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Children's languaging and peer interactions in non-formal early childhood education in Luxembourg
Mortini, Simone
2018Luxembourg: A Unique Educational Context? Perspectives on Education (Research)


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Keywords :
Multilingualism; Early Childhood; Luxembourg
Abstract :
[en] In Luxembourg children engage daily in multilingual practices outside early childhood institutions but often face monolingual practices within (Neumann, 2015). Despite research having debunked the need for strict language separation for effective language learning, children are deprived from drawing on their complete linguistic repertoire (Neumann, 2015). In 2017 Luxembourg has opted for multilingual education in the early years. Formal and non-formal education settings are now required to offer the teaching of Luxembourgish, a familiarization with French and a valorisation of the children’s home languages. Whereas researchers have analysed inclusive language pedagogies (García, Johnson & Seltzer, 2017), studies seldomly examine the children’s active participation and peer interactions in early years settings implementing such multilingual pedagogies (Schwartz & Gorbatt, 2018). The present doctoral study is part of the research project MuLiPEC (Kirsch, 2016-2019) which aims at developing multilingual pedagogies through professional development in early childhood. Drawing on a sociocultural perspective, this paper focusses on two three-year-old children in two non-formal settings and investigates their languaging and interactions with peers and practitioners over a year. The data stem from 31 days of participant observation and videography of the children’s interactions with peers and practitioners and from eight interviews with the practitioners. The ongoing data analysis is based on thematic and interaction analysis. The preliminary findings, firstly, indicate that the children translanguaged, making use of their home language French, features of at least two other languages (e.g. German, English) and non-verbal communication (e.g. actions, gestures, pointing). Secondly, the children developed competences in Luxembourgish and learned new words in other languages from their peers and the practitioners. Finally, akin to Corsaro (2018), the children reproduced the practitioners’ language strategies (e.g. labelling, corrective feedback, translanguaging) during peer interactions and adapted their languaging to their interlocutors. The findings should contribute to research on dynamic multilingual practices and their impact on peer interactions in early childhood education. Corsaro, W.A. (2018). The Sociology of Childhood (5th edition). Los Angeles: SAGE García, O., Johnson, S., & Seltzer, K. (2017). The Translanguaging classroom. Leveraging student bilingualism for learning. Philadelphia: Caslon. Neumann, S. (2015). Lost in Translanguaging? Practices of Language Promotion in Luxemburgish Early Childhood Education. Global Education Review 2(1), 23–39. Schwartz, M., & Gorbatt, N. (2018). The Role of Language Experts in Novices’ Language Acquisition and Socialization. In M. Schwartz (ed.) Preschool Bilingual Education. Agency Between Children, Teachers, and Parents (pp. 343 – 356). Springer.
Research center :
- Education, Culture, Cognition & Society (ECCS) > Institute for Research on Multilingualism (MLing)
Disciplines :
Education & instruction
Author, co-author :
Mortini, Simone ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Children's languaging and peer interactions in non-formal early childhood education in Luxembourg
Publication date :
09 November 2018
Event name :
Luxembourg: A Unique Educational Context? Perspectives on Education (Research)
Event organizer :
LUXERA Luxembourg Educational Research Association
Event place :
Belval, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Event date :
from 8-11-2018 to 9-11-2018
Audience :
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
Name of the research project :
MuLiPEC - Developing multilingual pedagogies in Early Childhood
Available on ORBilu :
since 12 November 2018


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