5dez 2022
06:30 UTC

Having a ‘migration background’ in German schools

On the basis of eight interviews of about one hour with multilingual women aged 16-23 who speak German and Turkish, we show how young women who are constructed as ‘with migration background’ partially align with, but also challenge teachers’ expectations regarding their use of German. Specifically, we show that because of their perceived ethnicity, the interviewees are viewed as ‘having an accent’ or ‘using non-standard German’ across contexts, especially at school. We propose that in order to value heteroglossic repertoires, a shift from the speakers to the addressees need to take place. In doing so, we argue that while giving students ‘with migration background’ the tools to navigate heteroglossic repertoires is still necessary, these speakers remain subjected to judgements on their ways of speaking, no matter how competent they are in standard German.