In October 2013, I started a sociolinguistic-ethnographic study of pupils’ speech practices in Flanders (Belgium). From November 2013 until December 2014, I immersed myself into the daily school life of some forty 17-18 year old pupils in the 5th and 6th grade of general secondary education. I collected audio recordings of pupils’ speech, field notes based on observations and interview recordings with the pupils. All the recordings have been transcribed and I use interactional micro-analyses to analyse and interpret the data.
The research serves two goals. First, it will give a detailed description of the daily language use of the pupils in different school situations. I thereby mainly focus on intra- instead of interlinguistic variation. Second, I will try to discover the motivations the pupils have for using language as they do. Which linguistic resources do they use? Why do they use these specific resources in these situations? How do they use language in processes of social categorization? It is the aim of the research to answer these (and other) questions by the end of 2017.