Fostering multilingual competence in the EFL classroom

  • Susan Abney Vista Heights Middle School Utah
  • Anna Krulatz
Keywords: EFL, multilingualism, minority language students, teaching practices


As classrooms around Europe are becoming increasingly more linguistically and culturally diverse, teachers need to adapt their teaching to accommodate minority languages students. While developing their proficiency in the language of the target community, these students almost invariably receive instruction in English as a foreign language (EFL). Recognizing the important role EFL teachers play in the overall cognitive and linguistic development of minority students, this paper discusses the following pedagogical practices for the 21st century, diverse EFL classrooms: welcoming diversity, multimodality of input, funds of knowledge, clear goals, opportunities for interaction, integrating language with compelling content, facilitating multi-literacy, and differentiating instruction and assessment. By providing both theoretical support and practical tips, the paper aims to empower EFL teachers to foster linguistically and culturally rich environments and support their students’ multilingual development.

Author Biographies

Susan Abney, Vista Heights Middle School Utah

Susan Abney teaches English as a Second Language at Vista Heights Middle School in Utah (USA) and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English and Intermountain TESOL. She has several years of experience working with children from multilinguistic and multicultural backgrounds. Her areas of expertise include curriculum design, lesson planning and implementation, reading and writing, and differentiated instruction.

Anna Krulatz
Anna Krulatz is an Associate Professor of English at the Department of Teacher and Interpreter Education at Sør-Trøndelag University College where she works with pre-service English teachers. Her main interests include second language teaching methodology with focus on interlanguage pragmatics, content-based instruction, multilingualism, and teacher education.
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