University of Oulu

Exploring pre-service teachers’ perspectives on the use of bilingual students’ mother tongue

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Author: Katsanaki, Maria-Elpida1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 67
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M.-E. Katsanaki, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Paradis, Audrey
Reviewer: Paradis, Audrey
Matengu, Marika


The phenomenon of migration dates back to the emergence of man on Earth. However, after 2015, migration flows have increased due to various factors such as war, globalization, and economic instability. Greece is one of the most affected countries, as it is considered one of the main gateways to Europe. Many economic migrants and refugees are staying in Greece permanently or temporarily. This has led to a multiculturalization of Greek school classrooms, forcing educators to deal with the problems created by language differences in the classroom. However, one of the biggest problems facing educational institutions in Greece is that teachers are not prepared to address the special needs of bilingual students.

This study examines the impact of migration on Greek school classrooms and the challenges faced by pre-service teachers in meeting the needs of bilingual students. Specifically, the study aims to investigate the perceptions of Department of Early Childhood Education (DECE) students at the University of Athens regarding bilingualism and the use of different languages in their classrooms. The study employs a qualitative approach using thematic analysis to analyze data collected through online questionnaires.

The results indicate that respondents feel unprepared to include bilingual students in their classes and underscore the need for better training from the college. The study highlights the need for more courses at the University of Athens that provide pre-service teachers with the skills and knowledge necessary to teach in a multilingual and multicultural classroom. Although respondents acknowledge the importance of the mother tongue in the lives of bilingual students, they do not use any other language in the classroom. The study concludes that the lack of inclusion of the mother tongue in the school context contributes to respondents feeling unprepared for teaching in a multilingual classroom.

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Copyright information: © Maria-Elpida Katsanaki, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.