How pedagogy can support diverse learning needs in multilingual contexts

  • Joanna Norton: Visiting Lecturer, English Language Centre

Brief description of session and activities

Managing diverse learning needs in today’s multilingual classrooms is one of the greatest pedagogic challenges facing teachers. This talk will present ongoing research underpinning Keywords English (a free mobile app), to demonstrate how the synergies between mLearning and mPedagogy have the potential to address a multitude of learning needs, whilst catering to the ongoing CPD requirements of teachers.

For the learning process itself to be truly inclusive and for teaching and learning to achieve their objectives, it is imperative that students understand the academic language of school (Vollmer 2009). Given the challenges that the language of school presents for English language learners (ELLs), even after socio-economic background has been taken into account (OECD 2006, 2009), linguists from Trinity College Dublin, carried out an extensive body of research into current classroom practice at secondary school level. Working with 250 teachers in 85 secondary schools over a two-year period, researchers deployed techniques of corpus linguistics to analyse curriculum language to develop an extensive collection of learning materials for use in English language support and mainstream subject classrooms.

The paper will demonstrate how this research was adapted for a mobile learning approach with the resulting app being used to support language and literacy development within a formal and informal learning context. Examples of CPD models within an mLearning context will also be demonstrated.

How will students be involved in the session?

I worked with UAL students on the new design and branding of the marketing and publicity materials. They will discuss their role in this process during the poster presentation.

What will participants take away from the session?

Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their own classroom practice and consider how mobile devices can help support learning outcomes. The session will also provide participants with practical examples of how UAL students can be incorporated into projects.