31 SES 07 A, Interventions for Multilingual Education: What Works in Including Home Languages in European Education
Friesland is a bilingual province in the north of the Netherlands, in which linguistic diversity is currently increasing. Pupils have a range of different home languages: next to the majority language Dutch, there is the regional minority language Frisian, many regional dialects and a growing number of migrant languages. In addition to these languages, teachers in secondary education have to deal with at least three foreign languages in the curriculum (English, French and German). Although there is much evidence that shows that the inclusion of pupils’ home languages has positive effects on pupils’ social and cognitive development as well as their educational attainment (see i.a. Cummins, 2008; Sierens & van Avermaet, 2014), the monolingual self-understanding of most secondary schools leads to language separation pedagogies and an exclusion of pupils’ home languages from instruction. The presentation will focus on the Holi-Frysk project, which addresses some of the challenges that teachers in highly diverse settings face, namely, how to include all these home languages in their classrooms in addition to the other languages in the curriculum. Moreover, the project aims to improve teachers’ and pupils’ attitudes towards multilingualism. The presentation will present data from questionnaires conducted within the project, showing that negative attitudes towards Frisian and migrant-induced multilingualism are widespread, especially among pupils. Most pupils prefer English or Dutch over Frisian and regional dialects; they feel these languages are nicer to listen to and more important to speak. The need to improve these attitudes is also evident from the fact that 37% of the pupils claims to sometimes feel ashamed when speaking Frisian in public. Within the Holi-Frysk project a holistic multilingual intervention (Duarte & Günther-van der Meij, 2018) was developed and implemented. This intervention aims to a) improve the attitudes from teachers and pupils towards the regional minority language Frisian and multilingualism in general, and b) provide teachers with tools to make the classroom more inclusive and acknowledge the pupils’ diverse languages and backgrounds. This talk will also provide examples of the classroom activities that are part of this intervention and show whether we find changes in attitudes (measured by questionnaires and interviews) and behavior (measured by observation of classroom interactions) from teachers and pupils.
Cummins, J. (2008). BICS and CALP: Empirical and theoretical status of the distinction. Encyclopedia of language and education, 2(2), 71-83. Duarte, J., & Günther-van der Meij, M. (2018). A holistic model for multilingualism in education. EuroAmerican Journal of A pplied Linguistics and Languages, 5(2), 24-43. Sierens, S., & Van Avermaet, P. (2014). Language diversity in education: Evolving from multilingual education to functional multilingual learning. Managing diversity in education: Languages, policies, pedagogies, 204-222.
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