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Multilingual school population: a Lever for linguistically innovative classrooms

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Abstract
In Flanders a perfect knowledge of the Dutch standard language is seen as necessary to be successful in schools. While children bring a variety of home languages to school, teachers often do not know how to manage the multilingual repertoires of their pupils in mainstream classrooms. This often leads to a Dutch-only policy in schools. The empiric model presented intertwines sociolinguistics and school effects research, using insights from both fields. Sociolinguistic research shows that school culture regarding multilingualism can have an impact on pupils’ well-being. As language is part of pupils’ identity, they may feel uncomfortable or demotivated when the use of their mother tongue is pointed out as the cause of lower school success. A school culture, however, that embraces and exploits the multilingual reality may cause pupils to perform and feel better, as they are given the possibility to use their foreknowledge for learning (Cummins, 2001). School effects research has focused on teachability expectations teachers hold of pupils (Becker, 1952), suggesting multilingualism as an important factor in shaping those expectations (Agirdag, Van Avermaet, & Van Houtte, 2013). This paper focuses on how the linguistic diversity in a school motivates teachers for creative approaches to manage children’s multilingual repertoires and on how it inspires teachability expectations. Further on it reports on the impact that managing linguistic diversity has on pupils’ cognitive and non-cognitive (e.g. school belonging and feelings of futility) outcomes. The data analyzed in this multilevel model originate from a survey in 67 primary schools in Flanders, in which both teachers and 4th grade pupils participated.

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MLA
Van Der Wildt, Anouk, et al. “Multilingual School Population: A Lever for Linguistically Innovative Classrooms.” European Sociological Association, Abstracts, 2013.
APA
Van Der Wildt, A., Van Houtte, M., & Van Avermaet, P. (2013). Multilingual school population: a Lever for linguistically innovative classrooms. In European Sociological Association, Abstracts. Turin, Italy.
Chicago author-date
Van Der Wildt, Anouk, Mieke Van Houtte, and Piet Van Avermaet. 2013. “Multilingual School Population: A Lever for Linguistically Innovative Classrooms.” In European Sociological Association, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Der Wildt, Anouk, Mieke Van Houtte, and Piet Van Avermaet. 2013. “Multilingual School Population: A Lever for Linguistically Innovative Classrooms.” In European Sociological Association, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Van Der Wildt A, Van Houtte M, Van Avermaet P. Multilingual school population: a Lever for linguistically innovative classrooms. In: European Sociological Association, Abstracts. 2013.
IEEE
[1]
A. Van Der Wildt, M. Van Houtte, and P. Van Avermaet, “Multilingual school population: a Lever for linguistically innovative classrooms,” in European Sociological Association, Abstracts, Turin, Italy, 2013.
@inproceedings{4142235,
  abstract     = {{In Flanders a perfect knowledge of the Dutch standard language is seen as necessary to be successful in schools. While children bring a variety of home languages to school, teachers often do not know how to manage the multilingual repertoires of their pupils in mainstream classrooms. This often leads to a Dutch-only policy in schools. The empiric model presented intertwines sociolinguistics and school effects research, using insights from both fields. Sociolinguistic research shows that school culture regarding multilingualism can have an impact on pupils’ well-being. As language is part of pupils’ identity, they may feel uncomfortable or demotivated when the use of their mother tongue is pointed out as the cause of lower school success. A school culture, however, that embraces and exploits the multilingual reality may cause pupils to perform and feel better, as they are given the possibility to use their foreknowledge for learning (Cummins, 2001). School effects research has focused on teachability expectations teachers hold of pupils (Becker, 1952), suggesting multilingualism as an important factor in shaping those expectations (Agirdag, Van Avermaet, & Van Houtte, 2013). This paper focuses on how the linguistic diversity in a school motivates teachers for creative approaches to manage children’s multilingual repertoires and on how it inspires teachability expectations. Further on it reports on the impact that managing linguistic diversity has on pupils’ cognitive and non-cognitive (e.g. school belonging and feelings of futility) outcomes. The data analyzed in this multilevel model originate from a survey in 67 primary schools in Flanders, in which both teachers and 4th grade pupils participated.}},
  author       = {{Van Der Wildt, Anouk and Van Houtte, Mieke and Van Avermaet, Piet}},
  booktitle    = {{European Sociological Association, Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Turin, Italy}},
  title        = {{Multilingual school population: a Lever for linguistically innovative classrooms}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}