Teaching Multiple Languages With A Plurilingual Curriculum
As an English teacher at a high school in South Tyrol (Italy) I have collaborated with engaged teachers of other languages (German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Latin, and Ancient Greek) in numerous European and local multilingual projects. Yet only after a long piloting phase did my school implement an adapted version of the Mehrsprachencurriculum Südtirol (Schwienbacher, Quartapelle, & Patscheider, 2017) in the school curriculum. Several common language curricula have recently been developed in Europe to create synergies in language instruction and language learning. These multicompetence approaches break with the tradition of teaching languages separately and propose a joint work of language teachers to create synergies and new qualities in both learners and teachers. They underline the importance of multilingual awareness and aim at boosting multilingual competencies by applying recent findings in multilingualism research to language learning and teaching in school contexts.
First, an overview of the linguistic situation in South Tyrol (a region in the north of Italy with three official languages: German, Italian, and Ladin) and its school system will be given. Next, the theoretical holistic background of the Mehrsprachencurriculum Südtirol will be outlined and some teaching units developed within its framework will be presented. The window into my world will be from my perspective as a teacher and as a doctoral student of multilingualism and polyglottism through the lens of The Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (Herdina & Jessner, 2002).