Teachers perspectives

Teachers’ perspectives

What kind of study has been carried out in the framework of ENRICH and why?

In order to develop the Continuous Professional Development materials and activities of the ENRICH Course in a way that is compatible to teachers’ and learners’ needs and requirements, a multi-level mixed methods exploratory study has been conducted. Regarding teachers, quantitative research methodology has been adopted to identify their professional development needs. 620 in-service teachers who teach English to Speakers of Other Languages in multilingual classroom settings participated in this study, coming from Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Turkey.

How to raise the learners’ language awareness depends on the cultural background of the learners.

(Maria*, teacher of 14-17 year old learners).
what is a multilingual classroom

What do teachers report about school policies and the integration of learners with migrant backgrounds?

In general, most teachers seem to be aware that nowadays English is employed around the world, and even by learners themselves, as a lingua franca, that is, as a medium of communication among users with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The vast majority of them, in fact, argue that it is important that they integrate in their teaching the ways that non-native speakers use English to interact with one another, which, as they report, are currently very rarely taken into account.

How do teachers view the fact that English is used as a lingua franca?

Most teachers argue that the school where they teach does indeed support the smooth integration of learners with migrant backgrounds (for instance, through special activities such as festivals). At the same time, however, teaching practices do not always take into account the actual needs of those learners or the needs of all learners in multilingual classrooms in general. For example, most teachers report that the coursebooks they employ are not particularly relevant to the cultures of all learners.

What I need is to figure out how I can raise my learners’ awareness of the fact that making mistakes could be a positive thing for language learning and how I can give them the opportunity to reflect on their learning experiences.

(Pablo*, teacher of 11-13 year old learners)

What do teachers say they need as regards their professional development?

Most teachers report that they prefer participating in Continuous Professional Development courses which adopt a blended-learning approach, involving online self-study and face-to-face (or online) meetings with a tutor or, preferably, a mentor. They also highlight the significance of experiential and peer-learning as well as the need for professional development on issues relevant to English as a lingua franca, intercultural communication and integration of learners with migrant backgrounds, which, according to their experience, are not sufficiently covered in teacher education programmes and seminars.

* Pseudonyms have been employed to protect the respondents’ personal information.

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