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Plurilingual Education: Research Trends and Perspectives

Code: 43225 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313815 Research in Education OT 0 1


Melinda Dooly Owenby

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)

Other comments on languages

According to the student profile, and in line with the content of this course, plurilingual interaction is a natural part of the course. Materials and discussions in Spanish, Catalan and English are accepted and promoted.


Júlia Llompart Esbert


There are no prerequisites although students should be prepared to work with multiple languages (resources) and in a plurilingual context.

Objectives and Contextualisation

  • Introduction to multilingual projects for schools within the European framework.
  • Introduction to research related to integrating language learning and other curricula.
  • Become familiar with research and its application to multiple literacies and multimodality.
  • Develop an understanding of research and its application to language learning in multilingual contexts.
  • Develop and understanding of research and its application to globalization and digital skills related to language learning.        


  • Analyse data according to its nature and present results in accorance with the research proposals.
  • Collect research data coherently in accordance with the chosen method.
  • Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Communicate the research results, knowledge acquired and the implications for practice, and adapt the register to the public and formal protocols.
  • Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously.
  • Integrate knowledge and use it to make judgements in complex situations, with incomplete information, while keeping in mind social and ethical responsibilities.
  • Plan research according to practice-related problems, taking into account theoretical advances in the field of knowledge.
  • Recognise and relate the theoretical, empirical and social aspecys of the specific field of research.
  • Recognise the knowledge contributed by research in language and literature education as an essential tool for a fairer society which is more respectful of equality and opportunities.
  • Use ICT in the research process, information search and management, data analysis and the dissemination and communication of results.
  • Work in teams and with teams in the same or interdisciplinary fields.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse current trends in research into integrated language learning and curriculum content.
  2. Analyse theoretical reference frameworks to establish which ones orientate research.
  3. Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  4. Continue the learning process, to a large extent autonomously.
  5. Defend the research carried out orally, using the appropriate technology.
  6. Design strategies for collecting information.
  7. Find and analyse theoretical references.
  8. Identify education problems and evaluate the methodological approaches for their solution.
  9. Identify theoretical references and evaluate their appropriateness for problems related to plurilingual education.
  10. Integrate knowledge and use it to make judgements in complex situations, with incomplete information, while keeping in mind social and ethical responsibilities.
  11. Interpret the policies and situations of language learning from the viewpoint of educational research in contexts of globalisation, multilingualism and multiculturality.
  12. Judge the importance and theoretical and social pertinence of a research problem related to plurilingual education.
  13. Prepare the research report according to the structure of formal protocols.
  14. Produce conclusions taking into reference the research objectives and questions and the theoretical references.
  15. Relate results in accordance with their origin (sources and instruments).
  16. Understand the main aspects of contexts specific to plurilingual education and analyse them as objects of research.
  17. Understand the opportunities offered by online work and language learning from the contributions of educational research.
  18. Understand the research on plurilingual education projects within the European framework.
  19. Use ICT in the research process, information search and management, data analysis and the dissemination and communication of results.
  20. Use research methods, strategies and techniques and design research pertinent to the research problem in context.
  21. Work in teams and with teams in the same or interdisciplinary fields.


This module is compulsory for students specializing in the area of Teaching Language and Literature and is optional for other specialized areas of study.

The module covers innovative research in the domain of teaching of languages within the context of globalization, linguistic diversity (super-diversity), multiculturalism and the increasing use of English as a lingua franca in diverse contexts.

Contents include:

  • Global conceptions of plurilingual and intercultural education;
  • Features of an integrated approach to plurilingual education;
  • The application of qualitative research to plurilingual education contexts (e.g. plurilingual interaction in the classroom, digital contexts, informal educational contexts);
  • Research approaches to technology-mediated language learning contexts.


The guided learning process will be developed from the following sections:

  • Lectures/presentations by teachers.
  • Reading of articles and other related resources.
  • Analysis and discussion of articles and resources.
  • Empirical activities: application of research concepts on classroom interactions; multilingual educational contexts; problem solving and cases.
  • Development of the final product (in article format) and oral defense of the final output.

*Important note: The proposed teaching methodology and assessment may undergo some modification depending on any attendance restrictions imposed by the health authorities.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
In-class participation; group work 36 1.44
Type: Supervised      
Analysis and group discussion of articles and other assigned texts 36 1.44
Type: Autonomous      
Development of the individual work / participation in debates and workshops during the sessions. 78 3.12


Evaluation criteria for the module

Attendance & participation 15%

The following items will be taken into account:

  • Regular attendance;
  • Punctuality;
  • Demonstrative engagement with proposed activities during class;
  • Collaboration with classmates;
  • Facilitation and support of classmates' learning as well as own.

Ongoing activities (homework, preparation for class, post-class follow-up, etc.) 35%

The following items will be taken into account:

  • Critical reading of assigned texts and materials.
  • Preparation prior to class (e.g. critical reading of assigned texts and materials).
  • Post-class exploration of of the theoretical foundations necessary to advance in the elaboration of the evaluation tasks and in the conceptual understanding of the contents of the module;
  • Regular advancement of final output (writing workshop, delivery of drafts, etc.).
  • Engagement with proposed empirical research tasks (case studies, etc.).

Final Output (50%)

The final output consists of:

  • The development of a written article, in the format of an academic article, in in which a small analysis of data is proposed and theoretically and methodologically justified.
    • Extension of article: 3,000 to 4,000 words. The text should follow the guidelines indicated in the workshop on style guidelines provided during the course.
  • Oral defense and the discussion of the article duringa face-to-face session, in the format of a presentation in a congress or conference.

The following will be taken into account:

The written academic article:

  • Content: interest of the subject, originality of the approach; investigative rigor; results obtained;
  • Communicative and formal aspects: Coherent and understandable text that has all the characteristics of academic writing and does not use discriminatory language.

Defense of article:

  • Content: presentation of the theoretical and methodological framework of the article, presentation and discussion of the data; reflections on the implications of the study; the presentation should take the listener into account in its orientation of delivery.
  • Communicative skills: orderly and understandable presentation; ability to present and discuss the content cogently; use of academic discourse in explanation and discussion and no use discriminatory language.

Any student who has suspended the course can make it up by submitting a second, longer article, of 5000-6000 words that should meet the standards of an article in a scientific journal.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Attendance to and participation during sessions 15% 0 0 1, 7, 16, 18, 17, 11, 21
Final output (written and oral defense) 50% 0 0 1, 7, 16, 18, 5, 6, 14, 13, 8, 9, 19, 12, 3, 4, 15, 20
Ongoing activities 35% 0 0 2, 16, 18, 8, 9, 12, 10, 3


Recommended bibliography (all of the reading on this list will not necessarily be used for the guided activities in the course, but the list is useful for autonomous work). Specific bibliography to some of the activities will be given at the beginning of the course or during the course. The links in this document will be updated at the beginning of the course, if necessary.

Recursos educatius oberts / Open Educational Resources (OER):



Technology used in this course:

  • VLE Moodle
  • Video editor (optional - for data analysis)
  • Pdf reader
  • Document editor
  • Other platforms may be introduced according to the needs of the content. Their use will always be accompanied with explicit instructions as needed.