Language policy, professional development and sustainability of multilingual approaches

Claudine Kirsch, Joana Duarte, Åsa Palviainen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    Policies and professional development which focusses on pedagogical skills, beliefs, and agency are essential to ensure the sustainability of multilingual teaching approaches. This chapter begins with an overview of research studies on language policies, teacher agency and beliefs with a focus on multilingual settings. The intertwining of policy and teaching practice is then illustrated by means of the Finnish case, demonstrating how recent ECEC policies advocating diversity and plurilingualism have gradually changed teacher beliefs. The second part of the chapter focuses on professional development (PD) in so far as it is able to support teachers in implementing policies, changing pedagogical practices, and amending beliefs. This section presents different pathways for professional learning and explores the effectiveness of various models of professional development. These observations are taken up in two empirical studies on teachers’ professional development within multilingual preschool classes in Luxembourg and primary schools in the Netherlands. The interview and observation data provided in the two contexts point to the centrality of teacher beliefs and agency in moving towards multilingual practices and sustainable change. Furthermore, it unveils the ways in which teachers’ beliefs, knowledge, and practices change over time, and how effective PD programmes can support teachers in interpreting policies and developing new practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMultilingual Approaches for Teaching and Learning
    Subtitle of host publicationFrom Acknowledging to Capitalising on Multilingualism in European Mainstream Education
    EditorsClaudine Kirsch , Joana Duarte
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)978-0367181352
    Publication statusPublished - 23-Mar-2020

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