Dutch Teachers’ Experiences with a Practical Checklist to Valorise Multilingualism in the EFL Classroom
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The use of a multilingual approach in foreign language education is becoming increasingly relevant in a growing multilingual society (Nederlof & Smit, 2018). This study explores the application of a practical checklist for valorising multilingualism in Dutch EFL classrooms. The checklist consists of seven multilingual learning techniques that are based on previous research (Babete et al., 2021; Günther-van der Meij et al., 2020a; Van Beuningen & Polišenská, 2019). Before and after a two-week intervention in which the checklist was used to carry out activities, five teachers expressed their beliefs and perspectives on a multilingual approach in interviews. From the post-intervention results, it appeared that teachers preferably pay attention to regional variation and meta-linguistic awareness. These activities in particular are also believed to contribute to pupils’ qualification and socialisation (cf. Biesta, 2012), although pupils with regional Dutch dialects often held quite negative attitudes towards foreign languages and multilingualism. All in all, teachers appeared to value the checklist as a resource (cf. Van Beuningen & Polišenská, 2019), and multiple factors indicate that a slightly improved version of the checklist can contribute to teachers’ professional development as competent facilitators of multilingualism (cf. Merchie et al., 2018).