WHY SHOULD MULTILINGUALISM BE USED IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM AND HOW CAN WE DISCARD THE MONOLINGUAL HABITUS?
The following pages reflect on multilingualism, draw from current research and implement own methods of small-scale research on the topic. Following this page's introduction, the personal note on the importance of multilingualism as well as the research question's rationale within the framework of CPD, the project divides itself into five parts.
The first part of the project looks at definitions of mono-, bi- and multingualism and aswers the question of why it is important to incorporate the notion of multilngualists in school. With the help of the well-spoken British linguist and author David Crystal, it will be reflected upon the importance of being aware of today's potentials of digital tools, the need for multilingual teaching in a globalized world and the aim it has in regard to students.
In the second section, with the help of a YouTube video created for this project, the term 'monolingual habitus' will be further defined in order to distance it from the wished for multilngual habitus. It will be shown that schools operate on a monolingual level that is unfortunate for multilingual students and those who wish to become them. The role of the teacher as an active part in the process of developing from a mono- to a multilingual school as well as their professional identities will become particularly apparent.
The third part of the research project is entitled to the fact that multilingualists are the normality and - much to contrary belief - not an abnormality. Drawing upon this awareness, an exclusive podcast with JProf. Inger Petersen from Kiel University will be presented. As an expert in her field, she explains the chances of multilingualism and its current role in schools and teacher training. We also gain insight to both the status quo as well as research in the field of foreign language acquisition and will assess the chances and restrictions of multilingualism.
The fourth part contains a survey conducted among high school students. Its aim was to depict the state of multilingualism in schools and find out about the interplay of languages, especially when it comes to mother tongues and family languages. We will see that the monolingual habitus of schools also prohibits multilinguals from further developing their skills in all of their languages and that the participants are open-minded towards multilingual classes and new approaches in the foreign language classroom.
The fifth and last part of the research project will draw upon the fact that, in their curricula, schools have already implemented the need to use several languages in the classroom but are lacking methods to do so. Hence, in the last part of the project, current methods that are already used in multilingual teaching will be presented, particularly focusing on the potential of language comparisons.