Research has shown that multilinguals demonstrate superior metalinguistic and metacognitive abilities, such as the ability to draw comparisons between different languages and to reflect on and employ appropriate learning strategies. However, it has also been accentuated that multilingualism does not automatically enhance further language learning if learners are not supported by the school environment. Learning L3, L4 or Ln is attained best when language users avail themselves and are aware of the existence of their overall linguistic knowledge. In consequence, teachers’ understanding of and beliefs about multilingual pedagogies are central as they affect the manner in which a language learners multilingualism is facilitated in the educational setting. That being said, it may be assumed that the knowledge of teacher’s perceptions is critical and central to the understanding of their decision-making processes in the classroom as well as dilemmas pertaining to multilingual pedagogies. In this talk, I will discuss L3 foreign language teachers’ beliefs about multilingualism and multilingual pedagogies. I will draw on the data collected through focus-group discussions conducted with 2 cohorts of Polish L3 teachers (of German, French and Spanish). A careful analysis, qualitative in nature, revealed a few recurring themes, e.g. language awareness, prior linguistic knowledge, cross-linguistic influence, the use of multilingual pedagogies, i.e. translanguaging, and the auxiliary role of L2 English. Their meticulous examination sheds light on the urgency of training teachers in the use of multilingual pedagogies.

About the speaker

Dr. Piotr Romanowski is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics of the University of Warsaw, Poland. He earned a PhD in Linguistics from Jagiellonian University in Cracow in 2012 and a post-doc degree (habilitation) at the University of Warsaw in 2021. His academic interests are at the intersection of bi-/multilingual education and sociolinguistics although his background is in English Language Teaching. To date he has authored 2 monographs, over 40 papers and (co-)edited 6 other volumes on the topics of CLIL, EMI, translanguaging, SLA, minority languages, heritage education, intercultural education and ELT. His latest monograph Family Language Policy in the Polish Diaspora: A Focus on Australia was published by Routledge in April 2021. He is Chief Editor of Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices. He is also Chief Editor of the book series Language Learning and Multilingualism (Brill) with Louisa Willoughby (Monash University) and Catherine Chua (University of Calgary) as Associate Editors. He is the founding member of MultiLingNet – a network for scholars investigating multilingualism and multilingual education. He has participated in several research projects in Spain, Norway, Estonia. He has lectured at many European universities under Erasmus+ Programme, but also at Florida International University, Missouri State University, Carleton University, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Sao Paulo, University of Chile, University of Johannesburg, National Chengchi University, Chulalongkorn University. In the academic year 2022/23 he is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, University College London, working together with Prof. Li Wei on a project devoted to the Polish languages in the urban spaces of London.



Gordon Greenwood Building (#32) Room 312 and via Zoom