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See detailCinq films du projet COMPARE : 1. Introduction ; 2. Literacy – Qu’est-ce que c’est ?; 3. Développer la literacy – Comment et avec qui ?; 4. Visite des parents – un enrichissement ; 5. Vers un partenariat avec les parents
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Colucci, Laura; Lutgen, Pit et al

Learning material (2022)

Introduction Introduction aux films du projet COMPARE Dans cette série de vidéos, nous vous montrerons comment développer la “literacy” avec de jeunes enfants et comment la collaboration avec les parents ... [more ▼]

Introduction Introduction aux films du projet COMPARE Dans cette série de vidéos, nous vous montrerons comment développer la “literacy” avec de jeunes enfants et comment la collaboration avec les parents et les bibliothèques vous aident à cet effet. Film 1 Literacy – Qu’est-ce que c’est ? Les expériences précoces de « literacy » ont une incidence sur les compétences linguistiques et narratives des enfants, sur leur processus d'apprentissage de la lecture et de l'écriture, et sur leurs résultats scolaires futurs. La première vidéo introduit le concept de “literacy” et présente des situations productives. Film 2 Développer la literacy – Comment et avec qui ? Dans ce film, nous vous montrons comment développer la « literacy » avec les parents et les bibliothèques. Film 3 Visite des parents – un enrichissement Cette vidéo vous montre deux exemples de collaboration. Une éducatrice et des parents expliquent ce que la collaboration apporte aux enfants, aux parents et aux éducatrices. Film 4 Vers un partenariat avec les parents Dans cette crèche, les éducatrices cuisinent régulièrement avec les enfants et parfois avec les parents. Des situations de « literacy » en plusieurs langues apparaissent spontanément. Des parents ainsi que la chargée de la crèche partagent leurs visions sur les effets de la collaboration. [less ▲]

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See detailFive Films of the project COMPARE: 1. Introduction; 2. Literacy – What is it?; 3. Developing literacy – How and with whom?; 4. Developing literacy – How and with whom?; 4. Parent visits – an enrichment Towards a partnership with parents
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Colucci; Lutgen, Pit et al

Learning material (2022)

Introduction Introduction to the films of the project COMPARE In this series of videos, we show you how to develop literacy with young children and how collaboration with parents and libraries can help ... [more ▼]

Introduction Introduction to the films of the project COMPARE In this series of videos, we show you how to develop literacy with young children and how collaboration with parents and libraries can help you do this. Film 1 Literacy – What is it? Early literacy experiences positively influence children's language and narrative skills, their learning to read and write, and future school achievements. The first video introduces the concept of literacy and presents productive situations. Film 2 Developing literacy – How and with whom? In this movie we show you how to develop Literacy with the help of parents and libraries. Film 3 Parent visits – an enrichment This video shows you two examples of collaboration. An educator and parents explain the benefits of collaboration for the children, the parents and the educators. Film 4 Towards a partnership with parents In this day-care centre, the educators regularly cook with the children and sometimes with the parents. Literacy events in several languages occur spontaneoulsy. Parents and the head of the day-care centre present the effects of collaboration. [less ▲]

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See detailAacht Filmer vum Projet COMPARE: 1. Aféierung; 2. Literacy – Wat ass dat?: 3. Literacy entwéckelen – Wéi a mat weem?; 4. Elterebesuch – Eng Beräicherung; 5. Um Wee zum Partenariat mat den Elteren
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Colucci, Laura; Lutgen, Pit et al

Learning material (2022)

Aféierung Aféierung an d’Filmer vum Projet COMPARE An dëser Serie vu Videoe weise mir iech wéi dir Literacy mat klenge Kanner entwéckelen kennt a wéi Zesummenaarbescht mat Elteren a Bibliothéiken iech ... [more ▼]

Aféierung Aféierung an d’Filmer vum Projet COMPARE An dëser Serie vu Videoe weise mir iech wéi dir Literacy mat klenge Kanner entwéckelen kennt a wéi Zesummenaarbescht mat Elteren a Bibliothéiken iech heibäi hëllefen. Film 1 Literacy – Wat ass dat? Fréi Erfarunge mat Literacy beaflossen de Kanner hir sproochlech Fähegkeeten, hir Erzielfähegkeet, de Prozess vum Liesen- a Schreiweléieren an hir spéider Leeschtunge an der Schoul. Den éischte Video stellt d'Konzept vu Literacy vir a presentéiert produktiv Situatiounen. Film 2 Literacy entwéckelen – Wéi a mat weem? An dësem Film weise mir iech wéi Dir Literacy zesumme mat Elteren a Bibliothéike kennt entweckelen. Film 3 Elterebesuch – Eng Beräicherung Dëse Video weist iech zwee Beispiller vun Zesummenaarbecht. Eng Educatrice an Elteren erklären de Benefice vun der Zesummenaarbecht fir d’Kanner, d’Elteren an d’Educatricen. Film 4 Um Wee zum Partenariat mat den Elteren An dëser Crèche kachen d’Educatrice reegelméisseg mat de Kanner an heiansdo mat den Elteren. Situatiounen vu Literacy a verschiddene Sprooche komme spontan op. Elteren an d’Chargée vun der Crèche presentéieren d'Auswierkunge vun der Zesummenaarbecht. [less ▲]

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See detailBildungspartnerschaften und Literacy: Erste Ergebnisse aus dem Projekt COMPARE
Kirsch, Claudine UL

in Service National de la Jeunesse (Ed.) Zusammenarbeit mit Eltern und Literacy im mehrsprachigen Kontext (2021)

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See detailPartenariats éducatifs et literacy : premiers résultats du projet COMPARE
Kirsch, Claudine UL

in Service National de la Jeunesse (Ed.) Collaboration avec les parents et littératies plurilingues (2021)

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See detailD´Wuelbefanne vu Kanner a Pandemie-Zäiten. Resultater a Perspektiven
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Presentation (2021, November 18)

Das internationale Forschungsprojekt „COVID-Kids“ der Universität Luxemburg untersuchte die Erfahrungen und das Wohlbefinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen zwischen 6 und 16 Jahren während der ersten Welle ... [more ▼]

Das internationale Forschungsprojekt „COVID-Kids“ der Universität Luxemburg untersuchte die Erfahrungen und das Wohlbefinden von Kindern und Jugendlichen zwischen 6 und 16 Jahren während der ersten Welle der Pandemie. Die Forscherinnen boten Teilnehmern eine Umfrage von Mai bis Juli 2020 an und führten Interviews mit 22 Kindern aus Luxemburg durch. In diesem Vortrag werden die Hauptergebnisse der Studie vorgestellt. Die Pandemie führte zu einschneidenden Veränderungen im Alltag der Kinder, von denen viele Lebensbereiche betroffen waren. Schon zu Beginn der Pandemie äußerten die Teilnehmer ausgeprägte Ängste und Sorgen, die je nach Alter, Geschlecht und sozioökonomischen Status variierten. [less ▲]

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See detailEngaging in and creatively reproducing translanguaging practices with peers: a longitudinal study with three-year-olds in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Mortini, Simone

in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (2021)

The increasing societal and linguistic diversity in schools challenge traditional teaching approaches and call for pedagogies that cater to the growing number of multilingual pupils. Translanguaging ... [more ▼]

The increasing societal and linguistic diversity in schools challenge traditional teaching approaches and call for pedagogies that cater to the growing number of multilingual pupils. Translanguaging pedagogies can offer multilinguals a productive learning environment that helps them leverage their resources for learning. Translanguaging studies in early childhood education are still scant, especially those that involve emergent multilinguals, focus on adult–child and peer interactions, and examine children’s agency. The present paper from multilingual Luxembourg examines the engagement of two three-year-olds in adult-led and child-led activities in two early childhood education settings as well the ways in which they creatively reproduced translingual activities and strategies in peer interactions. The data of the qualitative study stem from 128 excerpts, video-recorded over the course of a year. The findings show that the children’s language use and active engagement depended on the pedagogy and the practitioners’ language-supportive strategies. In peer interactions, they creatively reproduced routine activities, thereby transforming formulaic speech, as well as the practitioners’ strategy use. The findings can guide curriculum developers and practitioners when implementing inclusive translanguaging practices in early childhood education. [less ▲]

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See detailOpening minds to translanguaging pedagogies: perspectives and practices of professionals in early childhood education and primary school.Keynote
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2021, November 09)

In Europe, migration, mobility, technology and globalisation have resulted in multilingualism at the societal and individual level. These changes require policy-makers and educationalists to adapt ... [more ▼]

In Europe, migration, mobility, technology and globalisation have resulted in multilingualism at the societal and individual level. These changes require policy-makers and educationalists to adapt teaching. For the last decades, institutions and scholars have called for multilingual education programmes that recognise the existence of the multiple languages spoken by children. The policies of the Council of Europe encourage ‘pluralistic approaches’ as well as early language learning. In the United States, García and her team developed multilingual pedagogies, later called translanguaging pedagogies, that draw on the students’ entire semiotic repertoire to leverage their learning. Research findings in monolingual, bilingual and multilingual contexts testify to the benefits of translanguaging for learning, well-being and identity-building. Such programmes are in line with the UN convention of children’s rights demanding respect for their language, culture and values. While multilingual programmes have been implemented in early childhood education and primary schools in several countries in Europe, professionals seem to be unsure of how to promote multilingualism and deal with language diversity. This presentation is based on the perspectives and practices of professionals in early education and primary schools in multilingual Luxembourg where a programme of plurilingual education has been implemented in the early years in 2017 and where children follow a trilingual curriculum in primary school. I will provide insights into the perspectives of practitioners by drawing on several research projects carried out over the last 6 years in Luxembourg. I will show excerpts of interviews and observations that indicate that early years practitioners have opened up to multilingual education over the last years and are tackling the multiple challenges they face during the implementation of the multilingual programme. Translanguaging also exists in primary schools but a clear language hierarchy is in place and teachers and children do not draw on their entire semiotic repertoire. The presentation concludes with implications for practitioners and policy-makers. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst steps into developing multilingual practices in ECEC in Luxembourg: Insights from the projects MuLiPEC and COMPARE
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2021, September 07)

Translanguaging pedagogies promise to take account of students’ language and socio-cultural backgrounds and contribute to their academic achievements (García, Johnson, and Seltzer, 2017). Researchers who ... [more ▼]

Translanguaging pedagogies promise to take account of students’ language and socio-cultural backgrounds and contribute to their academic achievements (García, Johnson, and Seltzer, 2017). Researchers who have investigated translanguaging practices in monolingual, bilingual and multilingual contexts, have shown that translanguaging promotes learning, well-being, and identity-building (Lewis, Jones, and Baker, 2012; García & Sylvan, 2011; Young & Mary, 2016; Vaish 2019a). Studies in early childhood education and care (ECEC) remain scarce, particularly those that focus on the use of institutional languages and home languages. Furthermore, little is known about the implementation of translanguaging pedagogies and the challenges faced by professionals. One exception comes from Vaish (2019 a, b) who investigated the practices of primary teachers in Singapore who taught in English, Chinese and Malay. She identified three main challenges: superdiversity, negative attitudes towards home language, and teacher-centred pedagogies. Studies on professional development (PD) in ECEC have shown that PD can help practitioners change beliefs, knowledge and practices to some extent (Egert et al. 2018). This presentation comes from multilingual Luxembourg, where 63.7% of the 4-year-olds do not speak Luxembourgish as their home language. Since 2017, educators in ECEC are required to develop children’s skills in Luxembourgish, familiarise them with French and value their home languages. Professional development courses help practitioners move away from monolingual policies and practices that existed prior to 2017, and implement multilingual pedagogies. This paper examines the challenges teachers and educators faced during this process. It is based on seven group interviews carried out during two research projects; the first aimed to develop multilingual pedagogies (MuLiPEC), the second collaboration with parents and multiliteracies (COMPARE). The findings, based on thematic analysis, indicate, firstly, that the educators faced multiple challenges when trying to change their practices such as their uncertainty of how to deal with multiliteracy, their behaviourist views on education, their inexperience of planning literacy activities in multiple languages, and, secondly, the ways in which they overcame them. The PD courses helped them reflect on their beliefs, challenge monolingual ideologies, and develop knowledge about language learning and new multilingual practices (Kirsch 2020). The findings shed light on the complexities of the implementation process and the support needed for professional learning. [less ▲]

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See detailPerspectives on multilingualism and multilingual literacies from early childhood educators in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL; Bebić, Džoen Dominique UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, September 04)

The pedagogies of multiliteracies and translanguaging (García et al., 2017) call for multiliteracies, but early childhood educators are often ensure of how to develop practices in one, let alone multiple ... [more ▼]

The pedagogies of multiliteracies and translanguaging (García et al., 2017) call for multiliteracies, but early childhood educators are often ensure of how to develop practices in one, let alone multiple languages. The development of literacy skills is often reduced to the isolated training of phonological awareness or the letters of the alphabet. By contrast, storytelling is a holistic approach which contributes to the development of language and literacy skills (Sénéchal & Lefevre, 2001). It can promote multilingualism if multilingual speakers are involved (Kirsch, 2018). This presentation reports on the perspectives on multiliteracies of educators in crèches in multilingual Luxembourg, where 63.7% of the 4-year-olds do not speak Luxembourgish at home. Multilingual education became mandatory in 2017, requesting educators to develop Luxembourgish, promote French and value home languages. The mix-method project Collaboration with parents and Multiliteracy in early Childhood Education aims to develop literacy practices in multiple languages and with multiple actors (parents, educators) through professional development in crèches. In this paper we report the findings of interviews and a survey sent to 700 educators in May 2020. The latter were asked to identify literacy practices (e.g. storytelling), language-promoting strategies, and translanguaging practices. The data are analysed with thematic analysis and descriptive statistical analysis. The findings will contribute to our understanding of current ideologies, pedagogies, and practices, and help identify issues and possible ways forward. [less ▲]

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See detailHead, shoulders, Knie et pés – singing one’s way into multilingual practices. Language policies and practices in ECE
Kemp, Valérie; Colucci, Laura; Bebić, Džoen Dominique UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, September)

While the European Commission (2011) has called for multilingual approaches in preschools and primary schools, their implementation is difficult and has rarely been studied (Kirsch et al. 2020 ... [more ▼]

While the European Commission (2011) has called for multilingual approaches in preschools and primary schools, their implementation is difficult and has rarely been studied (Kirsch et al. 2020). Multilingual language policies are likely to challenge traditional monolingual language ideologies and language hierarchies (Bergroth & Palviainen 2016, Ellis et al. 2011). The present paper looks at the non-formal early childhood education and care sector (ECEC) in multilingual Luxembourg, where a new plurilingual education programme has been implemented in 2017 (MENJE & SNJ 2018). It aims to develop skills in Luxembourgish (or French), familiarize children with French (or Luxembourgish) and value home languages. Furthermore, it encourages collaboration with parents and networking with social institutions (Kirsch & Seele 2020). The project COMPARE examines collaborative language and literacy practices with three-to-four-year-olds in crèches (day care centres in Luxembourg). This paper investigates the ways in which the educators in one crèche, helped by children’s parents, and the children themselves developed literacy activities in multiple languages and began to overcome monolingual ideologies. The data stem from seven video recordings totalling 29 minutes and fieldnotes written on four days over a period of three months. The data have been analysed with thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke 2006). Our preliminary results show that the educators included six of the children’s home languages by engaging the children and their parents in a range of activities. They developed an inclusive stance to language diversity and, like the children, learned words in different languages. Thanks to the good collaboration with parents, they received home-recorded videos which they integrated into their daily practices. Finally, they considered children’s, at times, reluctant attitudes towards languages other than the majority languages and found ways of opening up their minds to language diversity. Children became the driving motor for the new multilingual practices (Boyd & Huss 2017). The findings are relevant for policy-makers, researchers and professionals because they show means to develop collaborative and inclusive multilingual practices and overcome possible challenges. [less ▲]

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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 detail„Raum für Mehrsprachigkeit geben!“
Heinzel, Friederike; Schüler, Liz; Kirsch, Claudine UL et al

in Die Grundschulzeitschrift (2021)

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See detailFrom language policy to educational practices: early multilingual education in Luxembourg
Seele, Claudia; Kirsch, Claudine UL

Poster (2021, August 17)

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See detailCovid-Kids II. Survey for children aged 6 to 16 about their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Peluso, Eugenio; Andreoli, Francesco et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

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See detailMultilingual children - today & tomorrow
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Speeches/Talks (2021)

What does it mean to be bilingual? Does one need to be competent in two or more languages? Are bilinguals more prone to speech disorders and less likely to have Alzheimer? Do parents and teachers need to ... [more ▼]

What does it mean to be bilingual? Does one need to be competent in two or more languages? Are bilinguals more prone to speech disorders and less likely to have Alzheimer? Do parents and teachers need to strictly separate languages for children to learn? What are multilingual/ translanguaging pedagogies and to what extent can they promote multilingualism at school? Join us to find out and discuss! [less ▲]

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See detailPractitioners’ language-supporting strategies in multilingual ECE institutions in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL

in European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (2021), 29(3),

Multilingual education is mandatory in early childhood education in several European countries. Scholars working in first, second, and foreign language learning have shown the effectiveness of interaction ... [more ▼]

Multilingual education is mandatory in early childhood education in several European countries. Scholars working in first, second, and foreign language learning have shown the effectiveness of interaction-promoting and language-modelling strategies for language development. In addition, teachers in bilingual contexts have been translanguaging to foster language learning. To this day, few research studies have examined these strategies in combination and their deployment in multilingual contexts. The present study takes place in multilingual Luxembourg where 64% of the four-year-olds do not speak Luxembourgish. It focuses on three practitioners who took part in a professional development course on multilingual pedagogies and presents their language-supporting strategies as well as their translanguaging practices. The findings show that the practitioners use a range of strategies in Luxembourgish, French and home languages, in daily conversations, routines and language and literacy activities to address children’s linguistic needs. [less ▲]

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