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See detailChild-rearing practices in intercultural marriages
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Natasha, Sousa Almeida

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of culture on child-rearing practices in intercultural marriage. Four participants, respectively two intercultural couples with at least one child ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of culture on child-rearing practices in intercultural marriage. Four participants, respectively two intercultural couples with at least one child in common participated in this study. One couple consisted of a Hungarian woman and Luxembourgish man. The other couple consisted of a Portuguese woman and her husband is Macedonian. Qualitative research methods were used for this study, more specifically semi-structured interviews. These were audio-taped and transcribed afterwards. Grounded theory was used for the analysis of this study. There were no significant results. Cultural influence in child-rearing practices in intercultural marriages could not be fully shown. There is a minimal positive influence but concerning languages In addition, it could not be fully confirmed that parents who come from countries who are considered to be more individualistic value autonomy in their children and parents who come from countries considered to be more collectivistic value more relatedness and conformity. More research is needed in order to obtain significant results. [less ▲]

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See detailInterculturality in intimate relationships: Conflicts and conflict regulation
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Dasch, Hannah Katharina

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

It is commonly known that experiencing conflict can have negative impact on an individuals’ physical and mental health. Especially in intimate relationships, conflict has great influence on the well-being ... [more ▼]

It is commonly known that experiencing conflict can have negative impact on an individuals’ physical and mental health. Especially in intimate relationships, conflict has great influence on the well-being of both partners. Since intercultural intimate relationships are associated with both exceptional obstacles and benefits, conflict behavior in those relationships is of substantial interest in this research project. The aim of this study is to investigate how conflicts in intimate relationships are affected by the partners’ cultural backgrounds and linguistic barriers. It further seeks to unravel how conflict resolution is approached in order to provide a broader knowledge base in this field. For the purpose of this research, four semi-structured interviews with two couples were conducted individually. Each couple was interviewed by a different researcher. Ensuing, the interviews were transcribed and afterwards the data was analyzed implementing qualitative content analyses. The results provide insight into different levels of relationship functioning, sources of conflict as well as conflict resolution. Therefore, the findings of this study may have important implications for clinical practice. [less ▲]

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See detailLove in intercultural relationships: Affection, commitment, romantic beliefs and conflicts
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Mathes, Magali

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

Differences in culture and mother tongue can have an important impact on the dynamics of an intercultural relationship. In this study the focus lies on the influence of culture and language on expressing ... [more ▼]

Differences in culture and mother tongue can have an important impact on the dynamics of an intercultural relationship. In this study the focus lies on the influence of culture and language on expressing love and affection and on other factors like commitment and romantic beliefs in intercultural romantic relationships, and the conflicts that might occur due to the cultural and linguistic differences in intercultural romantic relationships. Two intercultural couples participated in this study. They were interviewed using a semi-structured approach and were recorded. These were transcribed and coded with the coding scheme based on the Grounded Theory. The findings suggest that culture and language have a quite significant influence on expressing love and affection in intercultural romantic relationships. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic differences can have an influence on becoming committed to another person. The expression of romantic beliefs can also be influenced by the different cultural backgrounds. Cultural and linguistic differences can predict conflicts in intercultural romantic relationships. In this study, barriers in communication, differences in religion and different perspectives on concepts such as homosexuality are at the core of these conflicts. [less ▲]

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See detailThe use of humor in intimate intercultural relationships
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Nadine, Thomas

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

Current humor research tends to accentuate the positive and neglect the negative. Often, the healing power is in the center of humor research; however, less is reported about the negative effects humor ... [more ▼]

Current humor research tends to accentuate the positive and neglect the negative. Often, the healing power is in the center of humor research; however, less is reported about the negative effects humor can have if not used adequately. In particular, less is known about the appropriate and in-appropriate use of humor in an intercultural context. The purpose of this bachelor thesis was to bridge this lack in humor research by trying to identify the fine line between appropriate and in-appropriate humor. If humor is used appropriately, it can have a huge power to bridge cultural divides. Thus, this thesis aimed as well to investigate the use of humor as a coping strategy in intimate intercultural couples. Thirdly, additional functions of humor shall be explored. Semi-structured, focused interviews were conducted with two intimate intercultural couples. Participants were of Irish, Luxembourgish, German and French-Canadian nationality. Interview data was then analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results revealed that the appropriate use of humor depends on personal, linguistic, and cultural factors. Overall, self-deprecating humor seems to be the safest type of humor, whereas sarcasm can be experienced as hurtful even if not intended to be. Ethnic humor can have positive effects, too, if it is directed versus the own culture and not versus foreign cultures. Moreover, results revealed that humor mainly serves two functions in intimate intercultural relationships: the one of bonding and the one of coping. Humor as a coping strategy can be used internally, hence related to relationship issues, as well as externally, thus related to external stressors. One can conclude that the function of bonding and coping cannot be clearly distinguished. Consequently, it proves that humor can be a useful tool in bridging intercultural and interpersonal divides. Limitations of the study clearly lie in its sample size, which does not allow to draw any generalizations. In the future, similar studies with a larger sample size as well as with non-Western cultures would be interesting to investigate in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailFuture planning of intercultural couples: A case study of a couple migrating to New Zealand
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; David, Flechsig

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

There has not yet been any research done on future planning in international and intercultural couples. The purpose of this case study is to give a first insight into the process of future planning in ... [more ▼]

There has not yet been any research done on future planning in international and intercultural couples. The purpose of this case study is to give a first insight into the process of future planning in intercultural couples. A qualitative case study with two participants, one from New Zealand and one from Belgium who are immigrating to New Zealand. One interview with each participant was held before the couple moved to New Zealand for three months and one more interview with each participant after they returned. Results are plentiful. A clear sign that different cultural backgrounds influence future planning seems to exist. Further the couple reported multiple projects and events in which decision making, goal hierarchy and future planning existed. Not all results have been analysed and are available for further use.This case study offers a first insight into future planning of international and intercultural couples. The next step would be to try to support the findings with quantitative data. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentity of women in intercultural intimate relationships
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Natalie, Buendgen

in Aleksic, Gabrijela (Ed.) Experiencing Culture in Intercultural Intimate Relationships (2021)

Due to the increasing fluctuation between countries and the ongoing emergence of intercultural intimate relationships, the purpose of our study was to investigate how cultural transition affects the ... [more ▼]

Due to the increasing fluctuation between countries and the ongoing emergence of intercultural intimate relationships, the purpose of our study was to investigate how cultural transition affects the identity of women, who migrated out of love to settle permanently with their culturally diverse partner in Germany. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed by using qualitative content analysis. The sample consists of five women originally from Ireland, Peru, Poland and the United States, who all married a German and have lived in Germany between 8 and 50 years. The results show that cultural transition can affect identity in both positive and negative ways, which supports the perception of bicultural identity being at once both a blessing and a burden. [less ▲]

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See detailTranslanguaging course for preschool teachers to disrupt inequalities
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebić, Džoen Dominique UL

Presentation (2020, November 12)

The highly linguistically and culturally diverse reality of Luxembourg and its school system pose a great challenge to students, families, and teachers alike. This reality tends to produce one of the ... [more ▼]

The highly linguistically and culturally diverse reality of Luxembourg and its school system pose a great challenge to students, families, and teachers alike. This reality tends to produce one of the largest differences in reading performance between Luxembourgish and language minority children compared to other countries (PISA, 2019), which creates inequalities in students’ academic trajectory. Translanguaging as a pedagogy has been established to overcome these inequalities by disrupting language hierarchies and giving language minority children a space and voice to learn and prosper (García, 2019). To address the inequalities and help implement a translanguaging pedagogy in preschool, our project : (1) offered a professional development course in translanguaging to 40 teachers, (2) involves children’s parents to foster home-school collaboration through questionnaires and interviews, and (3) cultivates children’s linguistic, cognitive, and socio-emotional engagement in the classroom through linguistic tests and video observations. We also used focus groups and questionnaires at the beginning and the end of the course. The 18-hour course in Translanguaging (June to December 2019) aimed to challenge the teachers’ perception about multilingualism and equality in their classroom. Through the preliminary results of the focus groups, questionnaires and field notes, we were able to observe some positive changes in the teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about their language minority children such as realizing that language is a tool of communication. Teachers were also more positive about home-school collaboration. However, despite our continuous creative efforts, some teachers still maintained their traditional monolingual stance and conviction of parents’ lack of education and interest. Most of the teachers did, however, not completely overcome a monolingual bias and this remains our main focus in the remaining points and follow-ups of our project. References García, O. (2019). Translanguaging: a coda to the code?, Classroom Discourse, 10(3-4), 369-373, doi: 10.1080/19463014.2019.1638277 OECD (2019). PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What students know and can do. PISA, OECD Publishing: Paris. doi: https://doi.org/10.1787/5f07c754-en [less ▲]

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See detailCollaboration with parents and multiliteracy in early childhood education
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Neumann, Sascha; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL et al

Scientific Conference (2020, October 09)

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See detailDeveloping multilingual practices in early childhood education through a professional development in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Mortini, Simone UL et al

in International Multilingual Research Journal (2020), 4

This paper investigates seven early education practitioners’ attitudes towards multilingual activities and translanguaging as well as their actual practices in Luxembourg. They took part in a professional ... [more ▼]

This paper investigates seven early education practitioners’ attitudes towards multilingual activities and translanguaging as well as their actual practices in Luxembourg. They took part in a professional development comprising a course, coaching, and regular meetings to deepen their understanding of multilingualism and language learning, and enable them to implement activities in multiple languages. The findings, drawn from questionnaires, observations, and interviews, show that all practitioners opened up towards multilingual activities and translanguaging, increased activities in such languages, and translanguaged frequently. The practitioners analyzed their beliefs and practices, connected theory and practice, constructed new knowledge, developed positive attitudes and changed their practice. This study is the first one to investigate the attitudes and practices of professionals in formal and non-formal education settings as well as the effect of professional development in Luxembourg. It also addresses the research gap regarding professional development on multilingualism in early childhood. [less ▲]

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See detailParents, schools and multilingual children
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebic, Dzoen Dominique UL

Conference given outside the academic context (2020)

Early literacy skills are critical for children’s later academic achievement. A wealth of research showed that children’s home languages should not be abandoned, as they are crucial for promoting dynamic ... [more ▼]

Early literacy skills are critical for children’s later academic achievement. A wealth of research showed that children’s home languages should not be abandoned, as they are crucial for promoting dynamic multilingualism, assuring cross-linguistic transfer and developing identities. To explore home literacy environment and family language policy of language minority preschool children in Luxembourg, we obtained 600 parent questionnaires, tested 226 children age 4 to 6 in their home languages and Luxembourgish, and interviewed 32 families. The results from the questionnaires showed that the home resources and parent involvement influenced children’s language awareness and their print knowledge irrespective of parent’s education and their wealth. Concerning children’s competences in Luxembourgish, children with positive attitudes towards their school did better than their peers in other schools. In the interviews, parents explained that maintaining home language is important for keeping connections with family, friends and their culture. This is the language parents feel emotionally connected to and the easiest to transmit to their children. Language maintenance is mostly achieved through conversations, movies, games and books in the home languages, children’s attendance of language schools on weekends, celebrations of traditions as well as holidays in the native country of the parents. The home language is, however, not something parents enforce too strictly, as they mostly correct the children’s linguistic mistakes by simple repetition. It is often with great pride that parents report their children having an excellent proficiency in their home language. Finally, through our professional development training in translanguaging we are helping teachers to integrate children’s different home languages and cultures into the classroom and strengthen the home-school collaboration in order to support children’s well-being, learning and identities. [less ▲]

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See detailWord recognition and reading comprehension of preschool children in Serbia
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Merrell, Christine; Tymms, Peter et al

in European Journal of Psychology of Education (2020)

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See detailDrama of Multilingualism
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Book published by Information Age Publications (2020)

Why drama of multilingualism? The book starts with a vignette on the (mis)understandings of the kindergarten situation around strawberries. By this vignette, I introduce different levels of power ... [more ▼]

Why drama of multilingualism? The book starts with a vignette on the (mis)understandings of the kindergarten situation around strawberries. By this vignette, I introduce different levels of power relations between children, parents and teachers around language use. I then use Nancy Hornberger’s (1989) Continua of Biliteracy model through which I broaden this vignette and describe the structure of the book: why I chose to deal with this subject, what is my approach, why I conducted the interviews and discussion with the experts and their students in the US and how I plan to integrate this into something novel worth reading. Through the interaction with the experts on the topic I had during the interviews I focus on several topics: the necessity of defining and theorising in a specific social context, power relations, language policy, linguistic creativity and criticality, support for multilingual identity, gap in research. I conclude by underlining the notion of whether there is more or less drama in this field and who cares about it. [less ▲]

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See detailHome literacy environment and family language policy of immigrant families in Luxembourg
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebic, Dzoen Dominique UL

Scientific Conference (2019, December 18)

Early literacy skills are critical for children’s later academic achievement. A wealth of research showed that children’s home languages should not be abandoned, as they are crucial for promoting dynamic ... [more ▼]

Early literacy skills are critical for children’s later academic achievement. A wealth of research showed that children’s home languages should not be abandoned, as they are crucial for promoting dynamic multilingualism, assuring cross-linguistic transfer and developing identities. To explore home literacy environment and family language policy of language minority preschool children in Luxembourg, we obtained 603 parent questionnaires, tested 226 children age 4 to 6 in their home languages and Luxembourgish, and interviewed 31 families. The results from the questionnaires showed that the home resources and parent involvement influenced children’s language awareness and their print knowledge irrespective of parent’s education and their wealth. Concerning children’s competences in Luxembourgish, children with positive attitudes towards their school did better than their peers in other schools. In the interviews, parents explained that maintaining home language is important for keeping connections with family, friends and their culture. This is the language parents feel emotionally connected to and the easiest to transmit to their children. Language maintenance is mostly achieved through conversations, movies, games and books in the home languages, children’s attendance of language schools on weekends, celebrations of traditions as well as holidays in the native country of the parents. The home language is, however, not something parents enforce too strictly, as they mostly correct the children’s linguistic mistakes by simple repetition. It is often with great pride that parents report their children having an excellent proficiency in their home language. Finally, through our professional development training in translanguaging we are helping teachers to integrate children’s different home languages and cultures into the classroom and strengthen the home-school collaboration in order to support children’s well-being, learning and identities. [less ▲]

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See detailA professional development course in translanguaging: Teachers’ stance, design, and shifts
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Scientific Conference (2019, December 14)

The school population in Luxembourg is highly socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. The new law in 2017 has declared multilingual early education mandatory, with the focus not only on the ... [more ▼]

The school population in Luxembourg is highly socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. The new law in 2017 has declared multilingual early education mandatory, with the focus not only on the development of Luxemburgish, but also familiarizing children with French and valuing their home languages. Thus, our project aims to: (1) offer a professional development (PD) course in translanguaging to preschool teachers, (2) involve children’s families to reinforce home-school collaboration, and (3) foster children’s cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional engagement in the classroom. With teachers, we use focus groups, questionnaires, and language portraits, with parents, we employ questionnaires and interviews, and with children, a test in early literacy and numeracy in school and home language and video observations. Translanguaging is the use of a full linguistic repertoire to make meaning (Otheguy, García, & Reid, 2015). Translanguaging pedagogy is the main topic of our 22 hour PD course (June – December 2019) for 40 teachers. In the focus groups, the teachers shared their negative translanguaging stance towards the use of children’s home languages in the classroom, convinced that it hindered the development of Luxembourgish. Teachers, however, in some instances incorporated a translanguaging design (e.g. multilingual stories, morning greetings) and translanguaging shift (e.g. translations by older children). The project addresses these negative translanguaging stances through practical activities and a close collaboration with parents, children and organisational stakeholders. The preliminary results from parent questionnaires and tests with children will provide a bigger picture of the effect of translanguaging pedagogy from our PD course on all the actors involved. References Otheguy, R., García, O., & Reid, W. (2015). Clarifying translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: A perspective from linguistics. Applied Linguistic Review, 6(3), 281–307. [less ▲]

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See detailA professional development course in translanguaging: Challenges and opportunities
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Dzoen, Bebic-Crestany

Scientific Conference (2019, November 27)

In Luxembourg, the new law in 2017 has declared multilingual early education mandatory. Not only that teachers need to help children develop their Luxembourgish, but also they need to familiarize them ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, the new law in 2017 has declared multilingual early education mandatory. Not only that teachers need to help children develop their Luxembourgish, but also they need to familiarize them with French and value their home languages. In order to support preschool teachers in this endeavour, our project aims to: (1) offer a professional development (PD) course in translanguaging, (2) involve children’s families to reinforce home-school collaboration, and (3) foster children’s cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional engagement in the classroom. We use a panoply of measures to reach our aims: focus groups and teacher questionnaires (aim 1), parent questionnaires and interviews (aim 2), a test in early literacy and numeracy in school and home languages, teacher assessment of children’s socio-emotional development and video observations with children (aim 3). Translanguaging, the main topic of our 22 hour PD course (June – December 2019), is the use of a full linguistic repertoire to make meaning (Otheguy, García, & Reid, 2015). In eight sessions, we explore multilingual ecology, parental involvement, and oracy and early literacy. We will present preliminary findings of the focus groups with teachers and tests in early literacy and numeracy in children’s home and school languages. Challenges and opportunities that emerged during the course will be explored as well. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping Multilingual Pedagogies in Early Childhood: a review of the project MuLiPEC
Aleksic, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Mortini, Simone UL et al

Scientific Conference (2019, November 27)

Developing Multilingual Pedagogies in Early Childhood: a review of the project The project MuLiPEC (2016-2019) addresses the need for multilingual pedagogies in early childhood education in Luxembourg. It ... [more ▼]

Developing Multilingual Pedagogies in Early Childhood: a review of the project The project MuLiPEC (2016-2019) addresses the need for multilingual pedagogies in early childhood education in Luxembourg. It offered a professional development (PD) course to develop the practitioners’ knowledge and skills in relation to multilingualism and effective pedagogies as well as their practices, and analysed the effects of the PD on the practitioners and the children’s languaging. We offered a first 15-hour course to 46 practitioners from formal and non-formal education settings. Of these, seven continued during one academic year. They were coached and took part in six network meetings where we discussed their practices. To analyse the results, we drew on observations of the PD and in the research settings, video-recorded activities, and interviews. The results show that all 46 participants opened up to multilingual education and deepened their understanding of multilingualism, language development and multilingual pedagogies. Furthermore, the seven focus practitioners implemented activities in multiple languages and deployed effective language supportive strategies. Five of them developed holistic and child-centred multilingual pedagogies. This paper presents these positive findings and raises questions related to the sustainability of PD course and the need to continue the implementation of these effective pedagogies. [less ▲]

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See detailTeachers’ translanguaging stance, design, and shifts in a professional development course
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebic, Dzoen Dominique UL

Scientific Conference (2019, October 28)

Classrooms in Luxembourg are highly socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. About 65% of 4 year-old children do not speak Luxembourgish, of which 28% speak Portuguese (MENJE, 2018). In 2017, the ... [more ▼]

Classrooms in Luxembourg are highly socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. About 65% of 4 year-old children do not speak Luxembourgish, of which 28% speak Portuguese (MENJE, 2018). In 2017, the new law has declared multilingual early education mandatory. Until that time, the focus was solely on the development of Luxemburgish, whereas now teachers should also familiarize children with French and value their home languages. To support preschool teachers, our project aims to: (1) offer a professional development (PD) course in translanguaging, (2) involve children’s families to reinforce home-school collaboration, and (3) foster children’s cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional engagement in the classroom. We use focus groups, questionnaires, and language portraits with teachers and a test in early literacy and numeracy in school and home language and video observations with children. Translanguaging, the main topic of our 22 hour PD course (June – December 2019), is the use of a full linguistic repertoire to make meaning (Otheguy, García, & Reid, 2015). Through focus groups, we identified teachers’ negative translanguaging stance towards children’s proficiency in their home language that hinders the development of Luxembourgish. Translanguaging design was related to teachers’ use of multilingual stories and morning greetings, while translanguaging shifts concerned frequent translations by involving older children. Our main goal is to address the negative translanguaging stance by offering practical activities during the course and collaborating with parents, children, and organisational stakeholders. References Ministry of National Education, Childhood and Youth [MENJE]. (2018). Key numbers of the national education: statistics and indicators – School year 2016-2017. Retrieved from http://www.men.public.lu/fr/actualites/publications/themes-transversaux/statistiques-analyses/chiffres-cles/index.html Otheguy, R., García, O., & Reid, W. (2015). Clarifying translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: A perspective from linguistics. Applied Linguistic Review, 6(3), 281–307. [less ▲]

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See detailTranslanguaging Course for Teachers
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebic-Crestany, Dzoen

Scientific Conference (2019, July 01)

Amongst the many terms to describe the natural linguistic experiences of bilinguals, translanguaging is standing out as the socio-linguistic theory that consciously recognises a unitary linguistic ... [more ▼]

Amongst the many terms to describe the natural linguistic experiences of bilinguals, translanguaging is standing out as the socio-linguistic theory that consciously recognises a unitary linguistic repertoire of bilinguals. Translanguaging is used without regards to boundaries imposed by socio-politically constructed named languages and the unnatural differentiation of various forms of communication. The extensive research of many scholars, most notably by Li Wei and Ofelia García, confronts the social and educational suppression of minorities’ languages and cultures in schools. Their analyses and proposed solutions for social justice, therefore, serve as the theoretical and pedagogical basis of our research in Luxembourg’s multilingual education. The understanding that bilinguals translanguage naturally in conversation and for sense- and meaning-making purposes has also been shown in Luxembourg: 64% of four-year olds in Luxembourg do not speak Luxembourgish and translanguaging happens naturally. Research also shows that students of minority groups generally underperform at school. The implementation of translanguaging in Luxembourg’s multilingual education would therefore enable a better development of school and home language, metalinguistic awareness, linguistic tolerance, socio-emotional development and multilingual identity. To address the challenges of multilingual education in Luxembourg, we firstly offer a professional development (PD) course that aims to help teachers take a translanguaging stance, vital for its success. Secondly, we adapt the general translanguaging pedagogical methodology to incorporate home languages in teachers’ daily classroom activities. Our project has been supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund* to deliver 8 sessions from the Translanguaging guide developed at the City University of New York. Given the local multilingual context, introducing translanguaging and adapting the guide is a challenge for us as researchers. We will use quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the success of the PD and better understand translanguaging as a theory, practice and pedagogy. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Importance of Socio-Emotional Skills and Behaviour in Preschool for Later Outcomes
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Christine, Merrell; Peter, Tymms

Scientific Conference (2019, April 18)

Background to the Study In order to meet the socio-economic challenges of the 21st century, a blend of cognitive and socio-emotional skills is required (Temple, 2002). Socio-emotional skills are important ... [more ▼]

Background to the Study In order to meet the socio-economic challenges of the 21st century, a blend of cognitive and socio-emotional skills is required (Temple, 2002). Socio-emotional skills are important for personal well-being, life satisfaction, healthy life styles, active citizenship and safer societies (OECD, 2015). No study in Serbia has investigated the development of young children’s socio-emotional skills and behaviour, and the relationship with academic progress in Serbia before and this directly responds to the urgent call for more information concerning the Serbian preschool education (Baucal et al., 2016). The findings are of broader relevance to other countries; as noted in the OECD (2015) report, socio-emotional development continues through late childhood and adolescence which gives a space for intervention programmes that can help reduce social inequalities among children. Theoretical Framework Socio-emotional skills are a range of competences including emotion knowledge, emotional and behavioural regulatory abilities and social skills (Denham, 2006). When children enter school and have positive peer and teacher interactions, they will develop more positive attitudes towards school tasks, engage more into school activities, be more persistent and perform higher (e.g., Arnold et al., 2012; Fantuzzo et al., 2007). Furthermore, studies have shown that children with behavioural difficulties such as inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity display more delinquent behaviour as adolescents and achieve academically lower than their peers (e.g., Frazier et al., 2007; Merrell et al., 2017). Data In this empirical study we explored the links between socio-emotional skills, behaviour, mathematics and literacy performance of preschool children in Serbia over the course of 14 months. Teachers rated 159 children (51% of girls) aged 5-8 by Personal, social and emotional development scale, and Behaviour rating scale on inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These scales were included in the Performance Indicators in Primary School (PIPS; Tymms, 1999), an adaptive test that measures early literacy and mathematics. Results • 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. • 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 at Time 1. • Mathematics at Time 3 was not associated with socio-emotional skills nor with specific behaviour. • 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. Significance of the Study 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 detailThe influence of a professional development on teachers’ and carers’ multilingual practices in early childhood education in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Andersen, Katja Natalie UL

Scientific Conference (2018, November 08)

The need for multilingual pedagogies has been recognized and several multilingual programmes have been implemented in early childhood in Europe. In Luxembourg, where this study is based, laws were voted ... [more ▼]

The need for multilingual pedagogies has been recognized and several multilingual programmes have been implemented in early childhood in Europe. In Luxembourg, where this study is based, laws were voted in 2017 that require early years practitioners to develop Luxembourgish, familiarize children with French, and value home languages. To develop inclusive multilingual practices, the authors of this presentation developed a 30-hour professional development programme (thereafter PD) which was long-term, collaborative, inquiry-based, performance-oriented, and included coaching. The participants carried out and video-record activities based on books and rhymes in several languages, reflected on these, and received feedback. This case-study examines the influence of the PD on the understanding of language learning and practices of two teachers and five carers working in schools and crèches. The data stem from a questionnaire completed three times; twelve interviews; six observations of the training; 30 video-recorded activities; ten coaching reports, and emails. The methods of data analysis comprise paired samples t-test, correlational analysis, content analysis and triangulation. The findings show a positive effect of the PD on understanding of language learning and practices. The teachers and some carers developed a better understanding of social constructivist learning theories which influenced their practices that began to focus on interactions between adults and children, and amongst children. The other carers understood the relevance of dialogue and carried out activities in several languages but their overall practice did not change. The findings confirm that collaborative, inquiry-based PD can be transformative (Gaikhorst et al., 2017; Prenger et al., 2017) and change perspectives and practices to some extent (Buschmann & Sachse, 2018). In addition, they add to the dearth of literature on PD on multilingual education in early years (Egert, 2015). Buschmann, A., & Sachse, S. (2018). Heidelberg interaction training for language promotion in early childhood settings. European Journal of Education, 53(1), 66-78. Egert, F. (2015). Meta-analysis on the impact of in-service professional development programs for preschool teachers on quality ratings and child outcomes. Gaikhorst, L., Beishuizen, J. J. J., Zijlstra, B. J. H., & Volman, M. L. L. (2017) The sustainability of a teacher professional development programme for beginning urban teachers, Cambridge Journal of Education, 47(1), 135-154. Prenger, R., Poortman, C. L., & Handelzalts, A. (2017). Factors influencing teachers’ professional development in networked professional learning communities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 68(1), 77-90. [less ▲]

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