Author: Essi d’Almeida
Date of Publication: September 2016
Series Title: Scottish Languages Review Issue 31
Notes: DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.3806577
This article originates from the findings of an ethnographic research which explored the perceptions and experiences of pupils learning a modern language in a school in England. All pupils in Key Stage 2 (primary, aged 7-11), including those identified with special educational needs, are entitled to study a modern language as part of the school curriculum. Thus, in the classroom, differentiation is a must. This means that learning activities are designed to provide for all abilities and ensure proficiency in the target language. This article draws on a combination of Bourdieu’s concepts of capital and habitus, and Nussbaum’s central human capabilities as theoretical tools to gain insights into the second language classroom, a learning environment where the learners’ abilities and needs are diverse. The findings highlight nuanced distinctions that can be missed as language learning in the classroom is often met with resistance, reluctance or compliance more so than enthusiasm or enjoyment.