In MEG-SKoRe I, we examined whether primary school students with German as a second language (L2) had different learning outcomes in the early acquisition of English compared to their monolingual peers. To this end, we investigated (a) which individual linguistic, cognitive and social factors influence the acquisition of English, and (b) in which respect multilingualism acts as a resource in early foreign language learning. The project consisted of two parts. Part 1 focused on linguistic transfer and the question to what extent the L1 and/or L2 affect the acquisition of English. Part 2 explored whether metalinguistic awareness has a positive impact on English skills.
Overall, 200 students from six public primary schools in south-west Germany took part in the study at the end of grade 3 and of grade 4 (88 monolingual; 112 multilingual).
The results show that multilingualism in and of itself constitutes neither a general resource nor a global disadvantage in the early foreign language classroom. Rather, multilingualism can turn into a resource in early foreign language learning in the context of additional individual factors such as a high degree of language awareness, a large vocabulary in the L1 as well as superior cognitive skills.
For more information on MEG-SKoRe I click here.
Against the background of these results, MEG-SKoRe II aims to investigate (a) how these positive factors of multilingualism can be used in English language teaching in primary school and (b) whether employing multilingual teaching materials and methods leads to improvement of English skills, higher student participation and more peer-to-peer interaction among both multilingual and German monolingual students.
Using objective performance measures, this project explores the potential of multilingual foreign language teaching. It thus contributes to the development of multilingual foreign language teaching by providing teaching handbooks, methods and materials for the English language classroom.