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Perspectives on multilingualism and language learning and literacy practices of early years practitioners in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine
2017ISB11 International Symposium of Bilingualism
 

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Abstract :
[en] Multilingual pedagogies hold promise in our heterogeneous and fast developing world on account of their inclusiveness and support for social justice and political participation. In order to help early years practitioners develop these innovative methods, researchers at the university of Luxembourg offered an inquiry-based professional development course which aimed to develop the practitioners’ understanding of multilingualism, help them design literacy activities in a range of languages, and enable them to evaluate their practices. The participants were teachers and para-professionals who work with 3- to 5-year-olds in nursery schools, crèches and day care centers. These institutions focus on the learning of Luxembourgish, sometimes at the expense of home languages and of French and German, both official languages in Luxembourg. The focus on Luxembourgish must be seen in relation to the heterogeneous intake where approximately 60% of the children do not speak Luxembourgish. This paper presents the preliminary findings of a questionnaire on multilingualism, language learning and literacy practices answered by 50 practitioners prior to and following the above-mentioned professional development course. The data were triangulated with the practitioners’ video-recorded language activities. The findings show that the teachers and para-professionals view multilingualism positively and promote Luxembourgish through language use and frequent literacy activities. They occasionally communicated with the youngsters in their home languages - if known - and did not object to the children using them with peers and adults. While almost all practitioners stated that the children spoke in their home language, they diverged in their beliefs regarding the appropriateness of their use. Answers were more convergent in the post-test. The findings should deepen our understanding of early years practitioners’ beliefs and language practices and help find strategies for developing multilingual pedagogies.
Disciplines :
Languages & linguistics
Author, co-author :
Kirsch, Claudine  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
External co-authors :
no
Language :
English
Title :
Perspectives on multilingualism and language learning and literacy practices of early years practitioners in Luxembourg
Publication date :
14 June 2017
Event name :
ISB11 International Symposium of Bilingualism
Event organizer :
University of Limerick
Event place :
Limerick, Ireland
Event date :
11-6.2017 to 15-6-2017
Audience :
International
References of the abstract :
Multilingual pedagogies hold promise in our heterogeneous and fast developing world on account of their inclusiveness and support for social justice and political participation. In order to help early years practitioners develop these innovative methods, researchers at the university of Luxembourg offered an inquiry-based professional development course which aimed to develop the practitioners’ understanding of multilingualism, help them design literacy activities in a range of languages, and enable them to evaluate their practices. The participants were teachers and para-professionals who work with 3- to 5-year-olds in nursery schools, crèches and day care centers. These institutions focus on the learning of Luxembourgish, sometimes at the expense of home languages and of French and German, both official languages in Luxembourg. The focus on Luxembourgish must be seen in relation to the heterogeneous intake where approximately 60% of the children do not speak Luxembourgish. This paper presents the preliminary findings of a questionnaire on multilingualism, language learning and literacy practices answered by 50 practitioners prior to and following the above-mentioned professional development course. The data were triangulated with the practitioners’ video-recorded language activities. The findings show that the teachers and para-professionals view multilingualism positively and promote Luxembourgish through language use and frequent literacy activities. They occasionally communicated with the youngsters in their home languages - if known - and did not object to the children using them with peers and adults. While almost all practitioners stated that the children spoke in their home language, they diverged in their beliefs regarding the appropriateness of their use. Answers were more convergent in the post-test. The findings should deepen our understanding of early years practitioners’ beliefs and language practices and help find strategies for developing multilingual pedagogies.
Focus Area :
Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies
FnR Project :
FNR9989225 - Developing Multilingual Pedagogies In Early Childhood Education, 2015 (01/05/2016-30/04/2019) - Claudine Kirsch
Funders :
FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche [LU]
Ministère de l'Education Nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse
Available on ORBilu :
since 21 June 2017

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