Teachers are presented with the challenge of educating heterogeneous, multilingual students with high quality language and subject-specific education. Research group Multilingualism and Education studies the challenges of professionals in their teaching practice, their use of languages, and the different ways in which they foster inclusive education.

Lines of research within the research group

Meaningful language education views language proficiency as a means to communicate, to learn and to function in an international and intercultural society. In this line of research, the research group places emphasis on content. Which subjects and teaching materials are most appropriate for developing language skills and preparing learners for the functional use of foreign languages in society?

How can teachers in different areas of expertise stimulate the development of functional language proficiency, which is necessary for participation in their course of study and future career? How can they find the connection with the multilingual context of students and society? This concerns career and subject-specific language proficiency in their teaching practice, and language-focused didactics in different subject areas, namely content and language integrated learning (CLIL).

Teachers and other education professionals together develop a vision and manner of  working in regards to the value of students’ multilingual competencies and recognize multilingualism in their own environment. The context of education and work practice are essential in this, particularly in mutual recognition of different areas of expertise within and between teams.



Working in multilingual contexts is a key issue in teachers’ education and professional development. We aim to prepare teachers to choose pedagogically and didactically-informed ways of working, which fit their students’ needs, learning goals, and school environment.

school class Rick de Graaff

“Language is a means of transport that takes you to the places you want to go. You see more when you enjoy the ride; you enjoy more when you are well prepared”

Rick de Graaff Professor of Multilingualism and Education


The research group works together with various regional, national, and international parties to strengthen a communicative, intercultural and content-oriented approach to foreign language education. Among others teachers who received their education at the Hogeschool Utrecht and the Universiteit Utrecht, and different teaching schools in the region. As well as internationally with the University of Malmö, Sweden, and Innland University for Applied Sciences, Norway.

Our professors and researchers

Rick de Graaff | Professor | Research group Foreign Language Education

Rick de Graaff

Professor Multilingualism and Education Show profile
Jantien Smit | professor | Multilingualism and Education

Jantien Smit

Professor Multilingualism and Education Show profile
Linda Gijsen | Senior researcher | Research group Multilingualism and Education

Linda Gijsen

Multilingualism and Education Show profile
Ria Goedhart - PhD candidate

Ria Goedhart

PhD candidate Multilingualism and Education, Normative Professionalisation Show profile

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Lyke van den Berg

  • Research group Multilingualism and Education