Niesen Heike

Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany;


Bibliographic citation: (ISSN 2657-9774) Educational Role of Language Journal.     Volume 2019-2(2).  Enhancing multiculturalism in EFL communication, pp. 80-100



The present study addresses a major concern in current German pre-service EFL teacher education: The development of prospective teachers’ multilingual-sensitive professional action competence that is their ability to make use of their future pupils’ multilingual resources to enhance EFL teaching and learning processes with a lexical focus. To this end, two identical teacher training classes held at Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Germany are presented, the primary aims of which were to raise students’ awareness of multilingual-sensitive teaching approaches on the one, and to enable them to design multilingual-sensitive EFL lessons with a lexical focus on the other hand. Given insights from earlier research, namely that teachers’ beliefs and (prior) experiences “interact differently with the theoretical knowledge they gain in lectures” (Ellis 2006: 7), and to gain holistic insights into the development of participants’ competence, their beliefs about quality criteria of EFL teaching and learning processes with a lexical focus as well as the sources of these beliefs were addressed in classes. Not surprisingly, results show that students’ beliefs at the onset of classes were firmly rooted in their personal Language Learning Biographies and heavily shaped by mono-, rather than multilingual teaching and learning approaches. However, it could also be shown that students’ beliefs changed throughout the training, a finding which bears important implications for future teacher training classes.

Keywords: multilingualism, teacher beliefs, Language Learning Biography

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