Plurilingual Approach in a Multicultural Classroom

Conference: The European Conference on Language Learning (ECLL2022)
Title: Plurilingual Approach in a Multicultural Classroom
Stream: Psychology of the learner
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Etsuko Yamada, Hokkaido University, Japan


English medium instruction (EMI) is often adopted in a multicultural classroom, where international students from various countries and local students study together. However, to keep using a single common language can cause psychological language barriers for some second language (L2) users due to a wide range of oral proficiency and psychological factors, etc. This empirical study conducted in a state university in Japan, explores how activities using more than one language, i.e. a kind of translanguaging practice, can influence on the attitudes of students in a multicultural class. Although the main language of instruction was English, activities using other languages were inserted, eg. some oral tasks in Japanese and writing tasks in the languages of their language repertoires. All the students had to experience being L2 users at a certain point. It had an impact on their attitudes towards communication in a transcultural space, eg. to use more effective communication strategy in any language. The implication inferred from this study is that the plurilingual condition in a multicultural classroom has a great potential to be utilized and explored more.

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