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MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION. 3. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 2 . ENGLISH WORLD -WIDE. c. 4. e. a. 5. d. MULTILINGUAL TEACHING PROJECTS IN EUROPE. b. TEACHING ENGLISH AS A 3RD LANGUAGE . b. 2. LEARNING AND USING A 3RD LANGUAGE . a. CONCLUSION. CURRICULUM PLANNING . THE SPREAD OF E NGLISH IN E UROPE. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES.Multilingual Education TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION TO MULTILINGUALISM. c. WHY MULTILINGUALISM ? MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION. MULTILINGUALISM WITH ENGLISH IN EUROPE .
The inner circle includes those countries where English is the 1L for the majority of the population. Nigeria or the Philippines. World Language and Global Lingua Franca. such as Continental Europe. In many countries in the world English is identified as a foreign language with no official status. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 3 . INTRODUCTION TO MULTILINGUALISM. A) ENGLISH WORLD-WIDE. where English was used as the language of colonial administration and later became established as a second language. The expanding circle comprises those countries where English has no official status and is taught as a foreign language. This development has been most spectacular in those countries that in the past fell under British and latter North American rule. often enjoying official status as a co-official or even national language or as an administrative language. According to Kachru (1985. 3. World Englishes. Global Language. 2. As researches say ‘Half of the population of the world will be speaking and learning English by 2015’. Canada. China or South America. Australia and New Zealand.Multilingual Education 1. The United States of America. One of the most remarkable linguistic developments of the twentieth century has been the phenomenal spread of the English language to all parts of the globe. Some examples are India. The outer circle includes those countries where English is a 2L used at the institutional level as the result of colonization. Ireland. The terms which have emerged in connection with the world-wide spread of English include Global English. such as the United kingdom. International English. But English is not the only language spoken in these countries. at present English is learnt and taught as a third language in a growing number of countries world-wide. but is increasingly used as the language of wider communication as a result of British colonial power in the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth centuries and the dominance of the United States of America in the latter twentieth century. However. World English. 1992) the spread of English world-wide can be visualized in terms of three circles: 1.
either a sole one or as one of several. Regarding the implications at the psycholinguistic level. co-operation and mobility have led to an expansion in the European use of English. English is acquired by many individuals not only as a second language but also as a third or fourth language. This is the case of Continental Europe. More often than not English. and this development carries significant sociolinguistic. English begun to leave its mark in Europe after the WWII. Apart from these groups of people there are many ordinary European nationals for whom the use of English has become an indispensable part of their linguistic repertoire. the position of English has changed. B) THE SPREAD OF ENGLISH IN EUROPE.Multilingual Education The contact between English and other languages in the three circles and the spread of English In the outer expanding circles bears important sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic implications. the spread of English as a lingua franca threatens the traditional ownership of English as a property of its native speakers. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 4 . and above all American. As we have just mention. Sociolinguistically. and not the language of the country where they find themselves. internationalization. So. is used as a working language. The spread of English brings about the promotion of both societal and individual bilingualism and multilingualism. new non-native varieties have developed as the result of the contact of English and other languages. influence in post-war Europe. too. psycholinguistic and educational implications in Europe. Most European countries are located in the expanding circle where English is a foreign language with no official status but is increasingly used as a language of wider communication. Many interrelated factors have contributed to this situation of British. Contrary to what happened to other continents. At the same time.
It shares characteristics of British and American English but presents some differences when compared to native varieties. to the predominance of subtitled. for the simple reason that virtually everybody has exposure to the language in the former. psychological or sociological approaches which define multilingualism in terms of the speaker’s attitudes toward or identification with two or more languages. Functional definitions are based on functions that the use of language serves for the individual or the community. groups and individuals to engage. This model is presented in Northern Europe as a second language or lingua franca.Multilingual Education C) MULTILINGUALISM WITH ENGLISH IN EUROPE. in Southern Europe as a foreign language. institutions. with more than one language in their day-to-day lives’ (European Commission 2007). English is becoming a second rather than a foreign language because it is the main language of communication among European citizens. and also. Thus. German is the European language which has been influenced more than any other by English. In the continental Europe English has become established as the world’s most prominent language of international communication. where. a European non-native variety of English called Euro-English is emerging. Social. Skuttnab-Kangas (1984) identified four types of definitions of multilingualism: Definitions by origin view multilingualism as a developmental phenomenon. But. Definitions by competence use linguistic competence in two or more languages as a criterion. Different patterns can be seen in terms of when. in Central Europe as a foreign language but becoming a lingua franca and in Eastern Europe as having gained importance since the fall of the Iron Curtain. According to Hoffman (2000) due to the increasingly extensive use of English in Europe we can speak of societal and individual multilingualism. Belgium and the Netherlands the English language has acquired a higher profile than anywhere else in Europe. Multilingualism with English in Europe is very varied. and there has been an almost universal adoption of teaching English as a first foreign language in schools. due to their relatively small size and their dependence on international trade and collaboration. on a regular basis. In the case of the European Union. In the countries with Romance languages English has been expanding at a slower rate. why and to what degree of competence English is acquired and used alongside other languages. In Scandinavia. how. rather than dubbed English programmes on their television channels. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 5 . acquiring growing significance in education and the job market. how can we define the term ‘multilingualism’? Multilingualism has been defined as ‘the ability of societies. A distinction has to be made between the societal and individual bilingualism and multilingualism existing in the British Isles and that encountered elsewhere in Europe.
It is important here to highlight the difference between second language acquisition or SLA and third language acquisition or TLA. Some of them are the relationships between language aptitude. In the case of TLA the variety of possible combinations of the two contexts may increase. language anxiety attitude and motivation. Furthermore the acquisition process can be interrupted by the process of learning another language and restarted again. can potentially exert influence on the acquisition of a third language. the level of proficiency. self-confidence. language learning strategies. 4. 3. The three languages can be acquired simultaneously. This can be applied to all three languages involved. regarding TLA Cenoz (2000) claimed that at least four acquisition routes can be observed: 1. the cultural similarity. The individual or psychological factors influencing the process of learning several languages is already enormous and their interplay very complex. LEARNING AND USING A 3 RD LANGUAGE. In fact. The individual factors guiding the acquisition processes in the multilingual learner. Two languages are acquired simultaneously before learning the 3L. This failure is linked with cross-linguistic influence (CLI). such as: a) b) c) d) The various routes of acquisition third language learning can take. that is. there exist some phenomena such as the loss or attrition of one of the languages. the recency of use and the status of 2L in TLA. Consequently. The different learning contexts. but not by bilingualism. since TLA differs in many aspects from learning a second language. TLA is not only more complex but also requires different skills on the learner. Two languages are learnt simultaneously after the acquisition of the 1L. metalinguistic awareness and communicative ability. Several predictors of CLI have been identified. 2. metalinguistic awareness. etc… The contexts in which SLA and TLA take place can be either naturalistic or formal or a combination of both. The psychological and linguistic effects that the interaction between the languages can produce. Williams and Hammarberg (1998) presented some influential criteria in the relationship between the languages in 3L production and acquisition in order to describe the mechanisms governing CLI: the typological similarity between the languages. Firstly. The three languages can be learnt consecutively. This complex nature of TLA is linked to several variables.Multilingual Education 2. Regarding the linguistic and psychological interaction between the languages in the multilingual learner. Whereas in SLA the 2L can be learnt either after the 1L or at the same time. In addition. SLA. the process of learning and the product of having learnt a second language. field dependence. the term TLA and trilingualism can be seen as covered by the term multilingualism. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 6 . most studies on general proficiency indicate a positive effect of bilingualism on TLA and that this effect can be explained as related to learning strategies.
Nevertheless. TLA in the school context and trilingual education are not new phenomena but are becoming more widespread. language acquisition and language use by individual learners at school but schools are necessarily linked to the society in which they are located. The aim of the European Commission is that all European citizens have practical skills in three languages: their mother tongue and two more. standards for different stages of language learning allowing for international comparison in learning and evaluation (Council of Europe. it can improve individual cognitive skills and develop first language skills. It is considered that languages have a cultural value and provide a sense of identity. At the individual level. The ELP (www. Multilingual education. Schools are not only influenced by society but can also have an important effect on society. It is possible to study language processing. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 7 . Accomplishing this calls for complex educational planning in order to accommodate multiple linguistic aims. like bilingual education. Multilingualism can also make European citizens more aware of other cultures. one of the key factors of multilingual proficiency.Multilingual Education 3. According to Cenoz and Genesee (1998) multilingual education consists on educational programmes that use languages other than the L1s as media of instruction (although some teach additional languages as school subjects) and they aim for communicative proficiency in more than two languages. It has established the European Centre for Modern Languages and developed some key instruments for language learning such as the European Language Portfolio (ELP) or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). According to the European Commission (2005). curricular materials. A) WHY MULTILINGUALISM? It is suggested that one of the main goals in future language teaching should be to foster linguistic awareness. MULTILINGUAL EDUCATION.int/portfolio) is a document where personal language learning experience is recorded and the CEFR is a tool for setting. 2002).coe. B) MULTILINGUAL SCHOOLING For many children all over the world learning a third language at school is a common experience. can take different forms because it is necessarily linked to the sociolinguistic context in which it takes place and has to take account of the relative status and use of the languages involved. The Council of Europe also fosters multilingualism. Both instruments have been developed to promote multilingualism and language learning. multilingual education can present additional challenges above and beyond those encountered in bilingual education because it is much more complex. in the classroom. The study of multilingualism in education can bring different perspectives together. and increase European mobility. and teaching strategies within the framework of limited school schedules. multilingualism has advantages in many different ways.
This also requires that the roles of L1 and L2 in L3 have to be redefined by raising awareness of the existing potential for competencies in other languages. the use of previous foreign language learning Laura Becerra Calabria Page 8 . As far as the contextual variables is concerned. Such a reductionist perspective also implies that a classroom is not viewed as a multilingual context because teachers simply ignore the fact that their students have been in contact with other languages and have already built a repertoire of language learning strategies and an enhanced level of metalinguistic awareness. At the micro level it is important to take into account the social network students have. they do not allow any code-switching or any other mention of the students’ mother tongue or other languages in the curriculum. CURRICULUM PLANNING The importance of knowing an international language of wider communication has also influenced curriculum planning. This stands in contrast to new developments in both multilingualism research and teaching. which propose to move away from isolation towards cooperation between the languages in the learner. We can look at two different levels: the macro level and the micro level. gender and anxiety or socioeconomic status. The specific variables related to languages include: C) the use of the different languages as subjects and languages of instruction the introduction of languages at different ages. At the macro level we can consider the relative vitality of the languages used at school and / or spoken by the students in society at large. That is. Educational variables in multilingual education comprise those related to education in general and those which are specifically linked to the teaching and learning of languages. the sociolinguistic environment in which a bilingual and multilingual school is placed is very important. teachers’ degree of multilingualism and specific training use of languages in the school environment. such as the typological distance between the languages already known by the speaker and the target language could be influential in the acquisition process. Clyne (2003) suggested a language-centered approach which means that a relationship through and with a language should be developed. In this way they waste valuable resources for creating synergies and new qualities. attitudinal variables and motivation. the linguistic characteristics of the languages.Multilingual Education Multilingual education can be affected by a large number of individual and contextual variables. Most language teachers still treat each curricular language as an isolated unit. Apart from the linguistic distance. Among the individual variables that can affect language acquisition and language use we could include aptitude. In this vein.
It implies that English is losing its ‘foreignness’ and it is developing structural commonalities characterizing the lingua franca in its various contexts. one of the most difficult aims of future work on language teacher education will be to make sure that language teachers are experts on multilingualism. the increasing number of speakers of English as a lingua franca (ELF) presents a crucial factor in the growth of global multilingualism. such as textbooks. The more English is used as a lingua franca or third language on a daily basis. and this change should also be taken into account in teaching (Jenkins 2000). To the contrary. But this does not imply that students should stop learning other languages. result of recent studies show that the number of strategies employed by multilingual speakers seems to increase with linguistic experience and language proficiency in the various languages in contact. there exists the debate over the native versus non-native teacher in a multilingual context. Besides. since it serves to activate and support cognitive processes for further learning and it could serve as cognitive foundation for contrastive learning and reflection on language learning. ideally equipped with common terminology for all languages. Today. recent statistics show that English will be learned together with other languages.Multilingual Education experiences and strategies as well as the development of skills to compare. including English in the curriculum of schools in a non-English speaking environment seems to be necessary and is also welcomed by both parents and students. transfer and infer should be fostered in TLA (Hufeisen 2005). Such an approach also implies that prior linguistic knowledge of students can be exploited and not regarded as some kind of negative. interfering and destructive force that hinders the language learning process. It has been agreed that the non-native teacher has to be accepted as a teacher in her/ his own right because the students can profit from skills and abilities which are based in his / her linguistic background and language learning experience. one of the areas calling for further research directly relates to the development of multilingual materials. it seems that the ideal language teacher has also experienced language learning and can pass on and use this knowledge in the classroom. the facilitative role that transfer can play in language learning is not disputed any longer but has become widely acknowledged together with the cognitive benefits of contact with two and more languages in general. even if they teach only one language. This language learning experience should be complemented by the study of language acquisition research as part of teacher education. but it is different as it is being increasingly used as a lingua franca. Yet. D) TEACHING ENGLISH AS A 3L At first sight English as a third language might be seen as a variant of English as a foreign language. Also. the more it seems to be developing different characteristics from English as a foreign language. at least in the European context. That is to Laura Becerra Calabria Page 9 . Therefore. Also. Regarding the role of a multilingual teacher. Thus.
The implementation of the acquisition of English into an all-embracing concept of language learning and language education towards multilingualism and multiculturalism can only be successful if the appropriate restructuring also takes place in teacher education. in order to assist the challenge of creating a multilingual Europe the Council of Europe has established The European Centre of Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz. the EuroCom (European Comprehension) project (www. The role of English in all educational efforts aiming at multilingualism in Europe is very special. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 10 . English is seen as necessary for wider communication and there are different approaches to teach English and other foreign languages at school.at) whose mission is to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and to help learning and teaching of languages more effectively. CLIL has received strong support from European institutions such as the European Union. One of the most important developments in foreign language teaching is CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). Austria (www. developed in Europe in the nineties and influenced by socio-constructivist ideas. CLIL includes a wide range of teaching practices but the idea is to take content from other subjects and academic disciplines so that students pay attention to the content and to the language at the same time. mainly concerning primary and secondary schooling. But the results of multilingualism research suggest that more concern should be directed to decisions concerning the status of languages in the language learning process. E) MULTILINGUAL TEACHING PROJECTS IN EUROPE Over the last decade. Also.ecml. Very often institutions and their representatives are not aware of the linguistic background of their pupils or students so that it appears to be unimportant whether a language is taught as a first or second foreign language. Furthermore.Multilingual Education say. at least within their own language family. The development of methods concentrating on raising language awareness in the school context has just begun and it will certainly take some time to establish them in modern curricula. a number of projects have been initiated within Europe. due to the efforts of the council of Europe to foster plurilingualism. have clearly been stimulated by the language awareness movement.de) aims to provide European citizens with a solid linguistic basis for understanding each other.eurocomfrankfurt. and the stimulating influence of the language awareness movement on some projects on multilingual learning in Europe is clearly visible. Both language and content are equally important. As the most well-known. the ‘focus on for’ approach and the language awareness movement. other projects in several European countries. it could contribute essentially to the development of linguistic awareness in multilingual learners.
language teaching in general could profit from the experiences of L3 teaching. learners and teachers as learners.Multilingual Education 4. portfolios of some other form of linguistic background documentation should be obligatory in the classroom so that the advantages or positive effects of multilingualism can be identified and eventually taken advantage of. Laura Becerra Calabria Page 11 . it is clear that the implementation of all the necessary changes. Second. Most of all this work entails developing linguistic awareness in teachers. In this way an awareness of the students’ multilingualism can be provided for both teachers and fellowstudents. languages being taught in the classroom need to be linked in order to profit from the synergies and to exploit the resources that many of the pupils already have available through the prior language knowledge. presents a major challenge for future multilingual education. In this way. as well as assessing multilingual proficiency. The implementation of concepts related to third language teaching is needed not only as an essential part of multilingual education but also of language teaching in general. CONCLUSION To bring this dissertation to a conclusion it seems that a great deal of work on multilingual education still needs to be done. concerning both learning and teaching a 3L. First. In sum.
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