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[en] In trilingual Luxembourg, 63.5% of the children entering formal schooling have a home language other than Luxembourgish. National studies have shown that these children score below average in primary school (MENJE, 2017). To raise the children's opportunities, a new law on multilingual education in the early years was voted in 2017. In addition to learning Luxembourgish, young children are now familiarised with French and their home languages are valued. Researchers have called for such inclusive multilingual pedagogies that build on dynamic language arrangements (Garcia & Seltzer, 2016). However, studies have seldom focused on the impact of these innovative pedagogies on young children's developing multilingual repertoires, their interactions with adults and peers, and the children's active role in this process (Schwartz & Gorbatt, 2018).
Drawing on a sociocultural perspective, the present paper investigates the languaging and development of the language repertoires of two four-year-old Spanish-speaking children during one year in preschool. Their teacher participated in a professional development programme coordinated by a research project on developing multilingual pedagogies in early childhood (MuLiPEC, 2016-2019). The data stem from 17 days of videography and participant observation of the children's interactions with peers and the teacher during daily routines and from four interviews with the teacher. Data analysis was based on thematic and conversation analysis. The preliminary findings indicate, firstly, that within the teacher's flexible language arrangements, the children frequently translanguaged, drawing on features of five languages and non-verbal communication (e.g. gestures, showing). At the same time, they developed vocabulary, complex sentences and narrative skills in Luxembourgish. Secondly, they showed a metalinguistic awareness and adapted their languaging to their interlocutors. The findings should contribute to the research on languaging and multilingual development in early childhood.
Garcia, O., & Seltzer, K. (2016). The Translanguaging current in language education. In B. Kindenberg (ed.) Flersprakighet som resurs (pp. 19-30). Liber.
MENJE (2017). Enseignement fondamental - Education differenciee. Statistiques globales et analyse des resultats scolaries - Annee scolaire 2015/2016. MENJE: Luxembourg.
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.