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From a monolingual to a multilingual approach in language teaching

Schwab, Susanna (2017). From a monolingual to a multilingual approach in language teaching. FORTELL (35), pp. 113-122.

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Traditionally, foreign language teaching has been based on second language acquisition theories that mostly disregard learners’ prior (and simultaneous) language learning experiences and resources. In this article, I will introduce the readers to an approach in language teaching that is based on third language learning theories. The approach — a multilingual approach to language learning and teaching—is being implemented in Switzerland following the Council of Europe’s recommendations of introducing two additional languages besides the local language into the school curriculum. The introduction of two additional (foreign) languages as well as the new approach required the development of new course materials. An evaluation of the pilot version of the materials revealed that only a small majority of teachers seemed to have implemented some aspects of a multilingual approach. To ensure that the teachers embraced this concept, it was recommended that teacher development programmes put more emphasis on teacher beliefs and the teachers’ own language learning experiences.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Schwab, Susanna




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2022 10:47

Last Modified:

19 Nov 2022 12:31

Uncontrolled Keywords:

multilingual approach, third language acquisition theories, prior language learning experiences and resources




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