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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19124

Title: A Vicious Circle of Struggle and Survival: The Italian International Languages Program Stakeholders' Accounts and Practices
Authors: Mercurio- Berrafati, Maria
Advisor: Labrie, Normand
Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Keywords: Elementary international languages
second language
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2010
Abstract: This qualitative case study was initiated to identify the existing process present in the Italian International Languages Program in the Hamilton-Wentworth area of the Province of Ontario. The premise was to investigate the various school practices that surround the International Languages Program as well as the interests of the various stakeholders in order to interpret and explain the current policies and practices that characterizes the Program. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate a distinctive problematic area within the Italian International Languages Program through an exploratory qualitative case study. The conceptual framework for this study looks at Bourdieu‘s (1977) theory that language is an individual capital as well as a social capital for its linguistic market. The value of a language cannot be settled in linguistic terms: languages are linguistically equal; however, many argue that they are not socially equal (Bourdieu, 1977). This case study revealed precisely that language is not socially equal. Through this research, the process that exists within the Italian International Languages Program was revealed, along with the stakeholders‘ individual interests in the program. The International Languages Program is only worth what the people who speak it feel it is worth. iii The study population was selected purposefully including various categories of stakeholders in the program; school administrators, teachers, students, parents and the community at large. Selection of each individual participant was random. The information was analyzed through interpersonal qualitative methods that included the representations and accounts from the various stakeholders about the Italian International Languages Program. The stakeholders‘ views and comments were the analysis of the representative discourse. The most striking results from the study were the stakeholders‘ representations of a program whose very existence is bordering on survival and quickly heading for demise. Through the stakeholders‘ accounts and representations, it is clear that the Italian International Languages Program may no longer be viable. The study is a last attempt for the stakeholders to convey their reality of the program and to educate those that have the power to make a change.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19124
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning - Doctoral theses

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