Rationale and Objectives

Linguistic diversity has ever been rooted in social realities throughout the history of humanity. However this phenomenon has progressively taken on a new political dimension related to increasing mobility in migration societies: this has a significant impact on linguistic rights. Antagonist social groups may perceive multilingualism differently, from a challenge threatening national identities to an asset opening to the world. Nevertheless, in many cases, this represents a difficult issue and a serious matter of discrimination for so-called linguistic minorities and migrant populations. How to attain a sufficient degree of autonomy without an adequate command of the host country’s language?

Even if the main concern refers to strategies promoting a qualitative second language education, recent research brings evidence for the importance of valuing heritage languages in society and especially in education. Keeping up with the mother tongue is crucial for identity formation, social acknowledgement, better chance to academic success and equal opportunities in life. Accordingly the role of all languages in education deserves special attention from government authorities responsible for social cohesion. Promoting plurilingual education for more equity and equality of chance has also become a priority goal for the Council of Europe caring about democratic values.

This lesson (or module) will outline the complex educational challenges in multilingual settings and introduce didactical approaches for inclusive and plurilingual education, dealing with the following questions:

- What is the role of languages in education?

- How to support language education for equitable and successful education in multilingual classrooms?



-       To deal with linguistic diversity and social discrimination in multicultural societies

-       To understand the impact of languages on personal attitudes and social identities through a biographical reflection

-       To perceive the role of teachers’ attitudes to language(s) in educating pupils for becoming equal, active and responsible citizen

-       To understand the need to support heritage languages in education

-       To learn to know principles for inclusive and pluralistic approaches promoting successful education and equal participation for all

-       To get familiar with the concept of translanguaging

-       To get an insight into some projects and strategies for supporting education in multilingual settings

To apprehend the role of the language of schooling for achieving success in education, especially in multilingual classrooms