The idea of the course is to learn about the latest methodologies for learning foreign languages, analyse the results obtained with these methodologies and present the conclusions, their advantages and needed requirements. Theoretical backgrounds are illustrated with real life study visits at bilingual schools in a multilingual environment.
The basis of multilingual pedagogies is the fact that education is not simply ‘done to students’, but includes students in their learning processes. Especially in areas where teachers and children from different background, socio-educational spaces, linguistic origin,… encounter each other during those learning process, this is a huge challenge. In a multilingual situation it is more difficult to envision how to build on the language existing practices of all students.
Spain is divided into several ‘states’ or ‘Comunidades Aut.nomas’, which share power oneducation with the central government. Several of these ‘states’ are officially bilingual and Spain in general, has a lot of non-native inhabitants and students.
In the past, the use of the local national languages were forbidden or discouraged. But recently the government developed a system for increasing the knowledge, use, and status of those local national languages.
As in Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Countries, also in the Valencian Community, students have courses in two languages (here: Spanish or Castilian and Valencian or Catalan) and still must be able to pass their national exam of Spanish (Castilian). The results are astonishing as in the bilingual education the results for that national examen of Spanish are above the national average. This indicates that bilingual teaching, enhances the learning of both languages. Additionally, a lot of the students are non-native a speak a different language at home (Arabic, Berber, an African or Indian language…). In this course we have a look at how schools tackle this interesting situation.