Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 8, No 2 (2014)

A case study of a Brazilian newcomer in a Luxembourgish school: understanding the role of Legitimate Peripheral Participation in identity development

Roberto Gómez Fernández
Issued Date: 31 Dec 2014


The aim of this paper is to better comprehend the learning processes contributing to the identity development of a 7-year old Portuguese-speaking newcomer in a multilingual primary school. Portuguese-speaking students constitute one of the ethnic and linguistic communities most affected by academic failure in Luxembourg. Furthermore, Newly Arrived Migrant Students (NAMS), as defined by the European Commission (2013), constitute a special-needs, understudied and ever-growing group in European schools today. Drawing on the Community of Practice framework applied to educational contexts (Morton, 2012), this research is a sociolinguistic ethnography focusing on educational resources. With an innovative application of Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP) and educational resources (linguistic, curricular, cultural), this paper contributes to current research on NAMS in multilingual schools. The results drawn to our attention not only the importance of the roles of both the teacher and classmates on the newcomer’s identity development and learning, but also the predisposition of the newcomer to participate and evolve in the new community of learners.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v8i2.293


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