Preparing Teachers to Work with Multilingual Learners

Edited by: Meike Wernicke, Svenja Hammer, Antje Hansen, Tobias Schroedler

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Multilingual Matters
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234mm x 156mm

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This collection examines a diverse range of approaches to multilingualism in teacher education programmes across Europe and North America. The authors investigate how pre-service teachers are being prepared to work in multilingual contexts and discuss the key features of current pre-service teacher education initiatives that address the increasing linguistic and cultural diversity evident in classrooms in their respective countries. The focus is not only on migrant-background learners but includes students from Indigenous, autochthonous and heritage language backgrounds, and speakers of minoritised regional varieties. The chapters contextualise, both historically and ideologically, the specific initiatives and measures taken in the participating countries. They also reveal the complexity of each educational context and the role that history, language policies and institutional and programmatic priorities play in the development and implementation of a multilingual focus in teacher education. In exploring how pre-service teachers are being prepared to work in multilingual contexts, the authors take a critical view of how multilingualism itself is conceptualised within and across contexts. The book highlights the valuable impact that explicit instruction on theories of multilingualism, pedagogies in multilingual classrooms and lived realities of multilingual children can have on the beliefs and practices of pre-service teachers.

This collection makes a useful contribution to the growing research base on teacher education for multilingual learners in linguistically diverse contexts. The international scope of the volume allows for richer – and more historically informed – definitions of multilingualism, and provides insightful comparative analysis of how teacher-education policies and curricula interact in shaping the preparation of future teachers to support multilingual learners.

Jeff Bale, University of Toronto, Canada

This book is a long awaited deeper look into the ways teacher education responds to the multilingual reality of today's classrooms. The selection of countries elucidates the vital importance of understanding multilingualism in the context of each country's institutional structures and sociopolitical processes. It will help to push forward the agenda in many other countries' teacher education as well!

Barbara Herzog-Punzenberger, University of Innsbruck, Austria

This much-needed volume deepens our understanding of the commonalities and complexities of preparing teachers to address linguistic and cultural diversity. The authors from nine countries have forged an international alliance that accounts for the unique historical context of each setting. This important work sets the stage for future research on the equitable education of multilingual learners across their nations and around the world.

Nancy L. Commins, University of Colorado Denver, USA

Meike Wernicke is Assistant Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada, with a research focus in French second language teacher education, professional development and teacher identity. Her research also includes an interest in intercultural education, multilingual pedagogies, language policy, and decolonizing approaches in language education.

Svenja Hammer is Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute for Multilingualism, Language Development and Language Education at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. She is engaged in several teacher preparation courses at her university and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, as well as in the International Consortium for Multilingual Excellence in Education project.

Antje Hansen is Research Assistant at the Coordination Office for Multilingualism and Language Education at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Her research interests focus on multilingualism and language education in Germany, heritage language education, factors of successful multilingualism and transfer of research results into practice.

Tobias Schroedler is Junior Professor of Multilingualism and Social Inclusion at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He has published on different aspects of multilingualism and his research interests include multilingualism in teacher education, institutional multilingualism, language education and language economics.


1. Meike Wernicke, Antje Hansen, Svenja Hammer and Tobias Schroedler: Multilingualism and Teacher Education: Introducing the MultiTEd Project

2. Tobias Schroedler: What is Multilingualism? Towards an Inclusive Understanding

3. BethAnne Paulsrud and Adrian Lundberg: One School for All? Multilingualism in Teacher Education in Sweden

4. Tamás Péter Szabó, Elisa Repo, Niina Kekki and Kristiina Skinnari: Multilingualism in Finnish Teacher Education

5. Lisa Berkel-Otto, Antje Hansen, Svenja Hammer, Svenja Lemmrich, Tobias Schroedler and Ángela Uribe: Multilingualism in Teacher Education in Germany: Differences in Approaching Linguistic Diversity in Three Federal States

6. Lucia Miškulin Saletović, Klara Bilić Meštrić and Emina Berbić Kolar: Multilingualism in Teacher Education in Croatia

7. Barbara Gross and Lynn Mastellotto: Approaches to Diversity: Tracing Multilingualism in Teacher Education in South Tyrol, Italy

8. Chiara Liberio and Carlos Rafael Oliveras: Multilingualism and Primary Initial Teacher Education in the Republic of Ireland: Policies and Practice 

9. Meike Wernicke: Preparing Teachers for Multilingual Classrooms in English Canada

10. Jessie Hutchison Curtis: Multilingualism and Teacher Education in the United States

11. Svenja Hammer, Antje Hansen and Meike Wernicke: Diversity in Teacher Preparation for Multilingual Contexts


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