School students’ beliefs about the benefits of multilingualism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2022.2075001
School students' beliefs about the benefits of multilingualismMultilingualism is increasingly seen as a resource among researchers, educators and in society. Whereas positive beliefs about the benefits of multilingualism may foster increased motivation for language learning, little is known about students’ beliefs about potential multilingual benefits. This study examined the beliefs of Norwegian secondary school students concerning the benefits of multilingualism and the role of some individual differences in these beliefs. The data consisted of questionnaires completed by 593 secondary school students. The initial descriptive statistical analysis showed that students held diverging beliefs regarding the benefits of multilingualism being more positive about benefits related to the language learning process and less positive about general cognitive advantages. Further statistical analyses with independent T-tests revealed interesting relationships between students’ overall beliefs about multilingualism and the following variables: Students’ who reported having friends with other home languages than Norwegian, students who had lived abroad and students with migration backgrounds held significantly more positive beliefs about multilingualism than students’ without such experiences. No significant relationships were found between students’ beliefs about multilingualism and the number of languages learned in school or students’ multilingual identity. Pedagogical implications for students’ language learning in school contexts are discussed.