The Effects of Multilingual Teaching Materials on Pupils' Understanding of Geographical Content in the Classroom

Nikolaus Paul Repplinger, Alexandra Budke


The article sounds the potentials of multilingualism as a resource for geography lessons. In detail, it examines the use of multilingual teaching media and their effect on the comprehension of the content. First, the potentials of multilingualism for geography lessons are theoretically developed. After the development and adaption of the material, field research was conducted with a test group of pupils. Based on this, the results of an empirical classroom study are presented. A pretest elicited their prior knowledge, then a multi-perspective analysis on the learning process using screen recording took place. Finally, the data gained was evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. The central aims of the study are how pupils use teaching media that are offered in different language. In addition, it will be analysed what effect the use of multilingual teaching materials have on pupils' understanding of content. Nearly all pupils used the material in different languages. The multilingual approach had a positive effect on the learning process. The pupils who had the best learning outcome used more non-German media and consumed the same contents repeatedly, but in several translations. Multimedia and digital learning tools are suited well for a multilingual approach and fosters pupils' independence in the learning process and the self-directed acquisition of knowledge.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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