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Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping literacy in linguistically diverse children
Wealer, Cyril UL; Fricke, Silke; Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Scientific Conference (2019, May)

Detailed reference viewed: 35 (1 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping Multilingual Literacies – Views from four countries
Little, Sabine; Günther-van der Meij, Mirjam; Kirsch, Claudine UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

This paper reports on progress from an EERA-funded Network Grant (Network 31) at a European level across the EERA Network, which compares and contrasts policy contexts and ongoing research around ... [more ▼]

This paper reports on progress from an EERA-funded Network Grant (Network 31) at a European level across the EERA Network, which compares and contrasts policy contexts and ongoing research around multilingualism and literacy across four nations, specifically Germany, England, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Children with ethnic minority background and low socio-economic status are more likely to have poor literacy skills and poorer academic outcomes (Farver et al., 2013). It is therefore essential to develop their preliteracy skills early because they are strong predictors of both their literacy development (e.g. Skibbe et al., 2011) and general educational attainment (Bialystok, 2013; Gogolin, 2014). Being biliterate has also been found to be a good predictor of successful additional language learning (Sanz, 2000). In multilingual contexts, students develop (multi)literacy skills in complex, ever changing contexts and through rich and heterogeneous experiences (Hammer et al., 2014). However, the linguistic resources of students with migrant background and lower socioeconomic status are often neglected throughout their school years, even though the languages in their repertoires provide valuable and mutually enriching resources. For example, bilinguals may strategically apply the acquired literacy skills in one language to write in another (Cenoz & Gorter, 2011). The omission to draw on the entire repertoire of multilinguals leads to inequality, which results in lower literacy outcomes and in discrepancies in competences in the various languages of bilinguals (Dworin, 2003). The quality of the home environment and institutions (e.g. early childhood and care) influences children’s language and literacy outcomes and predicts school success (NICHHD, 1998). Books remain the most favoured resource of multilingual families to engage children in literacy activities both in societal and the heritage languages, especially in the early years and early stages of education (Little, 2019). Studies in the field of home literacies have shown that parents, grandparents and children who engaged in book reading and in related activities such as telling and retelling stories, drew on their cultural funds of knowledge, made connections between the knowledge and skills gained in different learning contexts (e.g. home, school, community school), and blended the diverse literacy practices (Gregory, 2001). Engaging children in multilingual literacies does not only further their development of cognitive skills related to language and literacy but it also contributes to identity development. Projects where teachers and parents engage together with children in multilingual literacy activities, including multimodal digital ones, have shown that children are more motivated, engage deeper in their own learning and develop cognitive, language, and social skills, that teachers can work in more culturally and linguistically and inclusive way, and that parents feel more included in the school (Kirsch, 2018). [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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Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping multilingual pedagogies in the early years in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2018, June 02)

Dynamic theories of bilingualism acknowledge that language learning is fluid and flexible and that learners activate the entire linguistic repertoire when languaging. Pedagogies that foster ... [more ▼]

Dynamic theories of bilingualism acknowledge that language learning is fluid and flexible and that learners activate the entire linguistic repertoire when languaging. Pedagogies that foster multilingualism are promising in our globalised, heterogeneous and fast developing world, as they call for transglossic spaces and are inclusive (García 2017, Cenoz 2017). The call for the development of multilingual education has been taken up by the Ministry of Education responsible for the formal and non-formal early years education in Luxembourg. Professional standards for practitioners in early years are very high (Wiff 2011) and, therefore, it may be a paradox that poor linguistic knowledge and inadequate pedagogical skills have been reported (Gogolin et al. 2011, Thoma & Tracy 2012). Research findings on professional development indicate that the most effective training is long-term and collaborative, involves more than one person of the same institution, encourages active involvement and reflection, and offers opportunities for transfer (Gogolin et al. 2011, WIFF 2011). The model of professional learning communities where participants collaboratively research their own practice through action-research seems particularly promising (Kincheloe 2012). The professional development that Kirsch, Andersen, Mortini and Günnewig carried out within the research project MuLiPEC takes account of these research findings. The research team offered a 15-hour course to a group of 50 teachers and care-takers, as well as mentoring and coaching sessions to seven participants over the course of one academic year. Topics included language development, multilingualism and activities to promote emergent literacy. A survey of all participants and two interviews with the seven long-term participants demonstrated that the training contributed to changing beliefs and practices. [less ▲]

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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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Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping multilingualism in nursery schools in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2015, May 29)

Detailed reference viewed: 144 (15 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping multilingualism of 6-8 year-olds through collaborative storytelling on iTEO
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2015, November 09)

Claudine Kirsch examined, first, the ways in which children in Years 1 and 2 co-constructed oral texts in German and French and, second, the extent to which iTEO mediated collaborative learning.

Detailed reference viewed: 119 (1 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping number-space associations: SNARC effects in a color discrimination task in 11-year-olds
Hoffmann, Danielle UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Mussolin, Christophe et al

Poster (2011)

Behavioural studies show a relation between numbers and space in adults (DeHevia et al., 2008) and this association arises early in development (Opfer et al., 2010). The SNARC (Spatial Numerical ... [more ▼]

Behavioural studies show a relation between numbers and space in adults (DeHevia et al., 2008) and this association arises early in development (Opfer et al., 2010). The SNARC (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes) effect consists in faster reaction times (RTs) responding to small/large digits with the left/right hand respectively (Dehaene et al. 1993). It is thought to reflect the automaticity of the number-space link, since it arises not only during explicit magnitude judgment tasks, but also during magnitude-independent parity judgment tasks. Using a parity task Berch et al. (1999) found a SNARC effect in children of 9.2 years onwards, but not in younger children (7.8 years). One major issue raised was that parity judgments might be too difficult and therefore problematic to test young children (VanGalen&Reitsma, 2008). Hence, we designed a color judgment instead of a parity judgment task and tested 33 children from Grade 6 (mean age 11.4 years, SD 0.6). We also assessed number magnitude access using a magnitude judgment task. The results revealed a significantly negative slope in the color task [t(32)=2.47, p<0.01] and in the magnitude task [t(33)=1.75, p<0.05], reflecting a SNARC effect in both tasks (regression method by Lorch&Myers, 1990). A correlation analysis of the slopes of both tasks revealed a positive relationship (r=0.33, p<0.05) indicating that they partly measure the same processes. These results confirm the presence of robust SNARC effects in 6th-graders and indicate that they occur even using a simple color discrimination task that is strictly independent of semantic number processing. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping number–space associations: SNARC effects using a color discrimination task in 5-year-olds
Hoffmann, Danielle UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2013), 116

Human adults’ numerical representation is spatially oriented; consequently, participants are faster to respond to small/large numerals with their left/right hand, respectively, when doing a binary ... [more ▼]

Human adults’ numerical representation is spatially oriented; consequently, participants are faster to respond to small/large numerals with their left/right hand, respectively, when doing a binary classification judgment on numbers, known as the SNARC (spatial– numerical association of response codes) effect. Studies on the emergence and development of the SNARC effect remain scarce. The current study introduces an innovative new paradigm based on a simple color judgment of Arabic digits. Using this task, we found a SNARC effect in children as young as 5.5 years. In contrast, when preschool children needed to perform a magnitude judgment task necessitating exact number knowledge, the SNARC effect started to emerge only at 5.8 years. Moreover, the emergence of a magnitude SNARC but not a color SNARC was linked to proficiency with Arabic digits. Our results suggest that access to a spatially oriented approximate magnitude representation from symbolic digits emerges early in ontogenetic development. Exact magnitude judgments, on the other hand, rely on experience with Arabic digits and, thus, necessitate formal or informal schooling to give access to a spatially oriented numerical representation. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping oral language skills in language-minority children
Cordeiro Tomas, Rute Carina UL

Doctoral thesis (2018)

The aim of the research presented in this thesis is two-fold. Firstly, it explores the early oral language development in Portuguese-speaking language-minority children growing up in Luxembourg in the ... [more ▼]

The aim of the research presented in this thesis is two-fold. Firstly, it explores the early oral language development in Portuguese-speaking language-minority children growing up in Luxembourg in the kindergarten years. Secondly, it purports to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a 30-week oral language intervention programme designed to support the home language development in language-minority children, using a randomised controlled study design. The study specifically examines the hypothesis that skills acquired in a first language can transfer to a second language. The study adopts a longitudinal experimental design and includes a sample of 186 Portuguese-speaking kindergarten children in Luxembourg. Children were randomly allocated to a Portuguese oral language group (N = 93) or an active control group (N = 93). Participants were followed longitudinally and assessed on four occasions over a period of two years. The study also included two peer comparison groups: one classroom peer group from Luxembourg (N = 75) and one age-matched group of monolingual children from Portugal (N = 44). The first key research question addressed was: What are the early oral language skills in Portuguese and Luxembourgish within this group of bilingual language-minority children, and how do these skills develop during the kindergarten years? Results indicate that when compared to their peers in both languages, these children lagged behind. Despite manifesting language growth in Luxembourgish, the language-minority group continued to score below their classroom peers at the end of kindergarten. Findings further suggest that the home language skills of these children are not only less developed at school entry, but are also growing at a slower rate in contrast to the school language. Overall, results raise the possibility that Portuguese-speaking children in Luxembourg might be at risk of acquiring their second language at the expense of their first language. It is clear that these children are in need of targeted language support, not only in their school language but also their home language. The second major research question addressed was: Can an intervention focusing on language-minority children’s home language effectively support their home language development, and might this have knock on effects on second language learning? Results of the randomised controlled trial demonstrate that the newly developed oral language intervention MOLLY successfully improved children’s home language skills. Additionally, the results showed that supporting children in their home language facilitated second language learning. Effect sizes of important educational significance were found on both primary and secondary outcomes in Portuguese and in Luxembourgish. This thesis clearly reinforces that it is possible to effectively support language-minority children’s home language through rich and regular language support in a school setting, without hindering the development of the school language. Findings suggest that supporting children in their home language can facilitate second language learning. This study takes a step forward towards providing robust evidence on what the appropriate conditions are in supporting language-minority children’s language development. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Developing Role of the European Ombudsman
Hofmann, Herwig UL

in Hofmann, Herwig; Ziller, Jacques (Eds.) Accountability in the EU - The Role of the European Ombudsman (2017)

This chapter undertakes an assessment of the legal framework governing the mandate and capabilities as well as independence of the European Ombudsman (hereafter, the ‘Ombudsman’). To do so, the chapter ... [more ▼]

This chapter undertakes an assessment of the legal framework governing the mandate and capabilities as well as independence of the European Ombudsman (hereafter, the ‘Ombudsman’). To do so, the chapter takes a detailed look at, inter alia, EU ‘constitutional’ law, the Ombudsman’s existing procedures, the concept of ‘maladministration’ as expressed in the Ombudsman’s mandate, and the consequences of an Ombudsman finding of maladministration. On this basis the chapter discusses future possibilities for developing ombuds review in the European Union (EU) as well as Ombudsman O’Reilly’s stated ambition to increase the visibility of the Ombudsman and the impact of ombuds review in the context of more high-profile, and often ‘political’, investigations. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping spaces for technology-mediated inquiry in education
Max, Charles UL

Scientific Conference (2014, August 28)

Interactive communication technologies enter our everyday activities at an impressive pace. The proliferation of mobile computing devices coupled to a ubiquitous connectivity initiates a “historical shift ... [more ▼]

Interactive communication technologies enter our everyday activities at an impressive pace. The proliferation of mobile computing devices coupled to a ubiquitous connectivity initiates a “historical shift to digital” and profoundly changes the ways we organize our daily life, communicate, interact, learn or gather information. Digital media also shape the life contexts of our children, who keep on using interactive tools from game-playing to explicit learning activities. This issue creates a growing need to investigate the potential of mobile computing devices in educational contexts and analyse its impact on pedagogical, organisational and technological challenges, the school communities are dealing with. The present paper is discussing findings from a research project that studies the use of tablet-cloud systems in fundamental schools. Luxembourg’s schools and homes are well equipped with computers and internet access. However, little is known about promising strategies and existing barriers to integrate mobile devices effectively into educational contexts. Our research supplies schools with tablet-cloud systems in order to study the impact on collaborative and student-centred learning activities. The project’s core research foci put attention on processes of a) student-led inquiries and creative productions and b) the empowerment of teachers. Prior research often reveals a reluctance of teachers to use IC technologies in classroom activities. Often, teachers experience a lack of digital literacy skills to support students in using interactive devices in classroom inquiries and hands-on activities. This contribution analyses how ICT-enhanced learning practices challenge existing notions of educational achievement, learning, student engagement and participation among the involved teachers. Our transformative research approach puts specific emphasis on threads and opportunities that members of four fundamental school communities experience concerning technological, organisational and pedagogical innovation. We ground our developmental work on the concept of ‘expansive learning’, where “learners learn something that is not yet there. In other words, the learners construct a new object and concept for their collective activity, and implement this new object and concept in practice“ (Engeström & Sannino 2010, 2). Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) offers a sound theoretical and methodological framework for implementing and investigating innovation in organisations and institutions, especially in order to interrelate individual and collective actions. CHAT considers both as dialectically interrelated, that is to say, they can be understood only historically and in interaction with each other. The research data are gathered by a multi-method approach, which combines video-ethnographic data of students’ classroom tasks, multimodal analysis of students’ multimodal productions and self-recordings (on the cloud), video-taped stimulated recall sessions with students about their own learning. Excerpts from these data sets are discussed with teachers in developmental work sessions to identify current barriers and successful strategies to integrate technology in learning and teaching practices. The outcomes of our analysis allow to identify potential levers for increasing the use of mobile computing devices in educational contexts and expand the object of socio-digital activity systems in the field of education. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping speaking and pronunciation skills through storytelling on the app iTEO
Kirsch, Claudine UL

in Hood, Philip (Ed.) Teaching Languages Creatively (2018)

Detailed reference viewed: 177 (9 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailDeveloping the Next Generation of Economic Models of Climate Change Conference
Mehra, Rajnish UL

Scientific Conference (2014)

Detailed reference viewed: 38 (0 UL)
See detailDevelopment across the life span and (Cross-)Cultural Psychology
Albert, Isabelle UL

Presentation (2019, October 21)

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See detailDevelopment and analysis of individual-based gut microbiome metabolic models
Magnusdottir, Stefania UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The human gut microbiota plays a large role in the metabolism of our diet. These microorganisms can break down indigestible materials such as polysaccharides and convert them into metabolites that the ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiota plays a large role in the metabolism of our diet. These microorganisms can break down indigestible materials such as polysaccharides and convert them into metabolites that the human body can take up and utilize (e.g., vitamins, essential amino acids, and short-chain fatty acids). Disbalances in the gut microbiome have been associated with several diseases, including diabetes and obesity. However, little is known about the detailed metabolic crosstalk that occurs between individual organisms within the microbiome and between the microbiome and the human intestinal cells. Because of the complexity of the intestinal ecosystem, these interactions are difficult to determine using existing experimental methods. Constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA) can help identify the possible metabolic mechanisms at play in the human gut. By combining mathematical, computational, and experimental methods, we can generate hypotheses and design targeted experiments to elucidate the metabolic mechanisms in the gut microbiome. In this thesis, I first applied comparative genomics to analyze the biosynthesis pathways of eight B-vitamins in hundreds of human gut microbial species. The results suggested that many gut microbes do not synthesize any B-vitamins, that is, they depend on the host’s diet and neighboring bacteria for these essential nutrients. Second, I developed a semi-automatic reconstruction refinement pipeline that quickly generates biologically relevant genome-scale metabolic reconstructions (GENREs) of human gut microbes based on automatically generated metabolic reconstructions, comparative genomics data, and data extracted from biochemical experiments on the relevant organisms. The pipeline generated metabolically diverse reconstructions that maintain high accuracy with known biochemical data. Finally, the refined GENREs were combined with metagenomic data from individual stool samples to build personalized human gut microbiome metabolic reconstructions. The resulting large-scale microbiome models were both taxonomically and functionally diverse. The work presented in this thesis has enabled the generation of biologically relevant human gut microbiome metabolic reconstructions. Metabolic models resulting from such reconstructions can be applied to study metabolism within the human gut microbiome and between the gut microbiome and the human host. Additionally, they can be used to study the effects of different dietary components on the metabolic exchanges in the gut microbiome and the metabolic differences between healthy and diseased microbiomes. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and Application of an Asymptotic Level Transport Pollution Model for Luxembourg Energy Air Quality Project
Aleluia Da Silva Reis, Lara UL

Doctoral thesis (2013)

The connections between air pollution and the increase of respiratory diseases, are well known. In Europe, many efforts have been carried out towards the mitigation of the pollutants’ emissions over the ... [more ▼]

The connections between air pollution and the increase of respiratory diseases, are well known. In Europe, many efforts have been carried out towards the mitigation of the pollutants’ emissions over the last decades. The European Union supports the implementation of structural planning measures to control air pollution. The assessment and evaluation of these air quality policies must be carried out with the help of dedicated integrated assessment models. The use of integrated assessment models, which combine models from different fields, raises the need for developing specific modelling concepts in order to provide results to support policy decisions within a practical time frame. This work presents the methodology and the development of a dedicated air quality model for an integrated assessment model. This approach has been designed for the Luxembourg Energy and Air Quality, LEAQ, integrated assessment model. It combines an air quality model, AUSTAL2000-AYLTP, with a techno-economic model, ETEM, which computes ozone precursors emissions related to energy consumption. The models are coupled via an optimization engine, which minimizes the total energy cost for a given ozone level. AUSTAL2000, a Lagrangian transport model, has been adapted to receive a photochemical module, the AsYmptotic Level Transport Pollution, AYLTP. This module consists of a Look-Up Table of quasi-linear reaction rates. A balance has been found that gives an acceptable level of accuracy, given the reduction of computational time. The results of the air quality model have been compared with measurements, and with the regional model LOTOS-EUROS and are considered satisfactory for this type of approach. Regarding the LEAQ framework, two study cases have been simulated, one including only the national emissions from Luxembourg country, and a second one for the Luxembourg region, including the neighbouring countries emissions. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 135 (7 UL)