JoLIE 9:1/2016


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Zsuzsanna Dégi

Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Miercurea Ciuc, Romania






Knowledge of teachers’ belief is important in order to understand better their decision-making in the classroom (Haukas 2016). Previous research on multilingualism and third language acquisition has shown that multilingualism is an asset (Cenoz 2000; Cenoz 2008; Cenoz, & Gorter 2014); however, it does not automatically enhance further language learning. Therefore, teachers are key facilitators in drawing students’ attention to the role of previously learnt languages (Boócz-Barna 2010) and in encouraging students to rely and exploit their prior linguistic knowledge during the language learning process.

The aim of the present study is to examine English language teachers’ beliefs regarding classroom language use and to explore the possible tendencies of adopting a multilingual approach in the third language (L3) classroom. Semi-structured interview data (n=8) were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Teachers’ responses show an ambiguous situation. While they view multilingualism as a potentially positive asset and think that knowledge of other language can positively influence further language learning, they almost exclusively use the target language in the classroom and rarely make connections between languages.


Key words: Multilingualism; Third language learning; Teachers’ beliefs; Multilingual approach in language teaching.





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How to cite this article: Dégi, Zs. (2016). Teachers’ beliefs regarding non-target language use in the EFL classroom. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 9(1), 19-30. DOI:



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