Abstract

Language teaching is changing throughout Europe as a result of increasing migration, cultural diversity and multilingualism. The MARILLE project is concerned with the language of instruction in schools, which is usually also the official national language. So we will be looking at the teaching of German in Austria, English in Great Britain, or Hungarian in Hungary, and we are calling this “majority language teaching”. Teachers of these subjects have usually had less training than, for example, teachers of foreign languages, in teaching a language as a second language or in developing the plurilingual repertoire of their pupils. MARILLE’s aim is to explore and compare successful strategies for handling this new situation, at the classroom and school level, and to share examples of effective practice. The outcome should be a collection of resources and examples which will support teachers in multilingual classrooms, as well as a catalogue of principles and ideas for promoting plurilingualism in the majority language classroom.

The project deals with the strategies and methods different countries have found to integrate plurilingualism into the school subject conventionally dedicated to majority language (ML) teaching in secondary schools. Today, children are bringing many different languages to school. This means that the concept of teaching the language of instruction (LI) has to move away from L1 teaching and has to integrate elements of L2 teaching for the benefit of those whose L1 is different from the LI. LI/ML-teaching also has to be integrated into plurilingual education concepts like language across the curriculum and language awareness. The project would look at the development of LI/ML-instruction in secondary schools in ECML member states to find out about the strategies employed by classroom teachers. How are these strategies related to the national/regional/local situation? Which strategies could be transferred to other contexts? How have curriculum reform, teacher in- and pre-service training and actual classroom practice dealt with the challenges of multilingual societies and plurilingual students? The objective is to identify, describe and operationalise change management strategies on how to implement a "plurilingual turn" to redefine ML-instruction.

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