Early Foreign Language Learning and Plurilingual Education

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Hanne Thomsen, senior lecturer
University College Copenhagen

A presentation of key principles for 'EARLY FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING AND PLURILINGUAL EDUCATION – based on a 36 month research project.

The project was set up to meet new requirements for early English as specified in a new School Reform in Denmark.

The action research project was carried out by teachers of English from different schools in Copenhagen in close cooperation with teacher educators and researchers from the University College Copenhagen and the University of Copenhagen.

Comprehensive research-based and practice-oriented acquisition of knowledge provided the basis for the development of a new beginner didactics with a focus on plurilingualism.

Practice-oriented has been a keyword for the project. Groups of teachers have been instrumental in creating and evaluating teaching methods in their classes and thus ensured the development of practically qualified teaching plans and materials.

Apart from emphasising active participation during classes and meaningful use of the language, the focus on comparing the words and expressions of the new language to other languages represented in the classroom has been a genuine strength of the project. This inclusion of plurilingualism has not only contributed to a high level of language awareness but also to a recognition of the home languages of many of the pupils.

The poster presentation will focus on one of the project results, KEY PRINCIPLES FOR EARLY LANGUAGE LEARNING AND PLURILINGUAL EDUCATION but will also include examples from the teaching material and the publication that is now available (in Danish) for teachers of English.
Translated title of the contributionTidlig sprogstart med fokus på flersprogethed
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 May 2020
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
EventLanguage in Focus 2020 - University of Malta, Valetta, Malta
Duration: 30 Apr 20202 May 2020


ConferenceLanguage in Focus 2020
LocationUniversity of Malta
Internet address


  • learning, educational science and teaching

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