31 SES 05 A, Teaching in Multilingual Classrooms: International Perspectives and Frameworks
This proposal is the outcome of on-going dialogue between academics in five countries - the U.S., Finland, England, France and Germany – each with its own political/historical context of migration, educational ideology, and patterns of linguistic, cultural and ethno-racial diversity – who are attempting to grapple with the question of how educators respond to the new, and existing diversity found in classrooms today. The focus of these discussions is to create a comparative research space around multilingualism and schooling, focusing on the challenges and opportunities faced in European and American classrooms, simultaneously highlighting areas of commonality and difference.
In light of policy concerns with ‘what works’, we assert the need to develop research perspectives and knowledge about multilingual learners that are informed by national and local contexts, but not limited to them. Arguably, as this roundtable suggests, the challenges faced here are global ones. This is therefore, an invitation to rethink our perspectives and frameworks on multilingualism and schooling. We will consider three themes.
The terminology used to describe multilingual learners across our countries is itself replete with historical and discursive significance. In the UK and France, there has been a move away from labels that emphasise what learners cannot do, towards more inclusive terms. In our discourses, we wish to embrace descriptions that state what pupils are and what they can do, which is communicate – with varying levels of competence – in more than one language; and unsettle the discursive relations implied by other deficit terms. As academics, we favour the use of ‘Multilingual Learner’ (MLL), as a heuristic term, which is sufficiently open to the diverse historical, political, socioeconomic, and educational contexts in which multilingual children are, and have been, educated. For the purposes of this roundtable, we consider multilingual learners to be those pupils who are engaging with a curriculum that is expressed in a language they have yet to master.
In France, England and the US, there is a longstanding awareness of the need to prepare beginning/new teachers for work in multilingual classrooms. Implementation has, however, been difficult, due to funding concerns and other educational priorities. In Finland, the need to offer ‘culturally responsive teaching’ informs pre-service and in-service training programmes. However, rapid changes in pupil demographics have undermined the consistency of such provision. In Germany, the DaZKom project, undertaken by colleagues, is developing a competency model and methodology to measure pre-service teachers’ competencies and beliefs in supporting MLLs.
Teachers' perceptions of their 'preparedness'
Evidence from each country indicates that educators (pre-service and in-service) do not feel equipped to meet the needs of pupils in linguistically diverse classrooms. Annual surveys of new teachers in the UK and research with teachers in Germany both highlight a lack of confidence among teachers in meeting the needs of MLLs. Similar concerns have informed work in Finland, where colleagues are using an online survey, based on one developed in the U.S., to extend their enquiry by exploring the levels of knowledge and personal/professional beliefs about effective MLL support in school. French teachers and academics have begun to consider the implications of this issue in their own education contexts. Moreover, it remains unclear how effectively teachers who claim to feel prepared are engaging with MLLs.
In conclusion, we anticipate that the substantive themes identified above will provide speakers from each country in this collaborative network with a discussion point around which to frame their contributions, and provide an opportunity to reflect on their respective experiences of developing an international and multidisciplinary research space on the topic of multilingualism in schools.
Germany Becker-Mrotzek, M., Hentschel, B., Hippmann, K. & Linnemann, M. (2012). Sprachförderung in deutschen Schulen – die Sicht der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer. Ergebnisse einer Umfrage unter Lehrerinnen und Lehrern. Durchgeführt von IPSOS (Hamburg) im Auftrag des Mercator-Instituts für Sprachförderung und Deutsch als Zweitsprache. Universität zu Köln. Blossfeld, H.-P., Bos, W., Lenzen, D., Müller-Böling, D., Oelkers, J., Prenzel, M. & Wößmann, L. (2007). Bildungsgerechtigkeit. Jahresgutachten 2007. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Hammer, S., Carlson, S., Ehmke, T., Koch-Priewe, B., Köker, A., Ohm, U., Rosenbrock, S. & Schulze, N. (2015): Kompetenz von Lehramtsstudierenden in Deutsch als Zweitsprache - Validierung des GSL-Testinstruments. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, Beiheft 61, S. 32-54. Hammer, S., Fischer, N., Koch-Priewe-B. (under review). Überzeugungen von Lehramtsstudierenden zu Mehrsprachigkeit in der Schule. DDS – Die Deutsche Schule, Beiheft 2016. France AUGER Nathalie (2011). Elèves nouvellement arrivés en France, Réalités et Perspectives pratiques en classe, Éditions des archives contemporaines. Circulaire n° 2012-141 du 2-10-2012, Organisation de la scolarité des élèves allophones nouvellement arrivés, Bulletin Officiel n° 37 du 11-10-2012. CHNANE-DAVIN Fatima (dir.) (2012), Le français langue seconde en milieu scolaire français ; le projet CECA, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble. Finland Acquah, E. O. (2015). Responding to changing student demographics in Finland: A study of teachers’ developing cultural competence. Dissertation: University of Turku Acquah, E.O., Tandon M. & Lempinen, S. (2015): Teacher diversity awareness in the context of changing demographics. European Educational Research Journal. Mansikka, J. E. & Holm, G. (2011): Teaching minority students within minority schools: Teachers’ conceptions of multicultural education in Swedish‐speaking schools in Finland. Intercultural Education, 22, S.133-144. USA Bunch, G. C. (2013) Pedagogical language knowledge preparing mainstream teachers for English learners in the new standards era. Review of Research in Education, 37(1), 298-341. Lucas, T., & Villegas, A. M. (2011). A framework for preparing linguistically responsive teachers. In T. Lucas (Ed.), Teacher preparation for linguistically diverse classrooms: A resource for teacher educators (pp. 55-72). New York: Routledge. Turkan, S., de Oliveira, L. S., Lee, O., & Phelps, G. (2014). Proposing a knowledge base for teaching academic content to English language learners: Disciplinary linguistic knowledge. Teachers College Record, 116. England Hollingworth, S. & Mansaray, A. (2012) Language Diversity and Attainment in Secondary Schools: A scoping study. London: Arvon NALDIC (2014) The National Audit of EAL training and development provision. London: NALDIC National College Teaching and Leadership (2015) Newly Qualified Teachers: Annual Survey 2015 research report.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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