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ERIC Number: EJ936091
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Bringing One Language to Another: Multilingualism as a Resource in the Language Classroom
Milambiling, Joyce
English Teaching Forum, v49 n1 p18-25, 35 2011
Students who study English as a Foreign Language (EFL) often already speak two or more languages. Knowing more than one language is a necessity for many people worldwide, whether it is because their parents come from different language backgrounds, because their home, regional, national, or school languages are different, or for a variety of other reasons. Knowledge of more than one language is a valuable asset when one wants to learn subsequent languages; unfortunately, multilingual students often take the value of their own language knowledge for granted and do not take full advantage of what they already know how to do. Nevertheless, EFL teachers can tap into their students' familiarity with multiple languages to advance learning and accomplish what one EFL student referred to as "bringing one language to another." Engaging in and reflecting on activities that draw on multilingual experience is beneficial to students, their teachers, and to anyone who wants to add a new dimension to language teaching and learning. This article shows how a lesson for university undergraduate EFL students in Indonesia was adapted for students of different ages, levels, and language contexts. The goal is to connect the acquisition of English with the students' previous language knowledge and make this multilingual awareness a part of oral discussions, written assignments, and projects in the classroom.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indonesia