European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 239–254 | Cite as

Transitions in the representation and implementation of a language-learning project within a multicultural context

  • Francesco ArcidiaconoEmail author
  • Sheila Padiglia
  • Céline Miserez-Caperos


The paper explores the involvement of teachers, children, and parents in a project based on learning a second language (L2) within a multicultural context. The study accounts for the participants’ transitions across school and family and aims to analyze their representations about the implementation and the adaptation of the project. The investigation involves three classes of primary schools—1st and 2nd levels—and two kindergarten classes, for a total of 15 teachers, 169 children aged 3–7 years old, and their families, living in French-speaking areas of Switzerland and representing 20 different nationalities. By combining different data sources (teachers’ and parents’ interviews, ethnographic observations of children’s activities), we explore how participants have implemented an educational program through various adaptations in their transition from a traditional way of teaching/learning L2 to a new model inspired by the Narrative Format. Through an inductive approach and a qualitative analysis of data, we present the main evidences of these transitions, detecting the conditions that facilitate the acquisition of languages and accounting for arguments connected to the heterogeneous, conditional, and context-dependent knowledge within and outside the school.


Multiculturalism Second language Narrative format Transition Inclusion 



We are grateful to the European Commission for the financial support and to the participant schools and families for their engagement. The present paper and its content remain under the responsibility of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Arcidiacono
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sheila Padiglia
    • 1
  • Céline Miserez-Caperos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Teacher Education BEJUNEBiel/BienneSwitzerland

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