Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

From bilingual programmes to integrated multilingual curricula

13 November 2014 - 13 November 2014
E.C. Stoner 7.73

Dr. Gabriela Meier (Exeter University)

Two-way immersion education, and other bilingual models, such as CLIL, constitutes one way of dealing with two languages in a school. While there is no doubt that there are many benefits associated with such bilingual programmes, I have observed that languages besides the languages of instruction that learners bring school are often ignored. Thus, I will first present two examples of two-way immersion education one in Berlin and one in London and summarise research findings from those contexts, including benefits and challenges. Taking one of the challenges as a starting point, I will present a recent document review that concludes that integrated multilingual curricula may be one way of integrating languages present in a school more fully. The documents reviewed comprise a number of proposals from Austria, France, Germany and the UK, and two actual plans, adopted by (local) governments to put this idea into practice in mainstream education in Luxembourg and in Switzerland. Based on these documents, I identified 10 orientations that guide the thinking and values behind these curricula. The orientations shared by all these documents were related to views on language learning, on language awareness and on collaboration. These and the remaining orientations identified in the documents will be presented as part of a framework that may serve as a starting point for a critical reflection on existing or prospective educational programmes in multilingual contexts.

All welcome

For further information please contact Judith Hanks

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