A1 Journal article (refereed)
Teachers negotiating multilingualism in the EFL classroom (2021)

Pitkänen-Huhta, A., & Mäntylä, K. (2021). Teachers negotiating multilingualism in the EFL classroom. European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 9(2), 283-306. https://doi.org/10.1515/eujal-2018-0020

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Pitkänen-Huhta, Anne; Mäntylä, Katja

Journal or series: European Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN: 2192-9521

eISSN: 2192-953X

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 9

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 283-306

Publisher: De Gruyter

Publication country: Germany

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eujal-2018-0020

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74085


This article sets out to explore English as foreign language (EFL) teachers’ views of teaching migrant pupils with multilingual backgrounds in a regular classroom. Previous studies on multilingual pupils have mostly concentrated on second language learning contexts or on the role of pupils’ L1. In an increasingly multilingual world and due to growing migration, this study concentrates on EFL. The data were interviews with English teachers (n=7), who reflected on their experiences with migrant pupils in the foreign language classroom. The data were analysed through qualitative content analysis. The participants had not really pondered on the role of multilingualism in the EFL classroom and some underlying preconceptions could be detected. Teachers’ perception of the multilingual pupil was controversial in that they did not want to draw attention to the linguistic background of the pupil but, on the other hand, they had noticed that multilingual learners had greater language awareness than their mainstream peers. Although not fully aware of the potential of multilingualism and the pupils’ linguistic resources in EFL teaching, the teachers had used several ways of supporting their multilingual learners, reflecting the principles of translanguaging.

Keywords: language teaching; foreign languages; English language; classroom work; multilingualism; immigrant background; language teachers; language-aware education

Free keywords: foreign language teaching; English language teaching; multilingualism; multilingual learners; English as a foreign language

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-20-09 at 15:30