The Project

The Udele project seeks to understand how established disparities in English language learning at linguistically diverse, urban middle schools are created and sustained. Our particular focus is on exploring why multilingualism does not consistently translate into an advantage for learners of English as an additional language.

Employing a unique and multifaceted approach, our study incorporates both innovative and well-established research methods to gain novel insights into the various factors influencing students’ success in English language learning. These factors include the broader school environment, teachers’ beliefs about their students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and students’ own beliefs about themselves as language learners. A key element of our approach involves fostering close collaboration with English language teachers in urban middle schools. Additionally, we actively engage multilingual students pursuing teacher education, drawing on their language repertoires and experiences for data collection and materials development. 

The perspectives adopted and the evidence generated through the Udele project will provide a unique foundation for making sustainable recommendations to address under-performance in English language education not only in Austria but also offering valuable insights for similar linguistically diverse, urban contexts worldwide.

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