Online Teachers Course

  • 24 lessons
  • 0 quizzes
  • 1 week duration

Online Teachers Course

Outline of the topic

Texts, language resources that exist in the space of the school and shape the linguistic landscape, do not usually reflect the super diverse reality, which is presented in detail in the following diagram.

ARABIC 2 Diagram 1: Language Map in a classroom

In the language classroom there are the following “categories” of languages:

  • School language: it is usually about the official language or the official languages of a country. It is about the language upon which academic discourse is constructed, that is the desirable type of students’ development at school. School language may refer to:
  • language/languages that the school adopts in order to teach all or most of the subjects, such as mathematics, history, physics, etc.
  • language/languages as a teaching/learning subject. In this case there is the following distinction:
  • Teaching-learning school language, namely the dominant language (e.g. of the Greek or the Italian language). This case is part of everyday school reality for some of the students but also part of the everyday life or/and communication with the family for other students. It is important to note that for some students learning the school language is one of the alternative ways of educational and social inclusion.
  • Teaching-learning one or more foreign languages. Foreign language is exclusively part of the curricula that teachers and students who attend school ought to follow. The relationship of foreign languages with students’ everyday life cannot be characterized as intimate. Learning foreign languages is mostly realized in the context of developing language skills that will help students in their future professional route.

The language of the immediate family environment: it is usually about the language(s) that students use at home, in the spaces they live with their parents and their family. Although it is evident that the contact with these languages is crucial, as well as the students’ relevant language skills development, as part of their identities and their everyday lives, they often remain invisible in the classroom.

This categorization is not so strict, if for example we refer to informal communicative events that happen during the lesson or, mostly, during the break. In these cases, it is noticed that students mix linguistic structures, linguistic features, pronunciations etc. in order to communicate, to share their secrets, to react, to get angry.

Bilingual and multilingual students

Bilingualism is a complex phenomenon, which characterizes groups of students and in order to define it we need to take into consideration parameters such as the necessary time for acquiring one or more languages, the place, the age, the level of language skills’ development etc.

  • The first language: refers to the language children have learnt as a first language; they know this language and use it more comfortably; it is the most common language they use in their everyday life. It is also the language of their thoughts and dreams
  • The second language: refers to the language that children learn after acquiring the first language. Usually, learning this specific language is part of the students’ inclusion in a new country.

The relationship between the first and the second language, the linguistic, psychological and social processes with which their use and learning is related, and the way mediate teaching/learning in the school context are issues of constant concern for the research and educational community.