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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 detailPOST-COMMUNIST EUROPE AND THE THEORY OF RECOGNITION: MODERN STRUGGLES FOR RECOGNITION OF THE CROATIAN PEOPLE
Bebić, Džoen Dominique UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Political Philosophy has been analysing various political scenarios and governments for centuries. It is therefore very surprising that contemporary political philosophy has not contributed much to the ... [more ▼]

Political Philosophy has been analysing various political scenarios and governments for centuries. It is therefore very surprising that contemporary political philosophy has not contributed much to the analysis of the social experiences of the Croatian people during the war and events leading up to the war from 1990 to 1995 compared to other sciences. This research thus envisions to use the philosophical theory of recognition (and reification) to fulfil the extremely difficult task of analysing the social experiences and struggles for recognition of the Croatian people from the Habsburg monarchy until the end of the war of the Former Yugoslavia. As recognition as a concept was elaborated by various philosophers, this research presents different concepts of recognition developed by Rousseau, Fichte, Hegel, and Taylor while focusing on the recognition theory conceptualised by Honneth. This allows for the reconstruction of the evolution of the theory of recognition and the presentation of the interconnectedness of these different interpretations. Through the presentations of the different interpretations and the subsequent arguments and illustrations demonstrating their inadequacies to grasp the complex social experiences of the Croatian people throughout the different time periods, only Honneth’s theory of recognition can ultimately be used to capture and contextualise all the different forms of disrespect the Croatian people faced as well as the struggles for social appreciation of the Croatian culture and language and legal recognition of their right of political participation followed as a result of the deeply felt psychological consequences of the endured long-term disrespects. The extremely violent war of the Former Yugoslavia, however, falls out of what recognition theory can offer. This is where Honneth’s interpretation of Lukács reification theory comes to the fore. Using Honneth’s interpretation of reification, the different social experiences of the Croatian people during the war on the Croatian territory (1990-1992) and the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995) are analysed and examined through the three forms of reification namely intersubjective reification of people, objective reification of their environment and self-reification of the perpetrators. As the relations between the Serbian and Croatian population of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina remain rather tense to this day, this research also adopts Honneth’s conditions for peace and reconciliation between two states. While taking into account the valuable and important attempts of peace and reconciliation in the region, this research tries to offer an additional path of reconciliation between the Serbian and Croatian state and people in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. A future joint research between representatives of the nations part of the Former Yugoslavia would allow for an objectification of the existentially subjective experiences of all the different nations and subsequently also offer a new path of reconciliation in the region. [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 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 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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