School language and the role of multilingualism in class

Mariska Kistemaker, Peter Broeder

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    It is a recurrent observation that a source of problems with the linguistic diversity in multicultural classrooms often lies in the differences between the language the students use at home and the school language they are required to speak at school. A better insight into the characteristics of school language can yield important information for multilingual classroom practice. In the first part of this article, we present a theoretical framework that specifies different aspects of five domains of skills: language, literacy, interaction, learning, and presentation. Subsequently, results are presented from two studies. In the first top-down study, six experts from different European countries were interviewed. In the second bottom-up study, 58 teachers from general secondary schools in 30 cities in North-Rhine Westphalia (Germany) participated in an online survey. Finally, the practical relevance of the school language framework and new opportunities for teacher training are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFremdsprachenunterricht im Spannungsfeld zwischen Sprachwissen und Sprachkönnen
    EditorsThomas Tinnefeld
    Place of PublicationSaarbrücken
    Publisherhtw saar
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)9783942949057
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • school language
    • multilingualism
    • teachinh practice
    • europe


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