Are future L3-German teachers prepared to increase students' metacognition and crosslinguistic awareness in the multilingual classroom? An analysis of teacher education programs at Danish and Norwegian universities


  • Maj Schian Nielsen University of Agder


The multilingual turn in Europe requires an adaption of foreign language teaching approaches. This study provides theoretical and empirical reasons to treat crosslinguistic awareness as a potentially beneficial metacognitive tool for multilingual language learners. Furthermore, it explores whether future foreign language teachers are introduced to crosslinguistic awareness as a teaching tool in university teacher education. A sample of 27 national and local documents concerning parts of German foreign language teacher education in Denmark and Norway were analyzed for concepts such as multilingualism, metacognition, and crosslinguistic awareness. The document analysis showed that the three main concepts appeared comparably across the countries, but the distribution within the countries differed across the levels of teacher education. In Denmark, the university level focused the most on the concepts. In contrast, the findings in Norway show a more significant level of multilingualism in the national subject curriculum for foreign languages that language teachers are expected to base their instruction on. Multilingualism was not referenced in the samples at the Norwegian university level. Regardless of the appearance of the concepts in both countries' documents, the findings are not conclusive as to whether crosslinguistic awareness is applied primarily as a learning tool for prospective teachers or whether it is promoted as a didactical tool for future teachers' teaching.






Thematic section: Multilingualism in education