ERG SES D 13, Language and Education
Defined by Giddens (1990, p. 64) as “intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa”, globalization has been most frequently used term recently. The concept of “globalization” has a wide and deep impact on any field like such as politics, trade, technology, tourism, culture, sports etc. Edward N. Lorenz’s famous paper title summarizes globalization in a sentence: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set of a Tornado in Brazil?” Within all these impacts, it is ineluctable for language learning and language teaching to receive their share. “Globalization changes the conditions in which language learning and language teaching take place” (Block and Cameron, 200, p.22) and this situation lead to a paradigm shift by means of teaching and learning a language. Not only language learning and teaching approaches or curricula but also language teachers need to play a significant role in this paradigm shift. Block (2004, p.75) cites this as “for language teachers around the world the question is how discussions about globalization taking place in sociological circles relate to their overall approach to language teaching, and to their day to day practice.” As globalization brought some other concepts with itself like multilingualism, multiculturalism or plurilingualism, pluriculturalism; these terms are encountered in curricula, course books and inevitably in classroom activities.
In 2001, Language Policy Unit of European Council published a restructured version of Common European Framework of reference for language learning, teaching and assessment (CEFR). In the framework, European Council Committee of Ministers’ recommendation (98) 6 is one of the actions in the field of modern languages described as “to meet the needs of a multilingual and multicultural Europe by appreciably developing the ability of Europeans to communicate with eachother across linguistic and cultural boundaries which requires a sustained, lifelong effort to be encouraged, put an organized footing and financed at all levels of education by the competent bodies” (p. 3)
The concept of plurilingualism has a significant role in Council of Europe’s approach to language learning. CEFR specifies its perception concerning the aim of language learning as “to develop a linguistic repertory in which all linguistic abilities have a place” (p.5) This kind of perception quite differs from a -now- more conventional perception which means learning one, two or three languages and mastering them in an isolated way. Thus, a language learner should be equipped with not only multilingual but also plurilingual competence. Plurilingual competence has itself to be seen in the pluricultural competence.
As it is the responsibility of educational institutes to give students the opportunity to develop a plurilingual and pluricultural competence, “the responsibilities of teachers cannot simply be confined to the attainment of a given level of proficiency in a particular language at a particular moment in time” (CEFR, 5). Teachers should possess the awareness about the concepts of plurilingualism and pluriculturalism.
Therefore the purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of pre-service language teachers’ perceptions about plurilingualism and pluriculturalism. In this respect, the research questions are as follows:
- What are the perceptions of pre-service language teachers concerning plurilingualism?
- What are the perceptions of pre-service language teachers concerning pluriculturalism?
- What are the perceptions of pre-service language teachers concerning plurilingual competence?
- What are the perceptions of pre-service language teachers concerning pluricultural competence?
Block, D. (2004). “Key Concepts in ELT Globalization and Language Teaching”, ELT Journal, Volume 58/1, Oxford University Press, 75-77. Block D. and D. Cameron (2002).Globalization and Language Teaching. London: Routledge. ----- (2001) Common European Framework of reference for language learning, teaching and assessment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Wilkinson, S. (2004). Focus group research. D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative research theory, method and practice (s. 177-199). London-Thousand Oaks-New Delhi: Sage Publications. Yin, R. K. (2003) Case study research: Design and methods. (3rd ed.), Sage Publications.
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