Reference : Translanguaging at Primary School: A longitudinal study on the language practices of ...
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Translanguaging at Primary School: A longitudinal study on the language practices of a newly-arrived 4th-grader
Degano, Sarah mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
Sarah Degano
from 03-09-2019 to 06-09-2019
Universität Hamburg
[en] Translanguaging ; Flexible language use ; Peer interactions ; Primary school ; Luxembourg
[en] Migration flows of the 21st century have led to increasingly multilingual societies and schools. To engage with this ever-evolving multilingualism, students need to develop linguistic repertoires they can use flexibly and strategically. However, not all the resources of their linguistic repertoires are equally valued as language policies tend to exclusively support standard majority language(s). This unequal support translates into low achievement levels among linguistic minority students (Lewis, Jones and Baker 2012) and the reification of social stratification. A growing body of scholars promote flexible multilingual pedagogies that capitalize on students’ linguistic resources with the aim of providing a more equitable access to the curriculum (García and Flores 2012, Weber 2014). Translanguaging, the deployment of a speaker’s full linguistic repertoire (Otheguy et al. 2015), is a pillar of these pedagogies. Although debated in recent years (Hamman 2017, Jaspers 2018), research in bi- and trilingual schools has shown that translanguaging can increase participation (Kirsch 2017), understanding (Baker and Wright 2017) and identity development (García 2009). Yet, research on translanguaging including migrant languages in multilingual schools remains scarce (Duarte 2018, Rosiers 2018). The present doctoral project investigates the translanguaging practices of students with different language and migration backgrounds in multilingual Luxembourg. As the country with the highest percentage of immigrants in Europe (Eurostat 2018), Luxembourg has a highly diverse linguistic landscape. This diversity is reflected in the education system, where more than 60% of the students indicate having a dominant language other than Luxembourgish (MENJE 2018), with Portuguese being the most used. Not only is the education system characterized by its linguistic diversity, it also is trilingual in French, Luxembourgish and German, the latter being the main medium of instruction in primary school. Accounting for 40.5% of all curricular time, language instruction leaves little room for other linguistic resources; migrant students’ home languages are largely ignored (Horner and Weber 2018) and teachers widely draw on translanguaging practices that are restricted to shifts into Luxembourgish, a Germanic language (Weber 2014). Luxembourg’s education system fails to provide access to the curriculum for migrant students with a Romance-language background. By contrast, recent studies (Kirsch 2017) have shown that in some Luxembourgish preschool, Year 1 and Year 2 classes, teachers have begun to encourage the deployment of the students’ entire linguistic repertoires. Little attention has, however, been paid to the later years of primary school where the achievement levels of students with a migration background are at their lowest (MENJE 2017). This study targets Year 4. It explores the flexible language use of 4thgraders in different school subjects and the development of their language practices across Years 4 and 5. The present paper is based on one of the three investigated schools and focusses on the classroom interactions of an 11-year-old newly arrived student with a Portuguese background. The following research questions underpin the paper: - In what ways and to what extent does a newcomer deploy his semiotic repertoire while interacting with his peers and this teacher? - In what ways and to what extent do his language practices differ across Year 4 and Year 5? The findings contribute to the understanding of multilingual students’ language practices and their development; provide insight into how linguistic repertoires of students with a Romance-language background can be capitalized on; and help denaturalize the ‘student with a migration background - stereotype’ by shedding light on the importance of translanguaging practices in short-cutting gatekeeping mechanisms that restrict access to educational opportunities for more than 20% of the school population (Horner and Weber 2018).
FnR ; FNR10921377 > Adelheid Hu > CALIDIE > Capitalising on Linguistic Diversity in Education > 15/01/2017 > 14/07/2023 > 2016

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