Claudia Pellegrini

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).

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  • ElderPolyglot says:

    This a very good talk about a topic that I knew nothing about, notably Tyrol and Ladin. It’s great to hear someone at speaking multiple languages at native level.

  • Claudia65 says:

    @Heidi: Die Mehrsprachigkeit als Chance und Mehrwert zu sehen ist leider immer noch keine Selbstverständlichkeit. Man muss sich auf vielen Ebenen dafür einsetzen. Ich wünsche dir auf persönlicher Ebene diesbezüglich viel Energie und Begeisterung und ein Umdenken auch auf Schulebene.

  • Heidi says:

    Vielen Dank, Claudia, jetzt habe ich eine Menge Neues über Südtirol gelernt. Und ich bin ganz einverstanden, dass man Zwei- oder Mehrsprachigkeit als etwas Natürliches ansehen sollte. Leider sieht das bei uns in Ungarn im Moment anders aus, in den berufsbildenden Schulen wurde die zweite Fremdsprache aus dem Lehrplan gestrichen! Unsere Tourismusschüler lernen intensiv Deutsch, aber kein Englisch dazu 🙁

  • Rosanna Forte says:

    Such a fascinating insight into the amazing culture of South Tyrol. What a superb attitude to language learning!

  • Claudia65 says:

    @poliglotessa : It has been a long way and the road has not been and is still not an easy one. It takes a lot of enthusiasm and perseverance. Feel free to contact me for more information.

  • polyglotessa says:

    Thank you for this interesting glimpse into the South Tyrol approach to multilingual competencies. I hope that we will get to this point in the US education system!

  • Claudia65 says:

    @Pri, @LindsayDoesLanguages, @Marlene K : Thank you for your kind words and support.

  • Pri says:

    Thank you Claudia for your insight into the South Tyrolean reality, its linguistic landscapes and its historical background. Your work at school is very valuable and it is amazing how many language projects the students can take part in. Amazing!

  • Danke & grazie for sharing insights into South Tyrol, Claudia. What a fascinating place! 🙂

  • Marlene K says:

    South Tyrol – What a very big little world… what a _great_ little world!
    Lucky the students and the teachers in this phantastic school, created in some way by themselves.
    Great work! Carry on, Claudia!

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