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Bilingual and Multilingual Perspectives on Language Learning and Teaching

Module titleBilingual and Multilingual Perspectives on Language Learning and Teaching
Module codeEFPM292
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Gabriela Meier (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

May (2013) and Conteh and Meier (forthcoming) argue that we are witnessing the ‘multilingual turn’ in languages education. And there is a call for multilingual TESOL. In this module you will have an opportunity to reflect on and study language hierarchies and status (politics of language) that we sometimes take for granted, evaluate multilingual approaches to teaching and learning (bi-/multilingual teaching methods) as a response to personal and societal multilingualism in globalised societies, and to what extent bi-/multilingual approaches can be applied in a classroom through mini lessons (application to practice). This is suitable for students who have an interest in international and multilingual educational settings

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to enable you to

  • Critically explore and evaluate politics of language in a specific educational setting and its relevance to bi-/multilingualism in education.

  • Reflect on personal and societal bi-/multilingualism in a specific educational setting and its relevance to language education.

  • Explore and develop a critical understanding of the scope of bi-/multilingual approaches to language learning and teaching, and the relevant emergent theoretical framework.  

  • Develop awareness and understanding of possible bi-/multilingual educational approaches and methods, and evaluate their feasibility in a specific educational setting.

  • Critically evaluate and design practical ways of applying multilingual approaches in a classroom.

  • Explore an issue emerging from experience or a context you are familiar with, working collaboratively, examine and present a critical review of this through the lens of bi-/multilingual perspectives.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a critical understanding of key ideas relating to politics of language, specifically language acquisition planning and how this relates to bi-/multilingualism in education;
  • 2. demonstrate awareness of different approaches to learning and teaching that and evaluate one or more in relation to a specific context;
  • 3. design a brief classroom activity that draws on/uses language repertoires of learners in a specific context;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. demonstrate a critical understanding of personal and societal multilingualism and its role in language education;
  • 5. demonstrate a critical understanding of the benefits and challenges regarding bi-/multilingual approaches to learning;
  • 6. critically evaluate theories related to bi/multilingual learning and identify gaps in research more generally, and identify research needs in a specific context;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. engage in independent study and group/pair work and presentations;
  • 8. locate and review relevant academic literature;
  • 9. demonstrate the ability to critically reflect on personal knowledge experience and/or knowledge of a specific educational setting in the view of relevant literature in both independent and collaborative work; and
  • 10. translate educational theories into classroom activities relevant to a specific context.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • An introduction to politics of language, with a focus on language acquisition planning
  • An introduction to personal and societal multilingualism and its implications for education
  • An introduction to bilingual methods of teaching and learning
  • An introduction to multilingual methods of teaching and learning
  • An introduction to bi-/multilingual approaches curricula, materials and activities
  • Designing a classroom activity, based on bi-/multilingual approaches


Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Activities 168 x 2 hour seminars and tutorials
Guided independent study 24Directed reading: seminar preparation/review
Guided independent study 40Directed reading: further exploration of chosen topics
Guided independent study 10Formative assignment preparation
Guided independent study 60Summative assignment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Poster: summarising language acquisition policy and societal multilingualism relevant to specific educational context Poster presentation in class1+4Peer feedback
Presentation: selecting/designing and evaluating a bi-/multilingual classroom activityPresentation and Q & A 2,3,4,7,10Feedback from peers and tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written paper: design or evaluate a bi-/multilingual classroom activity for a specific educational setting, and justify/discuss this with reference to relevant academic literature: 1) situate it in the wider context of relevant politics of language, and 2) within a bi-/multilingual approaches to learning and teaching.1003,750 words1-6 and 8+9 Written feedback from tutor within 3 weeks, including a grade


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written paper (3,750 words) Written paper (3,750 words) 1-6 and 8+9Following the programme specification, usually within six weeks.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Politics of language

Hélot, Christine &Ó Laoire, Muiris (2011) Language Policy for the Multilingual Classroom: Pedagogy of the Possible. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Ricento, Thomas (2006) An introduction to language policy : theory and method. Malden, MA. ; Oxford : Blackwell Pub.

Bilingual/immersion education

Baker, Colin & García, Ofelia (2007) Bilingual education : an introductory reader. Clevedon : Multilingual Matters.

Coyle, Do (2010) CLIL: content and language integrated learning. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Dalton-Puffer, Christiane (2007) Discourse in content and language integrated learning (CLIL) classrooms. Philadelphia : J. Benjamins Pub. Co.

Lindholm-Leary, Kathryn J. (2001) Dual language education. Clevedon : Multilingual Matters.

Tedick, Diane J. et al (2011). Immersion Education: Practices, Policies, Possibilities. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Multilingual education

Coelho, Elizabeth (2004) Adding English: A guide to teaching in multilingual classes. Toronto: Pippin Publishing Corporation. (Non in library yet)

Conteh, Jean, Meier, Gabriela (eds) (forthcoming) The Multilingual Turn in Languages Education Opportunities and Challenges. Clevedon : Multilingual Matters.

Cook, Vivian J. (1995). Multi-competence and the learning of many languages. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 8(2), p. 93-98.

García, Ofelia et al. (2009) Imagining multilingual schools : languages in education and glocalization. Hyderabad : Orient BlackSwan.

Garcia, Ofelia (2009). Emergent bilinguals and TESOL: What’s in a name? TESOL Quarterly, 43(2), p. 322-326.

Hélot Christine, De Mejía, Anne-Marie (2008) Forging Multilingual Spaces: Integrating Perspectives on Majority and Minority Bilingual Education (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

May, Stephen (2013) The multilingual turn implications for SLA, TESOL and bilingual education. New York: Routledge.

Taylor, S. (2009). Paving the way to a more multilingual TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 43 (2), p. 309-313.

Practical application

Coelho, Elizabeth. (1998) Teaching and learning in multicultural schools : an integrated approach. Clevedon : Multilingual Matters, 1998.

Debono, Joe (n.d.) Language of the month. Retrieved on 19.12.2013 from

Bernaus, Mercè, Furlong, Áine, Jonckheere, Sofie & Kervran, Martine (2011) Plurilingualism and pluriculturalism in content-based teaching: A training kit 


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources



Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources


Int. Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (LIBRARY DOES NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS)

Language Education

Modern Language Journal

TESOL quarterly



Key words search

Bilingual, multilingual, CLIL, EAL, TESOL; politics of language; multilingual classroom activities.  Language Learning and teaching; language education

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date