Multilingualism and intercultural education: On the path between home, school and university

Research – Department of Teacher Education

Multilingualism and intercultural education: On the path between home, school and university

This research group creates an international and interdisciplinary forum for research and discussion of multilingual education in linguistically and culturally diverse societies. Through an integrative framework encompassing linguistic, social and psychological aspects of multilingualism both in the family and educational settings, we aim to identify how equal and quality education can be best achieved in a multilingual and multicultural environment.

In a narrower focus, on the basis of national needs and international research development, our objective is to investigate how multilingualism affects acquisition of English as a foreign language in Norwegian schools.

The scope of this research team is organized around three mutually dependent and interrelated contexts: multilingualism and intercultural education (1) at the family level, (2) at the school level, and (3) at the university level.

At the family level:

  • With a particular focus on multilingual families with different ethnic backgrounds, we investigate family language practices, language attitudes, and social and emotional factors affecting home language use, maintenance and/or shift. 
  • We explore parents’ perspectives on multilingual education in Norway as well as the family and school interaction in the development of multilingual and multicultural education.
  • We examine cognitive and socioemotional trajectories, particularly affective factors (e.g., identity-related issues, positive and negative emotions), centering on daily challenges that minority families face in Norway.

At the school level:

  • In order to help teachers develop adequate classroom pedagogies that address specific needs of the multicultural student population at their schools, we examine teachers’ and students’ social, cultural, and cognitive awareness of the language learning process.
  • We investigate teachers’ beliefs about multilingualism and self-reported classroom practices.
  • We explore the acquisition patterns of English as a third language in Norwegian classrooms. We focus on language awareness and language development, in particular the contrastive/comparative elements between the learners’ L1 and English for both spoken and written language at different age groups/levels of proficiency. 

At the university level:

  • We examine how students in the bachelor’s and master’s programme, in the Education Department at NTNU can best participate in professional development in multilingual and intercultural education and carry out their own research projects in multilingual classrooms. 

The foundation of this research group is partly an outcome of the research project entitled Acquisition of English in the Multilingual Classroom.

National and International Members

National and International Members