Preparing teachers of Early Childhood Education to teach a foreign language: the PEPELINO portfolio in practice
Teaching a foreign language at pre-primary level has been officially introduced in Poland in 2015 as a follow-up to European policy guidelines (European Commission 2011b). Teachers are agents of any language policy as it is them who have to warrant its implementation through pedagogical practice. While most of the studies conducted on policy implementation focus on teacher beliefs and multilingual practices (e.g., Haukås 2016; Lundberg 2019), the following paper concentrates on implementing European language policy guidelines in respect of early foreign language education and pluralistic approaches. It describes a quantitative study of early education in-service teachers who attended a 3-semester preparation course for language teaching. The data analysis revealed that ‘supporting the linguistic development of children with other first languages than Polish’ gained the least support among the respondents, despite a significant course module devoted to this issue. Therefore, the conclusion can be drawn that the teachers will be able to raise interest in language learning by very young learners, by drawing on their experience as Early Childhood Educators, yet it will be difficult to foster plurilingualism and attitudes of intercultural interest by teachers who often lack intercultural experience and plurilingual awareness themselves.
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