities such as inventing and using new linguistic varieties, learning an additional language or literacy, appropriating new rhetorical strategies (e.g. Canagarajah, 2004), and creating new identity narratives (e.g. Blackledge, 2004) Multimodality and digital technologies are powerful tools for subject positioning and construction. Pahl and Rowsell (2006) argued that multimodal literacy “stretches out meaning” (p. 6) by offering a much wider range of modes, affordances, and media than literacy based solely on language (mode) and words on page (medium). Kress (1997) suggested that it is the “stuff we use to make texts which inscribes or embeds our identities into them” [emphasis in the original] (p. 33). 192 Codes Linguistic Subject Positioning and Position Ø Linguistic subject positions - French-Speaker - English-Speaker - Bilingual (French and English) - Plurilingual/ Speaker of L+ (someone who speaks a language other than French and/or English AND someone who speaks more than 2 languages) Ø Interactive positioning: Positioning of someone else (Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). In an interaction with a focal student, another participant in the study - accepts a position put forward by a focal student - challenges a position put forward by a focal student - puts forward a new position for the focal student - reinforces/supports a position put forward by a focal student - rejects a position put forward by a focal student Ø Reflexive positioning: Positioning of oneself (Davies & Harré, 1990; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004). A focal student - accepts an interactive position - builds on previous position in interaction - challenges an interactive position - puts forward an identity position - rejects an interactive position Ø Reasons for accepting, challenging, rejecting, putting forward, - French-only rule at school - Friendship (Interaction on topic not related to school work) - School work (Interaction on topic related to school, literacy activities) - Status of the language at school/in the classroom Legitimated (“Légitimée”) (Moore, 2006) vs. illegitimated Predominant (“Prédominante”) (Moore, 2006) vs. subordinate - Student’s status in the classroom Tools used in Linguistic Subject Positioning Linguistic Resources Used in Linguistic Subject Positioning A plurilingual speaker makes choices: to activate one or another or her languages in her repertoire (or a variety of a language) according to her interpretation of the situation she is in (e.g. her addressees, her communication objectives, the power or value given to her languages at various moments), but also according to the identity positions that local Discourses allows her to negotiate (Moore, 2006, p. 100-101). 193 Ø A focal student activates French from his/her linguistic repertoire Ø A focal student activates English from his/her linguistic repertoire Ø A focal student activates his/her L + (a linguistic resource other than French and English) from his/her linguistic repertoire Ø A focal student activates more than one of her/his linguistic resources in the same sentence. -French & English -French & another linguistic resource -English & another linguistic resource -French, English and one or more linguistic resource(s) Ø A focal student makes a reference to a language other than the one s/he is using at the moment (e.g. Explaining in French the title of a Russian song) Ø A focal student makes a reference to a cultural element, a country or an experience related to a language from his/her linguistic repertoire (e.g. Talking in English about a house in Poland) Multimodal and Digital Resources Used in Linguistic Subject Positioning Meanings are always made or created with more than one mode. Combinations of modes and media offer plurilingual students many possibilities for constructing identities. Ø Use of modes in subject positioning -Background -Written words - Colour -Effects -Images -Gesture and facial expression -Voice -Music and sounds (Adapted from Domingo, 2011a, 2011b, 2012; Hull and Nelson, 2005; Kress, 2003) Ø Use of media in subject positioning A medium is the substance in which meaning is realized. It is the technology used to make meaning available to others. -Keynote -Poster -Skype Ø Computer This subcategory is data-driven (Schreier, 2014) and was created by using inductive analysis (Thomas, 2006; Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009). Students often used English words in French sentences, or full English sentences when talking about topics related to computers or applications (e.g. talking about AirDrop or Photo Booth, when editing their slides in Keynote). 194 Appendix B – Individual semi-structured interviews with focal students List of Questions and Issues to Explore in Individual Semi-Structured Interviews With Focal Students Multilingual Students in Francophone Minority Schools: Identity Positioning in Digital and Multimodal Literacy events First Interview – Background Interview Name Age Where are you from? Have you always lived in Vancouver? Have you ever attended another school than this one? Are you a Canadian citizen, immigrant or refugee? What languages do you speak? Understand? Write? Read? Tell me about your family: How many people? Where do they live? How close are you to them? What do you like to do with them? Which languages do you use with your family? Etc. What are you hobbies? What do you like to do outside of school? Which languages do you use outside of school? In your hobbies? With your friends? What does it mean for you when someone says: I’m Francophone? Or I’m Anglophone? (And so on depending on the other languages the focal students speak, understand, read, and/or write). Is it associated with a country or a place where one lives? How important is it to speak French all the time to be a Francophone? Etc. (480) Describe how you use different languages in you daily life (418) How would you define the term multilingual? And so would you consider yourself multilingual? would you feel that there is a benefit to the multilingualism that you already have? How do you feel being in a multilingual environment like EAH? (Marshall & Moore, 2013) Which languages do you use at school? With whom? When? Why? 195 How do feel when you interact in French? In English? In Spanish? (And so on depending of the other languages they speak, understand, read, and/or write) When you go online, which of your languages are/is the most useful? Why? Does it influence your identity? That is, do you feel more (Francophone, Anglophone, etc.) when you go online? In which languages do you read or write? In which languages do you enjoy reading and writing the most? When you create a text online or on a computer, what do you use: words, sounds, images, videos, etc.? Do any of these modes are easier for you to use? Why? If you had to create a text which represents yourself and how you define yourself today, what would you do? What modes would you use? Which language(s) would you use? When you are at school, who are you? I mean, do you feel like a Francophone? Or an Anglophone? (And so on depending of the other languages spoken, understood, read and/or written by the focal students)? Or more than only Francophone or Anglophone? Or a mix? Is it different when you are at home? With your family? In your community? With your friends? Subsequent Interviews (Interview 2 to 4) In the subsequent interviews, the researcher and one focal student watch short videos made in class that feature the focal student interviewed. Issues and questions explored will therefore vary depending on the videos, but the following topics will serve as guidelines - Code-switching and code-mixing; - The negotiating of identity positions via adopting, claiming, offering, and/or rejecting the identity positions; - The uses of rhetorical strategies such as avoidance, accommodation, opposition, appropriation, and transposition (Canagarajah, 2004); - The creation of new identity narratives; - etc. 196 Appendix C – Individual semi-structured interviews with teachers List of Questions and Issues Individual Semi-Structured Interviews With Teachers First Interview – Background Interview Can you tell me little bit about each of the focal students: their personality, their likes and dislikes, the languages they use, their identities at school. What does it mean to you when someone says: I’m Francophone? Or I’m Anglophone? Is it associated with a country or a place where one lives? How important is it to speak French to be a Francophone? Do you think the focal students identify as Francophones? As Anglophones? (And so on depending of the other languages they speak, understand, read, and/or write)? Or more than one of these identities? Or a mix? Which languages do the focal students use at school? With whom? When? Why? When the focal students go online, which language(s) do you think are/is the most useful to them? Why? Does it influence their identity? In which languages do the focal students read or write? In which languages do you think they enjoy reading and writing the most? When they create a text online or with the help of digital technologies, what do the focal students use: words, sounds, images, videos, etc.? Do any of these modes are easier for them to use? Why? Can this influence how they define themselves? Their identities? Subsequent Interviews (Interview 2 to 5) In these interviews, the researcher and the teacher watch short videos filmed in class that feature one or more of the focal students. Issues and questions explored will therefore vary depending of the videos, but the discussion may focus on topics such as: - Instance of code-switching and code-mixing; - The negotiating of identity positions manifested in these videos via adopting, claiming, offering, and/or rejecting the identity positions; - The uses of rhetorical strategies such as avoidance, accommodation, opposition, appropriation, and transposition (Canagarajah, 2004); - The creation of new identity narratives; - etc. 197 Appendix D – Assent form for students (English) Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 September 16, 2013 ASSENT FORM (student) Multilingual Students in Francophone Minority Schools: Identity Positioning in Digital and Multimodal Literacy events Principal investigator Dr. Monique Bournot-Trites, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Co-investigators Dr. Theresa Rogers, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Geneviève Brisson, MA, PhD Candidate, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Dear student, We would like to invite you to participate in a research focusing on reading and writing activities using computers and other digital technologies. We are interested in how these activities may influence your identity; that is, the way you describe and define yourself in relation to language. Geneviève Brisson will conduct this research project for her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Monique Bournot-Trites and Dr. Theresa Rogers from the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. It will take place at the École Anne-Hébert during the 2013-2014 academic year. There are two kinds of participants in this research: regular participants and focal students. If you agree to participate as a regular participant you will be observed during regular classroom time, and Geneviève (the researcher) will film some in-class activities. She may also chat with you during school hours. Geneviève will conduct her research for 8 months, and will be in the classroom 2 to 3 days per week. Focal students are multilingual: they can interact or use 3 or more languages (e.g. French, English and Mandarin). If you agree to participate as a focal student, Geneviève will interview you 2 to 5 times (for less than an hour each time), observe you in the classroom, make some screen captures of your activities on your computer, and film 198 some in-class activities. The interviews will be recorded. During these interviews, Geneviève will ask questions about yourself (e.g. age, family, hobbies and interests, legal status as Canadian citizen, immigrant or refugee), about reading and writing activities and digital technologies, and how they relate to your personality and identity. She will also show you short videos of yourself filmed during classroom time and discuss them with you. The total time commitment expected of a focal student is 5 to 6 hours. Here are examples of questions you may be asked during these interviews: When you go online, which of your languages is the most useful? Why? Does it influence your identity? That is, do you feel more (Francophone, Anglophone, etc.) when you go online? In which part of your school and home life to you use each of your languages? During this research project, Geneviève will observe and question four focal students. If more than four students and their parents sign the consent and assent forms to act as focal students, we will need to select four using gender and language as criteria in order to have diversity in our sample. At the end of the project, all students in the classroom will take part in a celebration and will share snacks and drinks. Your identity will be kept confidential: we will not use your real name or any part of the videos in any published papers, reports or presentations. Snapshots of your activities on the computer may be used, but will not be identified with your name. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you may withdraw at any time without any consequences even after signing this form. Refusing to participate or deciding to withdraw will not affect your marks. Thank you in advance for your participation. Monique Bournot-Trites, Ph.D Theresa Rogers, Ph.D Geneviève Brisson, Ph.D Candidate 199 Statement of Assent (copy to keep) I assent / I do not assent (circle one) to participate in this study as (Check the boxes that apply to you) A regular participant A regular participant AND as a focal/multilingual participant Printed name Signature and date 200 This page should be returned to the your teacher before Friday September 20, 2013. Statement of Assent I assent / I do not assent (circle one) to participate in this study as (Check the boxes that apply to you) A regular participant A regular participant AND as a focal/multilingual participant Printed name Signature and date Please, keep pages 1 to 3 for your own record and return page 4 to your teacher. 201 Appendix E – Assent form for students (French) Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 16 septembre 2013 Formulaire d’assentiment (élève) Les élèves multilingues dans les écoles francophones en milieu minoritaire: identités, littératie et technologies numériques Chercheuse principale Dr Monique Bournot-Trites, Département Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Co-chercheuses Dr Theresa Rogers, Département Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Geneviève Brisson, MA, Candidate au doctorat, Département Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Chère élève, Cher élève, Nous aimerions t’inviter à participer à un projet de recherche sur l’utilisation des ordinateurs et autres technologiques numériques et les activités de lecture et d’écriture. Nous voulons étudier l’influence de ces activités sur ton identité, c’est-à-dire comment tu te décris et te définis par rapport à l’utilisation des langues. Ce projet de doctorat sera mené par Geneviève Brisson dans ta classe à l’école Anne-Hébert durant l’année scolaire 2013-2014. Ce projet est supervisé par Dr Monique Bournot-Trites et Dr Theresa Rogers du département Language and Literacy Education à l’université de la Colombie-Britannique. Tous les élèves de la classe peuvent participer à ce projet. Certains élèves seront des participants réguliers et quelques élèves seront choisis comme participants cibles multilingues. Comme participant régulier, Geneviève (la chercheuse) t’observera en classe durant les heures de cours et pourrait discuter avec toi en classe. Geneviève sera présente en classe pour faire de l’observation pendant 8 mois, à raison de 2 ou 3 jours par semaine. De plus, elle filmera certains cours. Les participants cibles multilingues sont des élèves qui peuvent interagir en 3 langues ou plus (ex. français, anglais et mandarin). Si tu participes à titre d’élève cible 202 multilingue, Geneviève t’observera en classe. Elle filmera certains cours et fera des captures d’écran d’ordinateur de certaines de tes activités. De plus, Geneviève te rencontrera 2 à 5 fois pour de courtes entrevues de moins d’une heure. Elle te posera des questions sur ton âge, ta famille, tes passe-temps et intérêts, ton statut en tant que citoyen canadien, immigrant ou refugié, etc. Tu discuteras aussi de l’importance des activités de lecture et d’écriture et des technologies numériques dans le développement de ton identité. Au cours de ces entrevues, Geneviève te présentera aussi de courtes vidéos faites en classe et en discutera avec toi. Toutes les entrevues seront enregistrées. Au total, chaque élève cible devra consacrer entre 5 et 6 heures à ce projet. Voici quelques exemples de questions qui pourraient t’être posées lors des entrevues : Quand tu vas sur le Web, laquelle ou lesquelles de ta/tes langue(s) est le plus utile(s)? Pourquoi? Est-ce que cela influence ton identité? C’est-à-dire, est-ce que tu te sens plus (Francophone, Anglophone, etc.) quand tu vas sur le Web? Quand tu es à l’école, quelle langue utilises-tu? À la maison? Au cours de ce projet, Geneviève pourra questionner et observer quatre participants cibles multilingues. Si plus de quatre élèves et leurs parents signent les formulaires de consentement et d’assentiment afin de participer à titre de participant cible, nous ferons une deuxième sélection suivant le sexe et les langues parlées afin d’avoir un échantillon diversifié d’élèves. À la fin du projet, tous les élèves seront invités à une célébration et partageront une collation. Ton nom ne sera mentionné dans aucun article, rapport ou présentations. De plus, nous n’utiliserons pas les vidéos faites en classe dans des articles, rapports ou présentations. Des captures d’écran pourraient être utilisées, mais ton nom n’y apparaîtra pas : elles seront anonymes. La participation à cette étude se fait sur une base volontaire. Tu peux décider de te retirer de l’étude à n’importe quel moment, même après la signature du formulaire de consentement. Le refus de participer ou le retrait de l’étude n’affectera nullement tes résultats scolaires. Merci Monique Bournot-Trites, Ph.D Theresa Rogers, Ph.D Geneviève Brisson, Candidate au doctorat 203 Assentiment (Copie à conserver) J’accepte / Je refuse (encercle ton choix) de prendre part à ce projet de recherche à titre de (fais un X dans la case appropriée) : À titre de participant régulier À titre de participant régulier ET de participant cible multilingue Nom du participant (lettres moulées) Signature et date 204 Assentiment Cette page doit être retournée avant vendredi 20 septembre 2013 à ton enseignante. J’accepte / Je refuse (encercle ton choix) de prendre part à ce projet de recherche à titre de (fais un X dans la case appropriée) : À titre de participant régulier À titre de participant régulier ET de participant cible multilingue Nom du participant (lettres moulées) Signature et date Tu dois garder les pages 1 à 3, et remettre la page 4 à ton enseignante. 205 Appendix F – Teacher consent form (English) Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 September 16, 2013 TEACHER CONSENT FORM Multilingual Students in Francophone Minority Schools: Identity Positioning in Digital and Multimodal Literacy events Principal investigator Dr. Monique Bournot-Trites, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Co-investigators Dr. Theresa Rogers, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Geneviève Brisson, MA, PhD Candidate, Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED). Dear teacher, We are writing to ask for your consent to take part in a study th
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Plurilingual and pluricultural subject positioning of plurilingual students in a Francophone minority… Brisson, Geneviève 2017
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