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See detailTeachers misunderstanding of translanguaging in preschools
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

in OASIS (2022)

Young multilingual children translanguage naturally. They use their linguistic and non-linguistic repertoire to express themselves, but also to make meaning of school environment and learn. When ... [more ▼]

Young multilingual children translanguage naturally. They use their linguistic and non-linguistic repertoire to express themselves, but also to make meaning of school environment and learn. When multilingual children come to a school where they do not understand the language of instruction, they are confronted with learning difficulties, which influences both their school progress and well-being. Translanguaging pedagogy helps teachers to create a space in which multilingual children can make meaning, feel well, and learn. By using this pedagogy, teachers support children’s multilingualism, which they see as a resource, and design inclusive activities accordingly. In this study, 40 Luxembourgian preschool teachers followed a professional development course in translanguaging pedagogy over six months. After the course, the researchers filmed teachers’ translanguaging activities with children. Three foci teachers designed an activity in which they invited three Portuguese and one Serbian child to choose the flag of their countries. However, all four children said that they speak Luxembourgish and thus wanted to choose the Luxembourgish flag. The teachers insisted that the children should choose Portuguese and Serbian flags, explaining that it is not possible for them to speak Luxembourgish. The children were confused and their body language showed their silencing, diminishing and shutting down. This scene showed not only that teachers misunderstood translanguaging, which they saw as multiple languages attached with nation states and flags, but they also, despite their good intentions, showed raciolinguistic ideologies, harmful for children in question. [less ▲]

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