Skip to main content


The multilingual turn and multilingual integrated curricula (Dr Gabriela Meier, University of Exeter)

Language and Education Network Inaugural Lecture

This talk will present the 'multilingual turn' in languages education, and will serve as an informal book launch of a book recently published by an Exeter academic. Gaby, who is one of the editors, will provide a short overview of its contents and present one of her chapters on 'multilingual integrated curricula'.

Event details

The 'multilingual turn' seems to bring together disciplines that had often been treated separately and tries to establish theoretical relevance for all these contexts. These include second language acquisition (SLA), English as a foreign language (EFL), modern foreign languages (MFL), and bilingual education, which in turn consists of two strands - English (or other languages) as an additional language (EAL etc.) and bilingual education (CLIL, immersion etc.). The book invites researchers and practitioners to look across disciplinary boundaries and learn from one another. Thus, the book is relevant to education more widely, but in particular to educators who teach in a multilingual context, multilingual cohorts, in a cross-curricular way or for teacher educators, whose students may work in such situations.

The second part of the talk will present 'integrated multilingual curricula', as one way of integrating languages present in a school context more fully. This is based on the idea that different language learning scenarios (see above) occur in the same context. I reviewed documents relating to proposals for integrated multilingual curricula from Austria, France, Germany and the UK, and two actual plans, which were adopted by (local) governments to put this idea into practice in mainstream education in Luxembourg and in Switzerland. Based on these documents, I identified 10 orientations that guide the thinking and values behind these curricula. The orientations shared by all these documents were related to views on language learning, on language awareness and on collaboration. These and the remaining orientations identified in the documents will be presented as a framework that may serve as a starting point for a critical reflection on existing or prospective educational programmes in multilingual contexts.


Baring Court 114