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1 Pedagogical principles and multilingual education: Contradictions and new directions for research and practice Carol Benson, Ph.D Centre for Teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Pedagogical principles and multilingual education: Contradictions and new directions for research and practice Carol Benson, Ph.D Centre for Teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Pedagogical principles and multilingual education: Contradictions and new directions for research and practice Carol Benson, Ph.D Centre for Teaching and Learning (UPC) Stockholm University

2 2 Organization of the discussion 1. Background 2. Paradox: How to reconcile the knowns in bi/multilingual and revitalisation programs 3. Updating pedagogical practices: New directions with relevance for Europe

3 My background: Mother tongue-based bi/multilingual education in developing countries Mozambique: Implementing in 16 languages Vietnam: Initiating pilot in 3 languages 3

4 Inspiration… Hornberger, Nancy (ed) (2008) Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages? Policy and Practice on Four Continents. Hampshire/ New York: Palgrave Macmillan. What education does or can do to bring forward (Hornberger & King 1996) languages that have been marginalized throughout history, in no small part by formal schooling systems. 4

5 MTBMLE & Revitalisation ed. In common: Empowerment of non- dominant languages & cultures through education Empowerment of non- dominant languages & cultures through education Desire to make education & society more equitable Desire to make education & society more equitable Similar efforts required for both: Teacher training Teacher training Development of NDLs in written form Development of NDLs in written form Elaboration of bi/multilingual curriculum & materials Elaboration of bi/multilingual curriculum & materials 5

6 The paradox: 2 knowns 1. It is optimal for learning if the childs best language(s) are used for beginning (and continuing) literacy development and general learning. 2. Schooling is a major force for saving languages lost (or in the process of being lost) through ignorance, neglect, denial or systematic underdevelopment. 6

7 Reconciling the pedagogical principles: Teaching through a non-dominant language MTBMLE uses the learners mother tongue, i.e. a language in which he/she is highly competent. Revitalisation education uses the learners heritage language, which relates to culture/identity but not necessarily language competence. 7

8 8 Widely accepted principles (Cummins, Krashen, Bialystock, Baker, Swain…) 1. Importance of L1 development Oral competence = effective initial literacyOral competence = effective initial literacy L1 medium for understanding academic contentL1 medium for understanding academic content 2. Need for appropriate L2 learning Time required to develop oral competenceTime required to develop oral competence Second/foreign language teaching methodsSecond/foreign language teaching methods Sheltered/bilingual methods for content instructionSheltered/bilingual methods for content instruction 3. L1 as foundation for L2 learning 4. Transfer can be facilitated Transfer goes in all directionsTransfer goes in all directions

9 9 Addressing the paradox 1. Strengthen understandings of the pedagogical & cognitive basis for bi/multilingual education 2. Plan and conduct teaching from a realistic platform

10 Student language competence, homogeneous situation Non-dominant LDominant L Either 1 or 2 Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing LEARNER grp 1 100% incominglow---high--- LEARNER grp 2 100% incominghigh---low--- AIM high

11 Student language competence, heterogeneous situation Non-dominant LDominant L 1 mixed class Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing LEARNERS 60% incoming 40% incoming low high --- high low --- AIM high

12 Student language competence, heterogeneous situation Non-dominant LDominant L 1 mixed class Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing LEARNERS 60% incoming 40% incoming low high --- high low --- Familiesmixedlowmixed Societylow high AIM high

13 Student language competence, heterogeneous situation Non-dominant LDominant L 1 mixed class Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing Listening/ Speaking Reading/ Writing LEARNERS 60% incoming 40% incoming low high --- high low --- Familiesmixedlowmixed Societylow high TEACHERS???? AIM high

14 Updating pedagogical practices 1. Find more effective ways to assess language competence of teachers and students (incoming and outgoing) 2. Re-examine and re-construct bi/ multilingual pedagogy in terms of actual language competence levels* * Students as individuals 14

15 Updating our thinking about MLE and Revitalisation ed. 1. Bi/multilingualisms & literacies for ALL LEARNERS 2. Could we be more explicit about the transformative aspects? Leena Huss in Hornberger (ed) 2008: The struggle itself can be rehabilitating, healing and empowering for participants. 15

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