Teachers' attitudes towards students' bilingualism – a comparative study
It is a well-known fact that teachers' expectations can impact on students' performance, either positively or negative (see, for instance, Rosenthal & Jacobsen 1968 and Babad, Inbar & Rosenthal 1982, respectively). While these effects have been investigated with regard to teacher expectations and students' socio-economic background and ethnicity, very few studies have examined how student mulitlingualism affects teachers' attitudes and expectations (Piller 2016).
One notable exception is a recent study by Pulinx, Van Avermaet and Agirdag (2015), focusing on high school teachers' attitudes towards linguistic diversity in Flanders, Belgium. The researchers found that three-quarters of all surveyed teachers in their study exhibited a strong monolingual mindset in that they saw little value in their students' home languages.
This project aims to replicate Pulinx et al.'s (2015) study, in order to explore the determinants that may impact on teachers’ attitudes within and across countries. We are interested in administering a slightly adapted survey to teachers, in a variety of countries and at different levels of education (e.g. primary vs. secondary education), contexts (for instance rural vs. urban centres), and school demographics (e.g. ethnically and linguistically homogenous vs. heterogenous communities).
Members of the Research Network interested in collaborating with us on this project, please contact us at s.eisenchlas-at-griffith.edu.au and andrea.schalley-at-kau.se.
Babad, E. Y., Inbar, J., & Rosenthal, R. (1982). Pygmalion, Galatea, and the Golem: Investigations of biased and unbiased teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology. 74 (4): 459–474.
Pulinx, R., Van Avermaet, P., & Agirdag, O. (2015). Silencing linguistic diversity: The extent, the determinants and consequences of the monolingual beliefs of Flemish teachers. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-15.
Rosenthal, R. & Jacobsen, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the classroom: teacher expectation and pupils’ intellectual development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.