“We shouldn’t stay in our little bubble… we need to go and swim a bit in other bubbles” an exploration of the theoretical, pedagogical and social dimensions of functional multilingual learning in a Brussels primary school.
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Background: I begin this thesis by completing the original quotation that lends itself to the title. It came from Myriam (a pseudonym), a ten-year-old girl born in Brussels to Ethiopian parents. She used a mix of French, Amharic and Tigrinya with her parents and three siblings at home, although her preferred and strongest language was French, the language she used everyday at school. Her statement was in response to my question about whether it was more important for her to share her languages with her peers or to learn and find out about theirs; her answer isemblematic of many of the questions I seek to address in this research.