Teachers views on identity development of monolingual and multilingual children in relation to mono- or multilingualism at elementary school.
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Language is associated with the identity development of multilingual children. Potentially, classroom practices and teachers do play an important role of influence on this development. The aim of the present study is to explore whether teachers at multilingual schools evaluate the identity development of their students different from teachers at monolingual schools. Also, possible differences in views of teachers between the identity development of monolingual versus multilingual children in one classroom are analyzed. Lastly, we aimed to explore whether views on multilingualism in elementary education is related to teacher characteristics like teaching kindergarten and teaching at a multilingual school. The present study included 30 Dutch participants, 24 teaching at monolingual and 6 teaching at multilingual elementary schools. Participants filled out an online questionnaire on their opinion on multilingualism at school, their view on the differences in identity development between monolingual and multilingual children in their classroom and their view on the general identity development of their students. The results show that teachers at multilingual schools gave a more positive evaluation of the general identity development of their students than teachers at monolingual schools. Furthermore, teachers at monolingual schools evaluated the identity development of their monolingual students more positive than that of multilingual students, but their assessment of the identity development of multilingual students compared to monolingual students did not significantly differ from that of teachers at multilingual schools. Teacher characteristics such as grade of teaching and working at a multilingual schools were not associated with views about multilingualism at school.