31 SES 13 A, Teachers’ Practice and Subject Knowledge for Teaching Multilingual Learners: International perspectives on linguistically responsive pedagogy as a resource for inclusion
In this symposium we bring together perspectives from The Netherlands, Finland, England and The United States, on the nature of teachers’ subject knowledge and on their practice for teaching multilingual learners. Drawing on our research in four countries on two continents we ask:
1) What are the features of effective pedagogy for multilingual learners?
2) To what extent are teachers aware of and able to embrace these principles for their teaching?
3) What are the implications for policy-makers, school leaders and researchers in developing inclusive practice for multilingual learners in classrooms?
In reflecting on outcomes from our research we frame discussion through the notion of the linguistically responsive teacher (Lucas et al, 2008) as a resource for the inclusion of migrant children in classrooms. Furthermore we present an overview of the tensions and successes inherent in developing language-rich classroom environments which have resonance across Europe, and beyond, as teachers grapple with rising levels of migration and the linguistic diversity that this brings to schools.
The first three papers compare outcomes from a survey designed and used initially in the United States (Milbourn et al, 2017) which was adapted and delivered in both Finland (Alisaari et al, submitted) and England (Flynn & Curdt-Christiansen, 2017). This instrument was structured using the principles of linguistically responsive teaching (Lucas et al, 2008) and survey questions examined how far teachers of multilingual learners are aware of effective practice for additional language acquisition in content classrooms. Moreover, the survey items explored teachers’ beliefs about and attitudes towards the teaching of multilingual learners, and the changes that need to be made at both classroom and whole-school level to accommodate multilingual children’s needs both culturally and linguistically.
Outcomes from the three surveys have specific in-country differences that are interesting of themselves, but they also make possible some generalisation of what the issues are across nations for the teaching workforce teaching multilingual learners. Furthermore, the relationship, or disconnect, of policy and practice is evident in teachers’ responses and this allows us to consider cross-national policy and training implications for linguistically responsive pedagogy.
In the fourth paper, outcomes from a large-scale study of newly-arrived migrant children in The Netherlands and Belgium, The EDINA project, offers a different perspective on multilingual pedagogies. This paper complements the first three papers in that it takes the notion of the linguistically responsive teacher forward through to the practical application of effective teaching for multilingual learners using a structured approach to teacher education and whole school development.
Discussion will highlight implications for policy makers, practitioners and researchers interested in averting the potential exclusion of migrant children in monolingually-oriented education systems across Europe and beyond.
Alisaari, J., Heikkola, L. M. & Acquah, E. O. (submitted). Kielitietoisuutta vai empatiaa? Opettajien käsityksiä kielestä ja kielitaidon kehittymisestä [Language awareness or empathy? Teachers’ perceptions of language and the development of language skills]. Kasvatus. Flynn, N. & Curdt-Christiansen, X-L (2017) Intentions versus Enactment: Language Policy and Practice for English Language Learners in England, paper presented at the ECER 2017 conference, Copenhagen, Denmark Le Pichon, E., Baauw, S., Van Erning, R. (2016). Country report: The Netherlands. https://edinaplatform.eu Lucas, T., Villegas, A. M. & Freedson-Gonzalez, M (2008) “Linguistically Responsive Teacher Education: Preparing Classroom Teachers to Teach English Language Learners”, Journal of Teacher Education, 59 (4), 361 – 373 Milbourn, T., Viesca, K.M., & Leech, N. (2017, April). Measuring linguistically responsive teaching: First results. Paper presented at the American Educational Researchers Association. San Antonio, TX
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
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
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Network 10. Teacher Education Research
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Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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