Introducing research results in teacher training
This year's seminar on Multilingualism became a platform for sharing some research results with one of the main target groups – pre-service teachers.
Starting from the year 2019, our research group has been responsible for the interdisciplinary seminar on Multilingualism offered by the Institute for Foreign Languages at UiB to future teachers of Norwegian, English, Spanish, German, and French. The aim of this seminar is to raise participants’ awareness about multilingualism, its benefits and advantages for language learners and teachers. The seminar also aims to initiate cooperation between future practitioners in the field, which rarely occurs between actual teachers of language subjects but has great potential for enhancing language learning among pupils.
Irina Tiurikova started the seminar with a theoretical presentation showing how multilingualism can be beneficial for individuals and societies. After this, some results from research conducted by the members of the MoMM group were shared with participants. André Storto revealed that more than 60% of pupils in Norwegian lower-secondary schools consider themselves as multilingual, which was a great surprise for the participants of the seminar. Future teachers got a chance to explore a visualization showing lower-secondary pupils’ definitions of multilingualism. This visualization was created based on answers from the Ungspråk questionnaire and was originally designed to be used with school pupils.
Raees Calafato talked about multilingual teachers. He emphasized that while teachers’ multilingualism can be considered as an asset for their practice, it is always teachers’ awareness, which plays a crucial role in turning multilingualism into an advantage for language learners. He shared some results of his research, which show that many teachers in Norway and Russia would like to have more knowledge on multilingualism and multilingual approaches in language education, as well as higher cooperation across subjects. Some activities in the second part of the seminar reflected these concerns. Students worked on tasks promoting awareness of their own multilingualism and reflected how multilingual approaches can be implemented in their teaching practice. The work, organized in groups, aimed at stimulating dialogue and cooperation between future teachers.
The members of the research group Multilingualism on My Mind hope that the seminar became a good starting point for pre-service teachers to explore multilingualism and its benefits for language learning. At the end of the seminar, all students agreed that the seminar helped them become more open-minded regarding their own multilingualism. As for the researchers, the seminar became a great opportunity to share the results of their studies with future teachers – one of their main target groups.