Good science teaching in multilingual classrooms

Two students conferring

It can be challenging to teach classes that are made up of a large number of children with a multilingual or non-native-language background. How do you make sure that everyone is able to keep up? In this European project, we are working with teachers to develop strategies to ensure that primary science and technology education is accessible for all children.

Objective

We are working with teachers in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands to design strategies to support the language and professional development of multilingual students. We are doing this in close collaboration with teachers from these countries.

We are focusing specifically on lessons about science and technology, for two reasons. There are many opportunities for students to work together and attain scientific language skills in these lessons. However, it may also be difficult for students with a language deficit to understand scientific language.

Results

This research is ongoing. Once completed, the research results will be summarised here.

Duration

01 February 2018 - 31 January 2021

Approach

Our research is structured as follows: in each of the three countries, we are working with teachers in eight classrooms from our school network. We have divided the project into three phases.

Phase 1: exploration

The first phase of the project (Feb-Aug 2018) is to explore and describe the national curricula and chart the organisational structures underlying teaching in the three countries. We will use these insights to develop the conditions and principles to be observed when designing strategies.

Phase 2: design

Collaboration with teachers is key in the second phase (September 2018-December 2019). We design and evaluate new teaching materials, supportive activities and strategies for professional development.

Phase 3: comparison and assessment

The final phase (January 2020-January 2021) will involve a comparison of the insights gained from the various teaching situations. We will also assess our findings by presenting them to a big group of teachers via a questionnaire.

HU researchers involved in the research

  • Gerald van Dijk | Researcher | Research group Science and Technology Education
    Gerald van Dijk
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Research group Science and Technology Education
  • Yvette Sol | Researcher | Research group Science and Technology Education
    Yvette Sol
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Research group Science and Technology Education
  • Catherine van Beuningen | researcher
    Catherine van Beuningen
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Foreign Language Education
  • Dian Fluijt | Lecturer / Researcher, Researcher | Normative Professionalisation
    Dian Fluijt
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Normative Professionalisation
  • Jantien Smit | Researcher | Research group Science and Technology Education
    Jantien Smit
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Research group Science and Technology Education
  • Elwin Savelsbergh | Professor | Research group Science and Technology Education
    Elwin Savelsbergh
    • Professor
    • Research groups: Research group Science and Technology Education

Related research groups

Collaboration with knowledge partners

We are collaborating with the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and Malmö University.

The project is being funded by Nordforsk.