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See detailA multiplurilingual space for language education. How can teacher education respond to the linguistic and cultural diversity in a given place?
Ehrhart, Sabine UL; Bes Izuel, Maria Asuncion UL

in Voces y Silencios: Revista Latinoamericana de Educacion (2018)

Luxembourg is one of the countries with the highest degree of linguistic variety in Europe. The situation of the classroom is challenging as at least three school languages meet children with a ... [more ▼]

Luxembourg is one of the countries with the highest degree of linguistic variety in Europe. The situation of the classroom is challenging as at least three school languages meet children with a multilingual background in their families, very frequently of a different type of repertoire (with more than 50% of the school population having a migrational background). The school system tries to find solutions through the creation of adapted teaching models for newly arrived students and pupils, according to their profile. The research project that we present is based on two pillars: an institutional co-construction between teachers and researchers, with an orientation of mutual empowerment, and an international cooperation between two researchers forming a tandem with more than two wheels because of their experience in teacher education and educational research in various multilingual spaces, not only in Luxembourg, but also in Spain, France, Germany, Russia, the South Pacific, Madagascar and Siberia. [less ▲]

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See detailEmergent multilinguals learning languages with the iPad app iTEO: a study in primary schools in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Bes Izuel, Maria Asuncion UL

in Language Learning Journal (2017)

The present small-scale study investigates 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 ... [more ▼]

The present small-scale study investigates 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 13 hours of audio and video-recordings. The participants are 6–7-year-olds learning German and French. Grounded in sociocultural theory, this paper examines, first, the ways in which the emergent multilingual primary school children scaffold each other’s learning of German and French while collaboratively producing oral texts on iTEO and, second, investigates the affordances of this app for learning. 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. [less ▲]

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See detailLuxembourg: A multiplurilingual space for language education. How can teacher education respond to the linguistic and cultural diversity of a given place?
Ehrhart, Sabine UL; Bes Izuel, Maria Asuncion UL

Scientific Conference (2017)

The aim of the present communication is to share the main findings of a collaborative research project developed in 2013-2014 between a high school and the University in Luxembourg. Collective ... [more ▼]

The aim of the present communication is to share the main findings of a collaborative research project developed in 2013-2014 between a high school and the University in Luxembourg. Collective multilingualism and individual plurilingualism, defined as multiplurilingualism by Ehrhart (2010: 221), form the linguistic environment of Luxembourg. Luxembourg, a small country in Europe with a high rate of immigration (46, 7%, STATEC, 2016), has three languages (Luxembourgish, French and German) and a trilingual education system. Fluency in the three languages is considered to be essential to facilitate social cohesion and professional success (OECD, 2006: 1010), and language teaching occupies a central position in the education system. Nevertheless, language learning programmes are quite inflexible and very compartmentalized (García, 2009; Gretsch, 2014). The multiplurilingual situation of the country challenges the traditional view of language and requests teachers to adapt their practices to the new circumstances. One option for secondary schools to address this linguistic diversity are the classes d’insertion, an innovative setting developed by the Ministry of Education, where recently arrived adolescent students are ofered an educational track by means of a full-immersion program in a second language (French, German or English).. Considering the teacher as a mediator and grounded in sociocultural theory combined with an ecolinguistic approach, the present study observes and describes the way that two teachers of these classes d’ insertion were teaching classes in French to newcomer students (aged 11-12);. By means of classroom-observation, audio-recording, field notes and photos we tried to understand what was happening in class during one academic year. Through three semi-structured interviews conducted with the teachers, we gathered information about their thoughts concerning their practices. The research data show the impact of the teachers’ beliefs on their classroom practices and pedagogical decisions. However, their representations do not fully correspond with the real practices observed in class. In order to make those two ends meet, are planning to extend the reflection on an international level, in an action-research-project with teachers developing their talent as researchers and reflecting about their practices in order to propose new pedagogies and approaches to teacher education in multicultural contexts. [less ▲]

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See detailLanguage ideologies of preschool teachers and translanguaging practices in classrooms.
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Bes Izuel, Maria Asuncion UL

Scientific Conference (2016, November)

Translanguaging has been described as a natural practice amongst multilinguals although it remains uncommon in formal and informal educational institutions (Creese & Blackledge 2010). By contrast, Kirsch ... [more ▼]

Translanguaging has been described as a natural practice amongst multilinguals although it remains uncommon in formal and informal educational institutions (Creese & Blackledge 2010). By contrast, Kirsch (forthcoming) has shown that preschool children in trilingual Luxembourg translanguaged frequently during collaborative storytelling on iTEO, an iPad app which allows for the recording and editing of oral language. The 4-year-old emergent multilinguals studied here drew on their entire semiotic repertoire in order to communicate and to make meaning. They used Luxembourgish, their family language and features of other languages picked up from their peers. In order to understand these translanguaging practices, we consider it necessary to examine the underlying pedagogies which are, in turn, influenced by the language ideologies of the teachers (Gkaintartzi & Tsokalidou 2010). The present paper examines the language ideologies of two preschool teachers in Luxembourg and relates them to the translanguaging practices in their classrooms. The data stem from the qualitative, small-scale, longitudinal study iTEO (2013 – 2017) which used a mix-method approach comprising video and audio recordings, interviews, questionnaires and the collection of documents (e.g. written stories, pictures). The data show that the teachers understand language learning as a dynamic social process and have positive attitudes to multilingualism. They embrace language and cultural diversity in their classroom, promote translanguaging, and actively collaborate with parents in order to communicate and share their language practices. [less ▲]

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See detailiTEO as a translanguaging and learning space
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Bes Izuel, Maria Asuncion UL

Scientific Conference (2016, June 10)

The present paper investigates translanguaging practices and types of talk of 6 to 8 year-old multilinguals who record texts on the App iTEO in Luxembourg. ITEO enables users to record and edit oral text ... [more ▼]

The present paper investigates translanguaging practices and types of talk of 6 to 8 year-old multilinguals who record texts on the App iTEO in Luxembourg. ITEO enables users to record and edit oral text, to listen to recordings and to structure the recording process. The automatic playback materializes the language and provides opportunities for reflection. The collective process of recording and transforming texts presents children with opportunities to use exploratory talk proven to stimulate learning (Mercer 2000, 2004). Our qualitative longitudinal study focuses on the use of iTEO for teaching and learning languages in nursery and primary schools (http://storying.bsce.uni.lu/). The study’s multi-method approach, with data collected over two years, includes: observations of activities involving iTEO, video recording of children`s storying, interviews with all participants and the collection of documents. The data analysis followed the principles of Grounded Theory (Charmaz 2006, Strauss & Corbin 1990) and was assisted by the programme Nvivo. Findings have shown that children develop linguistic and metalinguistic competences and that they translanguage regularly while working with iTEO (Gretsch 2014, Kirsch & Gretsch, 2015). In this paper, we discuss a case study of children in the first grades of primary school with the following purposes: 1. To identify instances of translanguaging; 2. To analyze the different kinds of discourse emerging during the co-construction of text on iTEO; and 3. To show how these contribute to learning. We argue that iTEO creates a translanguaging space (García & Wei 2014), where children can draw on their entire repertoire in order to learn. Embedded in multilingual pedagogies, iTEO helps learners to co-construct linguistic knowledge through different types of talk. The results of our case study will contribute to a deeper understanding of the ways in which multilingual children translanguage and use different types of talk in autonomous, collaborative and computer-assisted activities. References Charmaz, K. 2006. Constructing Grounded Theory. A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. London: Sage. Garcia, O. & W. Li. 2014. Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education. New York: Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Kirsch, C. 2014, Storytelling at home and at the nursery school: A study of bilingual children`s literacy practices, in Morys N., C. Kirsch, I. De Saint-Georges and G. Gretsch, Lernen und Lehren in multilingualen Kontexten: Zum Umgang mit sprachlich-kultureller Vielfalt in Klassenraum. Frankfurt, Peter Lang Verlag, 219-246. Kirsch, C. and G. Gretsch. 2015. L`apprentissage langagier avec l`app iTEO, Multilinguisme: enseignement, littératures et cultures au Luxembourg, Synergies pays germanophones, Gerflint, 2015 (8), 37-48. Mercer, N. 2000. Words and minds: how we use language to think together. London: Routledge. Mercer, N. 2004. Sociocultural discourse analysis: Analysing a classroom talk as a social mode of thinking. Journal of Applied Linguistics, vol. 1(2): 137-168. Strauss, A. & J. Corbin. 1990. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Newbury Park: Sage. [less ▲]

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