Addressing diversity: A (research) framework for inclusive language teaching

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Submission Summary

The featured talk will present premises of a research-based framework of inclusive practices in language teaching/learning scenarios. Based on the premise that learner diversity functions as an asset in language classrooms, the review of research is going to address challenges of inclusive practices for learners, classroom and curriculum design, and teacher education.

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Foreign language classrooms have traditionally been considered to address diversity through the construction of foreignness, fostering intercultural learning, and the creation of thirdness by means of cultural items and topics. These classrooms integrate a wide range of skills and competences which also offer different approaches and means of differentiation and individualization. Yet, despite its potential for inclusive practices, addressing the growing diversity of learners has become a major challenge for language teachers, curriculum and materials designers. Therefore, the featured talk is going to give an overview on inclusive foreign language teaching based on a state-of-the-art review of research into the matter. Due to a sharp rise in the number of projects on a national level, it will exhibit German research in particular and categorize the results as well as best practice examples that can help structure language learning settings according to inclusion and diversity principles. The goal is to present approaches to differentiation in foreign language learning settings in terms of (potentially inclusive) methodology including teacher training, curriculum design, and supportive structures (e.g. through special education). The results presented may provide premises for a framework for the symposium to discuss and foster current and future endeavours in the field of inclusive foreign language teaching and learning.

University of Wuppertal

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