How policies influence multilingual education and the impact of multilingual education on practices

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In this contribution two questions are addressed namely what is the influence of policy on multilingual education and what is the impact of multilingual education on practices? By multilingual education is meant content and language integrated learning or CLIL. This paper is organized in three parts. In the first part the influence on policy on multilingual education is studied on two levels. First, the local level, i.e. the region of Flanders in Belgium and, second, the European level will be examined. The second part will study the impact of multilingual education on practice by researching two selected secondary schools, one vocational and one elite school by means of a number of tenets that include linguistic and non-linguistic ones. The main task of the Dylan project was to show the importance of multilingualism in a variety of ways. One of the most important aspects is education at both university and secondary level that should ideally be built upon multilingual primary education. Current scientific research has mainly focussed on aspects of language education while we advocate the idea that learning in another language has a major influence on a number of factors that eventually create better learners. In this way this approach is, first, a contribution to the advantages of multilingualism and, second, a plea for educational innovation via language education. Finally, a number of theoretical pathways are identified to illustrate our major conclusion that opens the way toward a new educational paradigm.


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