Linguistic diversity in the classroom is a reality for many teachers in a variety of settings. How to address the issues that arise depends largely upon the skills and expertise of the professionals who are engaged in day-to-day practice. The attitudes and approaches which underlie their practice are fundamental to the development and success of learning experiences.
Within a complex global society, traditional views on language teaching are under review at all levels of the educational establishment. Choice of languages, their variants and domains, point of introduction and time allocation are constantly subject to revision. When additional languages are the medium through which learning takes place, the issues are even more acute. Meanwhile, teachers face the challenges presented by the reality of the linguistic backgrounds of their students and aim to create realistic expectations of what can be achieved.
During the conference we will be focusing on the following areas:
How do we deal with linguistic diversity? Can a challenge become a resource? How can we create relevant educational experiences for an increasingly multi-modal environment? To what extent are different modes of communication, including visual, gestural, digital incorporated into traditional alphabetical/oral texts? How can mathematical or musical language enhance communicative experiences? Which approaches to teaching optimize use of both academic and social language acquisition? What are the effects on the role of the teacher? Who is the teacher? How can we best serve the teaching profession through initial training and continuing professional development?