Bridging the ‘dual lives’: school socialization of young bi/multilinguals in the eyes of EFL teachers


Over the last decade, teachers in Poland have observed an increase in the number of primary school children with bi/multilingual and culturally diverse backgrounds. Regardless of their complex experiences, they face many cultural, social, linguistic and educational challenges upon entering primary school. English teachers are often at the forefront, helping them navigate through the intricacy of their seemingly ‘dual lives’ (Li and Zhu. 2013. “Translanguaging Identities and Ideologies: Creating Transnational Space Through Flexible Multilingual Practices Amongst Chinese University Students in the UK.” Applied Linguistics 34 (5): 516–535, 531). The paper presents the results of an interview study among 23 Polish EFL teachers with a view towards investigating Polish EFL teachers’ experiences and ways of working with bi/multilingual children directed at child integration and socialization into the new environment. The collected data was coded following the content analysis approach (Krippendorff. 2003. Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage) and analysed from the ecological perspective (see Bronfenbrenner. 1979. The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; van Lier. 2004. The Ecology and Semiotics of Language Learning. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers), whereby successful child socialization was observed to be dependent on an intricate network of interrelated factors. The role of the exosystem, i.e. the school system, has been found the least supportive due to the absence of a comprehensive multilingual policy, and lack of teacher support via teacher training, all of which have been concluded to be of urgent need in the emergent multilingual setting.

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).

Data availability statement

All the data supporting the results and analysis presented in this manuscript are stored in the NVivo software file and can be accessed by contacting the research team coordinator, prof. Joanna Rokita-Jaśkow (

Additional information

Notes on contributors


Joanna Rokita-Jaśkow

Joanna Rokita-Jaśkow is Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland, where she is head of the ELT section. Her main research interests concern child foreign and second language acquisition and foreign language teacher education.


Agata Wolanin

Agata Wolanin received her PhD degree in Applied Linguistics and is employed at the Pedagogical University of Krakow where she teaches Practical English and TEFL courses. Her research interests revolve around global citizenship issues and transformative pedagogy.


Werona Król-Gierat

Werona Król-Gierat holds a PhD degree in Applied Linguistics and lectures at the Pedagogical University of Kraków. She is also qualified in early-school pedagogy, psychological-pedagogical diagnosis and therapy, and education management.


Katarzyna Nosidlak

Katarzyna Nosidlak is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language Education at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland. Her research currently focuses on the topic of affective factors and their role in the process of foreign language acquisition.

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