The last decade has witnessed a rapid increase in interest in multilingualism. Whereas a number of scholars in language acquisition research still base their work on the monolingual native speaker norm, others have developed more realistic viewpoints. This article provides an overview of international research on third language learning and teaching, including examples mainly from a European background. It describes sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic and educational aspects of multilingual teaching and emphasizes current research trends in this fairly young area of language teaching. The challenging ways which have been suggested to achieve multilingualism for all necessarily have to address learners, teachers, educators and policy makers. It will be argued that multilingual education can only be successful if language teaching in general is restructured and oriented towards multilingual norms.