Multimodal linguistic biographies of prospective foreign language teachers in Germany: reconstructing beliefs about languages and multilingual language learning in initial teacher education

Silvia Melo Pfeifer, Alice Chik

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Linguistic biographies have been increasingly used in language and teacher education, even if mainly in a written form. In this study we analyse 33 visual linguistic biographies, using drawings to examine the (re)constructions of the multilingual self. The visual linguistic biographies were produced by prospective Spanish language teachers at the University of Hamburg (Winter Semester 2017). We looked at the visual composition of the linguistic biographies and the elements which student teachers combine to trace the representation and the evolution of the multilingual self. We conclude that temporal and geographic metaphors are the most commonly represented, displaying beliefs about language learning and becoming multilingual in a succession of different languages, generally in a schooling pathway. Additionally, student teachers perceive living and studying abroad as important experiences leading to linguistic proficiency. The study suggests that students developed a multilingual imagery made up of languages acquired chronologically, these being associated with specific nation-states and kept separate from each other in individuals’ repertoires. We propose that these beliefs should become a starting point for discussing complexity in trajectories of multilingual becoming and heterogeneity of multilingual repertoires.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages24
    JournalInternational Journal of Multilingualism
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2020

    Keywords

    • linguistic biographies
    • visual methods
    • teacher education
    • multimodal translanguaging

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