Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding Multilingualism in schools

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentations (poster etc.)Research

Nele Fischer - presenter

Since teachers do not feel sufficiently prepared to teach multilingual learners (MLLs) (Becker-Mrotzek et al., 2012), it is essential to uncover deficits in teacher education in order to restructure learning opportunities. Therefore, it is of high relevance to measure competences in supporting MLLs in the school context and related beliefs as these serve as a guide to teachers’ behavior (Borg, 2011). Since it is assumed that beliefs are modifiable, they play a key role in research on teacher training. The German research that focusses on competences and beliefs concerning MLLs has increased in the last few years, but theoretical models and sound studies are rare to find. To address this research deficit, we developed (1) a competence model for competences in supporting MLLs especially in the content classroom, (2) a test to measure these competences and (3) a questionnaire to assess related beliefs. The contribution focusses pre-service teachers’ beliefs and competences concerning multilingualism in school. Taking into account the three dimensional structure of the developed competence model (Subject Specific Register, Multilingualism and Didactics) (Köker et al., 2015), we likewise developed a three-part structure for beliefs that is defined by Language Sensitivity in Content Classrooms, Valuing Home Languages, and Responsibility for Language Facilitation (Hammer et al., 2015). This paper and pencil questionnaire consists of 31 items that were derived from relevant literature. The items were constructed as statements on a 4-point Likert scale. The test instrument was tested on a sample of N = 427 pre-service teachers from 12 German universities. Results show that the developed instruments enable to display competences and beliefs towards multilingualism. In addition, beliefs towards multilingualism and practical experience are positively related. Practical experience and competences in supporting MLLs in the content classroom also show a positive relation. Universities and schools all over the world have the responsibility to prepare and train teachers to become culturally and linguistically responsive in order to educate multicultural and multilingual learners. To collect data about the current state of teachers’ competences and beliefs and especially to investigate processes in approaches to shape these, e.g. in seminars or training courses, the competence test as well as the beliefs questionnaire are valuable tools for research on pre-service and in-service teachers working with MLLs.Literature:Becker-Mrotzek, M., Hentschel, B., Hippmann, K., & Linnemann, M. (2012). Sprachförderung in deutschen Schulen – die Sicht der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer. Ergebnisse einer Umfrage unter Lehrerinnen und Lehrern. Durchgeführt von IPSOS (Hamburg) im Auftrag des Mercator-Instituts für Sprachförderung und Deutsch als Zweitsprache. Universität zu Köln.Borg, M. (2011). Teachers’ beliefs. In: ELT Journal 55 (2), 186-188.Hammer, S.; Fischer, N. (in Press). Überzeugungen von Lehramtsstudierenden zu Mehrsprachigkeit in der Schule. DDS – Die Deutsche Schule, Beiheft 2016.Köker, A., Rosenbrock, S., Ohm, U., Carlson, S. A., Ehmke, T., Hammer, S., & Koch-Priewe, B. (2015). DaZKom- Ein Modell von Lehrerkompetenz im Bereich Deutsch als Zweitsprache. In B. Koch-Priewe, A. Köker, J. Seifried, & E. Wuttke, Welche Kompetenzen brauchen Lehramtsstudierende und angehende ErzieherInnen? Theoretische und empirische Zugänge (pp. 189-220). Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt.


European Conference on Educational Research 2016: Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers


Dublin, Ireland

Event: Conference