A classroom-based investigation into pre-service EFL teachers evolving understandings of a plurilingual pedagogy to foreign language education

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Submission Summary

This paper presents findings of a classroom-based investigation into the professional development paths of five pre-service English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers, as they learned how to translate concepts of plurilingualism and plurilingual education studied at University into their situated practice in primary and secondary schools in Germany.

Submission ID :
AILA1468
Submission Type
Abstract :

In spite of ample research evidence indicating the need for a paradigm shift in language education, there is still a great discrepancy between the principles of plurilingual and intercultural education that the applied linguistics literature tries to promote and the reality of everyday language teaching and learning in schools. Research findings obtained in many parts of the world (e.g. Cutrim Schmid & Schmidt, 2017; Jakisch, 2014; Haukas, 2016; Ziegler 2013; De Angelis 2011; Stille, 2015) have shown that language teachers feel unprepared for dealing adequately with the complexity of linguistic diversity in the classroom. These research findings point towards the need for investigating the pedagogical gaps that need to be addressed in pre- and in-service teacher education. This paper presents findings of a classroom-based investigation into the professional development paths of five pre-service English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers, as they learned how to translate concepts of plurilingualism and plurilingual education studied at University into their situated practice in primary and secondary schools. Five case studies were carried out in four primary schools and one secondary school in Germany. Research data were collected via ethnographic research instruments namely classroom observations and field notes, video recording of school lessons, in-depth interviews with pre- and in-service teachers, pre-service teachers' reflective journals, anonymous questionnaires, and focus group interviews with learners. The study has produced findings that reveal important aspects of the development of teacher cognition in connection to the integration of plurilingual-inspired pedagogies into the EFL curriculum, the challenges associated with adopting an innovative approach to language education and the new competencies that are needed in this context.

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Professor
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University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd

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