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Myths and Scientific Knowledge about Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Prof. Dr. Daniela Elsner, University of Vechta, Germany.

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Presentation on theme: "Myths and Scientific Knowledge about Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Prof. Dr. Daniela Elsner, University of Vechta, Germany."— Presentation transcript:

1 Myths and Scientific Knowledge about Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Prof. Dr. Daniela Elsner, University of Vechta, Germany

2 Reasons for integrating LA and LLA Focus on: - plurilingual foreign language learners - plurilingualism in the EFL classroom - examples of good practice

3 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners In Germany 13% of the pupils grow up with a different language from German 6% grow up with two or more languages (cf. DESI 2006)

4 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners The PISA results prove: In all tests the migrants perform below-average overall. (cf. Kraus 2009: 28)

5 EFL offers a special chance for children growing up with a different language from German. (Mindt / Schlüter 2003: 10) …in the Foreign Language classroom all pupils start at exactly the same point… (Böttger 2007: 17; Schmid- Schönbein 2008:32). Children with migration backround can use their existing knowledge of several languages and sounds. Thus they will become stars in the English language classroom. (Duden Verlag 2009)

6 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners It seems to be widely known that under certain circumstances life with two or more languages can lead to advantages, not only with regard to language knowledge but also in terms of cognitive and sociopragmatic develpment. (Jessner 2008: 29)

7 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Factors affecting plurilinguals´ language learning processes (eg. Jessner 2008; Weskamp 2007): - Age - Language Proficiency - Attitude

8 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Attitude towards one´s one plurilingualism Those learners who accept their languages and who have learnt how to make use of their special language knowledge will develop special language learning strategies and thus can benefit from their languages for further foreign language learning. (Gibson/ Hufeisen 2007: 38, translated from German )

9 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners Learners who are timid and angry about their chaos of the various languages in their head, produce numerous interferences and don´t make use of the pontential of their multilingualism but rather ignore their languages or don´t appreciate them in order to utilize them constructively. (Gibson & Hufeisen 2007: 38, translated from German)

10 Plurilingual Foreign Language Learners We should, by no means, accuse the plurilinguals. They often just don´t know because they are not guided and istructed to develop a personal multilingual profile with a set of strategies, which work for them and to apply this set purposefully. (Gibson & Hufeisen 2007: 38, translated from German)

11 Dealing with plurilingualism in the EFL classroom Kollmeyer (2007): In how far do FL teachers integrate students´ L1 and/ or their available language knowledge into their FL teaching concepts?

12 Dealing with plurilingualism in the EFL classroom Plurilingualism is neither negated nor made useful somehow. […]. It doesn´t annoy anyone, but it doesn´t particularly please anyone either. (I 1 in Kollmeyer 2007: 262)

13 Dealing with plurilingualism in the EFL classroom I reckon German is the basis. (I 2 in Kollmeyer 2007: 263)

14 Dealing with plurilingualism in the EFL classroom - no language awareness raising - no cross linguistic comparisons - no strategy training (Kollmeyer 2007: 262f.)

15 Spheres of Activity contentmethodsmediareflection Promoting Plurilingualism in the Foreign Language Classroom

16 Promoting Plurilingualism in the Foreign Language Classroom – Examples of Good Practice Content level: > Multilingualism as a topic

17 Don´t count your chicken before they are hatched German Turkish French Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben. literally translated: Zähle deine Hühner nicht bevor sie ausgeschlüpft sind. Çayı görmeden paçaları sıvama! literally translated: Krempele nicht die Hosenbeine, bevor du den Bach gesehen hast. Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de lours avant de lavoir tué. literally translated: Man sollte das Fell des Bären nicht verkaufen, ehe man ihn getötet hat. No risk no fun GermanPolishItalian Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt. literally translated: Kein Schmerz, kein Gewinn. Bez pracy nie ma kołaczy literally translated: Ohne Arbeit gibt es keinen Kolacz (eine Art von Kuchen). Chi non risica, non rosica literally translated: Wer nichts riskiert hat nichts zu knabbern. This is all double dutch to me GermanItalianHungarian Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof literally translated: Das ist alles Kauderwelsch für mich. Non ci capisco unacca literally translated: Ich verstehe kein H. Számomra ez kínai literally translated: Für mich ist das Chinesisch.

18 Promoting Plurilingualism in the Foreign Language Classroom – Examples of Good Practice Method level: -> teaching and learning methods & cross linguistic strategies

19 Song – Silencio/ David Bisbal: Silencio, eterno y mudo como el recuerdo del amor que tú me diste, Silencio, tan grande, tan vacío y tan muerto, como quema este dolor del silencio que llena cada espacio en mi cuerpo, Como duele este silencio de amor. silencio – silence eterno – eternal, ewig mudo – mute amor – amore (ital.) que – que (frz.) tù – tu (frz.) me – me diste – distance (engl./ frz.) grande – grand (engl./ frz.) vacio – vaccuum

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21 Promoting Plurilingualism in the Foreign Language Classroom – Examples of Good Practice Media level: -> posters, world maps, websites, movies…

22 Task: Look at the picture. It´s from the English trailer for Harry and the Order of Phoenix. Look at the childrens´ faces. What do you think are they saying? What would they say in German, French or in your mother tongue?

23 Guests from France are visiting Hogwarts. What might they tell Harry about their school? Gather information on the French school system. What´s different from the British/ German/ Turkish/ Russian school system? Make a list!

24 Task: Watch the trailer in English. Your cousin from Berlin/ Ankara/ St. Petersburg can´t speak English. Tell him, what the film is about. Work in groups. Make a new trailer in a language of your choice. Make sure that the text corresponds to the film. Present your version to the class! Which trailer in which language do you like best. Why?

25 Promoting Plurilingualism in the Foreign Language Classroom – Examples of Good Practice Reflection level: -> analysing and discussing learner biographies: e.g. portfolio, diaries…

26 Where are you from?

27 One world My name is ………………………………….. I am………………….years old and my birthday is in…………………. I live in…………………….. I was born in …………………… My nationality is……………………………... My parents come from…………………………………. I have…………..sister(s)/ brother(s) I can speak……………………………and……………………… My favourite country is……………………………… The official language in…........……is…………….. When you want to say Hello you say……………………..and when you want to say Good bye you say……………………………….. The capital of my favourite country is……………………........... It belongs to Europe / It does not belong to Europe. It is part of……………………………. I like this country because………………………………. ……………………….. is popular for……………………… The traditional food in …………………….. is called……………………… It tastes …………………………….. The most common religion in ………..............is………………………. A typical souvenir for ……………………. is………………………..

28 Conclusion "A situation provides a suitable niche only for those persons who are prepared to meet and use its affordances effectively. Those not properly tuned or prepared will in some way fail to perform effectively in the situation as given. " (Snow 1998: 107)


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