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See detailEmergent Multilinguals Learning Languages with the iPad app iTEO
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2018, June 22)

This presentation showed the results of a small-scale study led by Ass. Prof. Claudine Kirsch that investigated language learning in primary schools in Luxembourg and the ways in which this process is ... [more ▼]

This presentation showed the results of a small-scale study led by Ass. Prof. Claudine Kirsch that investigated language learning in primary schools in Luxembourg and the ways in which this process is mediated by peers and the iPad app iTEO. This study draws its data from the larger longitudinal qualitative research project iTEO (2013–2017) and is based on 10 hours of audio and video-recordings. The participants were 6–7-year-olds learning German and French. The presentation focused on the ways in which the emergent multilingual primary school children scaffold each other’s learning of French while collaboratively producing oral texts on iTEO. The findings show that the children’s language learning was mediated by peers, the task and the app. The children used a range of learning and teaching strategies while completing tasks framed by their teacher. iTEO and the task together mobilised the children’s resources, encouraged autonomy and promoted discussion about language. The presentation linked the results with the other projects during the COST DigitLitey meeting. For example, the link was made with the work with robots in early childhood education and the use of Cubetto, a robot toy teaching kids code and programming and encouraging collaboration and storytelling. The presentation was followed by a discussion on the use of digital tools in early childhood education settings. Keywords: The iPad app, iTEO, peers, language learning, mediation, primary school Source: Kirsch, C. & Bes Izuel, A. (2016). Emergent multilinguals learning languages with the IPad app iTEO: a study in primary schools in Luxembourg, The Language Learning Journal, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2016.1258721 This work was funded by the University of Luxembourg under Grant PUL R-AGR-0222; Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth under SCRIPT. [less ▲]

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See detailHome Literacy Environment and Family Language Policy of Preschool Language Minority Children in Luxembourg
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2018, June 05)

This project aims to explore home literacy environment (HLE) and family language policy (FLP) of language minority preschool children in Luxembourg. These aims were explored through four phases. In the ... [more ▼]

This project aims to explore home literacy environment (HLE) and family language policy (FLP) of language minority preschool children in Luxembourg. These aims were explored through four phases. In the first phase we investigated language resources and activities of children in their families. To achieve this aim, we administered the questionnaires on home literacy environment to the parents with migrant backgrounds from five highest migrant municipalities in Luxembourg. In the second phase, through the interviews with the interested parents from the first phase, we explored family language policy: how parents and children learn, manage and negotiate different languages at home. In the third phase, we tested early literacy and numeracy of preschool language minority children, in their home languages and Luxembourgish, at school. In the fourth phase, we asked the teachers of the participating schools to answer three questions on the challenges and opportunities while working with language minority children and the needs they have to improve their work. This study, the first of its kind in Luxembourg, is extremely important for understanding linguistic state-of-the-art of language minority children in their families. Luxembourg is falling behind the OECD mean in reading (ranked 32nd in 2015), where Portuguese children are being particularly vulnerable. Early literacy skills are critical for children’s later academic achievement. A wealth of research showed that children’s home language should not be abandoned as it is crucial for promoting dynamic multilingualism and assuring cross-linguistic transfer. This study aims to reveal valuable information about home literacy practices and policies of families with language minority preschool children. Based on this information we can strengthen the collaboration with schools regarding children’s multilingual processing and academic achievement. [less ▲]

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See detailTranslanguaging and Linguistic Creativity and Criticality
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2018, May 25)

Translanguaging (TL) pedagogy is the strategic deployment of the entire linguistic and non-linguistic repertoire for learning and teaching (García & Seltzer 2016). Particular educational advantages of ... [more ▼]

Translanguaging (TL) pedagogy is the strategic deployment of the entire linguistic and non-linguistic repertoire for learning and teaching (García & Seltzer 2016). Particular educational advantages of translanguaging are: (1) deeper and fuller understanding of the subject matter, (2) helps the development of the weaker language, (3) facilitates home-school links and cooperation, and (4) helps the integration of fluent speakers with early learners (García & Li Wei 2014, p. 67). TL is transformative for the child, for the teacher and the whole education. TL space develops the sense of connectedness (Li Wei 2011b) which is important for children's cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional development. By the use of the whole linguistic repertoire children can develop criticality and creativity. According to García and Li Wei (2014), creativity is "pushing and breaking the boundaries between the old and the new, the conventional and the original, and the acceptable and the challenging". (p. 67) while criticality is "the ability to use available evidence appropriately, systematically and insightfully, to inform considered views of cultural, social, political and linguistic wisdom, to question and problematize received wisdom and to express views adequately through reasoned responses to situations" (p. 67). The development of creativity and criticality are important skills for children's education and translanguaging pedagogy creates space for the development of these skills. [less ▲]

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See detailLinks between socio-emotional skills, behaviour, mathematics and literacy performance of preschool children in Serbia
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Merrell, Christine; Ferring, Dieter UL et al

in European Journal of Psychology of Education (2018)

Young children’s socio-emotional skills are important for understanding their own and other’s behaviours and interactions. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. In this study we explored the ... [more ▼]

Young children’s socio-emotional skills are important for understanding their own and other’s behaviours and interactions. No study in Serbia has investigated this before. In this study we explored the links between early socio-emotional skills, behaviour, and mathematics and literacy performance of preschool children in Serbia over time. Children (N = 159; 51% of girls) aged 5-8 were rated by the teachers on their socio-emotional skills and behaviour, and their mathematics and literacy assessed at three-time points over 14 months, twice in preschool and once at entry to school. At Time 3, when children entered school, their socio-emotional skills and behaviour were associated with gender, mathematics at Time 1 and their socio-emotional and behaviour ratings at Time 2, controlling for maternal education and literacy at Time 1. Mathematics at Time 3 was associated with mathematics at Time 2, controlling for gender, maternal education, literacy and behaviour at Time 1. No socio-emotional skills or specific behaviour were significant for mathematics. Literacy at Time 3 was associated with mathematics and social skills at Time 1, and literacy at Time 2, controlling for gender and maternal education. At all three times, girls were rated more positively than boys in socio-emotional skills and behaviour, except for adjustment to school setting where there were no differences. This study offers the first insight into the links between socio-emotional skills, behaviour and mathematics and literacy performance of preschool children in Serbia which will inform the development and evaluation of interventions. Attrition of the sample limits the findings. [less ▲]

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See detailPerspectives on Translanguaging as a Pedagogy in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Mortini, Simone UL et al

Presentation (2018, April 10)

Detailed reference viewed: 61 (8 UL)
See detailEarly education, literacy and multilingualism
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2018, February 08)

Presentation of three studies, one meta-analysis, introduction of the project HOMELY and video from the project MuLiPEC (Claudine Kirsch).

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See detailThe ability to read numbers: A universal measure?
Tymms, Peter; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bartholo, Tiago et al

in AERA (2018)

This study tests the hypothesis that there is a single pathway for the order in which children learn to identify numbers. Although a prime facie case can be made, systematic variation might be expected ... [more ▼]

This study tests the hypothesis that there is a single pathway for the order in which children learn to identify numbers. Although a prime facie case can be made, systematic variation might be expected because of teaching, or language of instruction, or country of origin. This study concludes that such variations are minor and that the pathway that children follow when learning to identify numbers follows the same pattern across different groups. This finding is significant in furthering our knowledge of children’s early mathematics development; it suggests that there is a universal developmental scale from which the diverse aspects of mathematical development can be viewed. This lays the foundation for international comparisons of the mathematical development of young children. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

in The 9th European IACPP Conference (2017, July)

Humour is vital for social life. We explored the role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships by: (1) interviewing intercultural couples and (2) analysing the videos of international street ... [more ▼]

Humour is vital for social life. We explored the role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships by: (1) interviewing intercultural couples and (2) analysing the videos of international street performances of a conflictual intercultural clown couple. The interviews involved 15 intercultural couples. The video analysis was based on one clown couple selected from an initial sample. Preliminary results supported the interdisciplinary theories explaining the relationships between: (1) humour and embarrassment and (2) humour and hatred. Humour and ridicule are main elements of embarrassment which is important for maintaining social order. The presence of an audience in embarrassing situations is necessary. ‘Laughing with’ or ‘laughing at’ was explored through three main types of embarrassing situations: faux pas, sticky situations and being the centre of attention. The third type was found to be the most common among intercultural couples, especially in situations of linguistic misunderstandings. Humour was the most used remedial strategy, along with apologies, excuses and justifications. Embarrassment was related to shame, the master-emotion appearing when interpersonal or group relations are broken. Shame could transform into rage and humour can provide tools for expressing it while also supporting the feelings of pleasure. Hatred was present in the forms of stereotypes against the partner’s culture through jokes. We discuss humour, embarrassment and hatred from micro to macro level to understand how they can protect the social order, find the pleasure in damaging the same and what we can do about it. [less ▲]

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See detailFinal Report for the INTER Mobility BiFaLy
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Report (2016)

Detailed reference viewed: 21 (1 UL)
See detailThe influence of language and culture on the dynamics of mixed couples
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2016, May 17)

Detailed reference viewed: 20 (1 UL)
See detailFamily literacy programme for Portuguese preschool children in Luxembourg
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2016, May 02)

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See detailA meta-analysis of the effectiveness of bilingual programs in Europe
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Martin, Romain UL

in Language, Education and Diversity Conference (2015, November)

The effectiveness of bilingual programs for promoting academic achievement of language-minority in the United States has been examined in six meta-analyses. The present meta-analytic study investigates ... [more ▼]

The effectiveness of bilingual programs for promoting academic achievement of language-minority in the United States has been examined in six meta-analyses. The present meta-analytic study investigates this topic for the first time in the European context. Thorough literature searches uncovered 101 European studies, with only seven meeting the inclusion criteria. Two studies were excluded from further analyses. Results from the random-effects model of the five remaining studies indicate a small positive effect (g = 0.23; 95% CI [0.10, 0.36]) for bilingual over submersion programs on reading of language-minority children. Thus, this meta-analysis supports bilingual education—that is, including the home language of language-minority children—in school instruction. However, the generalizability of the results is limited by the small number of studies on this topic. More published studies on bilingual education in Europe are needed as well as closer attention to the size of the effects. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Importance of home language for academic achievement of language minority children
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Ferring, Dieter UL; Martin, Romain UL

in 10th International Symposium on Bilingualism (2015, May)

Academic achievement and later chances in the labour market largely depend on the difficulties in understanding the language of school instruction in the country in which language minority children live ... [more ▼]

Academic achievement and later chances in the labour market largely depend on the difficulties in understanding the language of school instruction in the country in which language minority children live. This may also increase the dropout rate, which will then increase the cost of education for language minority children. International studies have consistently showed that bilingual programs in which language minorities are instructed in both their home language and school language are effective for their academic achievement when compared to the programs in which they are instructed only in the school language. This has also been supported extensively by meta-analyses from the United States and Europe. Two studies examined the predictive value of a range of variables associated with young children on their later literacy. Study 1 involved children age 5 to 7 from Serbia (N = 159); Study 2 engaged children age 4 to 6 from Luxembourg (N = 174). Children in Study 1 were assessed on entry to school, aged 5, and again at age 7. There were 16% of Roma children, 8% of Hungarians and 7% of other minorities. Twenty eight percent were not tested in their home language. Children in Study 2 were assessed once, in preschool. There were 28% of Portuguese children and 24% of other minorities. Fifty one percent were not tested in their home language. In Study 1, multilevel models indicated that a baseline assessment in early reading and mathematics (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools Test) administrated in school language at the age of 5, in particular with respect to their competence in mathematics, were the most significant predictors of children’s emergent literacy at the age of 7 after controlling for age, gender, vocabulary, and phonological awareness. In Study 2, gender, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and competence in mathematics at the age of 5 were significant predictors of emergent literacy at the same age, after controlling for age, test administered in school language, and behavior. Multivariate analysis of variance showed that Portuguese children performed significantly lower than Luxembourgish and other minority children in both reading and mathematics. Moreover, Luxembourgish children outperformed language minority children, both Portuguese and other minorities in vocabulary with the large effect size (ES = 0.67), indicating that the impact of language was a substantive finding (explaining 67% of the total variance). The effect size in vocabulary between Luxembourgers and Portuguese was very large (ES = 0.76; explaining 76% of the total variance). This is an alarming finding since vocabulary is the most pertinent predictor of literacy and literacy and numeracy are the base for the academic achievement of children. Both studies have important educational implications, suggesting that practitioners should assess language minority children at the start of school in their home language and act upon the outcomes of those assessments to avoid later literacy problems. There is an urgent call for the intervention studies designed particularly at the preschool level since studies showed that good progress in reading in the early years predicts later outcomes even at the age of 11. A bilingual program is recommended. [less ▲]

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