Teachers' beliefs about multilingualism and a multilingual pedagogical approach
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Knowledge of teachers’ beliefs is central to understanding teachers’ decision-making in the classroom. The present study explores Norwegian language teachers’ beliefs about multilingualism and the use of a multilingual pedagogical approach in the third-language (L3) classroom. This study analysed data collected via focus group discussions with 12 teachers of French (N = 4), German (N = 2) and Spanish (N = 6) using qualitative content analysis. Three main themes emerged from the analysis. (1) The teachers view multilingualism as a potentially positive asset. Although they think that multilingualism has benefited their own language learning, they do not conclude that multilingualism is automatically an asset to students. (2) The teachers claim to make frequent use of their students’ linguistic knowledge of Norwegian and English when teaching the L3. However, the teachers rarely focus on the transfer of learning strategies because they believe that learning an L3 is completely different from learning the second language L2 English. (3) The teachers think that collaboration across languages could enhance students’ language learning; however, no such collaboration currently exists.