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Teaching Multilingual Learners in the Global Context (Research Paper Sample)


This paper explores the challenges facing educators while teaching multilingual learners in a multicultural classroom. The common challenges are addressed and effective teaching strategies to overcome them proposed.


Teaching Multilingual Learners in the Global Context
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The growing number of refugees and immigrant populations arriving the developed countries continues to shape the demographic composition and the functions of social institutions in the society. The learning environment has become more heterogeneous and diverse than ever and learners have unique learning needs. The global migration caused by socio-political instability has led may refugees to seek asylum in the western world and in their escape bring with them children whose learning needs may be special and different than those speaking English as a native language. Quality education plays a crucial role in personal development and the children of the diverse immigrant population in many parts of Europe must acquire it in order to solve the political situations in their own country. This paper reviews the problem with the ITE curriculum, attempts to address the challenges faced by educators while teaching English or using the English language as a medium of instruction in an EAL multilingual classroom. Moreover, the paper provides a critical insight into the teaching strategies provided by experts, their suitability and drawbacks, and their ability to meet the student-centred objectives. Finally, the paper ends by suggesting the universal teaching approach for educators in achieving content-specific and language-centred objectives through the integration of recommended, evidence-based strategies.
Keywords: peripatetic teacher, codeswitching, multilingual, heterogeneity, homogeneity
Teaching Multilingual Learners in the Global Context
Section 1: Introduction
Substantial research in the effective teaching strategies for a multilingual classroom has overwhelmingly focused on challenges faced by classroom instructors teaching the English to learners whose first language is not English. As a result, little research has dwelled on the challenges faced by teachers using English as a medium of instruction in the classroom context and implications towards positive student-cantered outcomes. Increasing globalization and multicultural interaction have accelerated rapid demographic changes of the population in the classroom necessitating the adoption new strategies for effective teaching. As the immigrant population continues to settle in large numbers in the in many countries in Europe, they bring with them their families whose first language is not English. As a result, there is increasing demand for English as an Additional Language for in schools and teachers need to develop adequate skills for teaching young learners whose first language is not English.
Skinner (2010) notes that in Northern Ireland, all pupils attend undifferentiated mainstream school curricular irrespective of their English competency skills, and English as an Additional Language presumed to be a general skill desired by all the teachers wishing to teach at the elementary level. Some European countries had policies in place to cater for learners whose first language was not English such as withdrawing them from the mainstream classroom to be taught by peripatetic teachers. The peripatetic teachers travel from one school to the next and not confined to a single institution. Under such conditions, these countries view such policies as being a cost-effective aspect of improving student-centred outcomes in a multicultural classroom where learners are diverse, their first language not being English, and likely to benefit from lessons conducted by teachers equipped to address the needs of English as Additional Language pupils (Rasheed et al., 2017; European Commission, 2015). However, some countries have embraced the Inclusion and Diversity Service approach whereby teachers are trained to take a holistic strategy for all the learners in the classroom (Skinner, 2010). Moreover, some schools in Northern Ireland for instance, the IDS is viewed as a partnership between mainstream teachers and EAL staff to implement dynamic strategies that support learning in a multicultural classroom environment. In some situations, the classroom teachers and not peripatetic ones find it necessary to

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