“Diversity Matters”: an Interdisciplinary Webinar Series

Empowering educators in and for multilingual environments. A conversation with Denis Weger and Marta Guarda

28 May 2024, 1-2pm CET

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This webinar features Denis Weger (University of Vienna) and Marta Guarda (Eurac Research) discussing various aspects of pre-service and in-service teachers' professional development for inclusive plurilingual instruction, i.e. education that leverages all pupils’ linguistic resources for teaching and learning. With regard to pre-service teacher education, Denis Weger will present empirical insights from a study with 52 pre-service teachers of various subjects at the University of Vienna, exploring the development of their professional competence in inclusive plurilingual instruction during a teacher education course on the topic. The study, using pre-post video analyses tasks and stimulated recall interviews, highlights how students improved their ability to notice relevant teaching elements in linguistically diverse classrooms. The discussion will delve into key findings, emphasizing the influence of seminar input, individual beliefs, and language biographical experiences on competence development.

Moving on to in-service teachers’ professional development, Marta Guarda will report on the experiences of one teacher team (8 teachers of all subjects) from a South Tyrolean primary school who took part in a two-year participatory action research initiative on inclusive plurilingual education. Guarda will draw on the qualitative analysis of data from individual and focus group interviews, as well as from fieldnotes and visual documentation, to provide evidence of how the teacher team adapted their pedagogical stance and practices over the course of the two years so as to transform their classrooms into more inclusive plurilingual learning environments. In doing so, the discussion will also highlight the potential of adopting a participatory action research approach to promote educational change from below as well as to foster an exchange between research and practice.

The webinar will take place in English. Questions on the part of the audience will be welcome in English, German and Italian. The webinar is part of the online series “Diversity Matters” hosted by the Center for Migration and Diversity of Eurac Research. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the webinar series explores the impact of migrations, diversities and mobilities on increasingly superdiverse territorial realities. The series is a forum for experts to share their work and expertise with an audience of fellow academics, students, decision-makers and practitioners. Find out more about the Diversity Matters webinar series here!