14 SES 07 A PS, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
This poster presents a research (the EU-funded SOFT project “School and family together for the integration of immigrant children”, grant no. 531208-LLP-2012-IT-KA2-KA2MP), on cultural and linguistic diversity in the Swiss educational context where homogeneity is perceived as the exception and diversity the norm: Classes in schools consist of high percentages of speakers of “other” languages, creating manifold opportunities for contact between the members of different cultures. Our contribution acknowledges such multicultural encounters as a resource for the development of schools and factor to improve connections between schools and families.
Linguistic and cultural diversity are considered from the perspective of the various social actors involved in, and contributing to, learning in and around the school – the children, the teachers, the parents, and, of course, the schools themselves. In our view, plurilingualism is not only a linguistic phenomenon (Arcidiacono, 2014), because it cannot only be linked to the acquisition of, and competence in, more than one language; it can be linked to the multidimensional and multifaceted cognitive development of a child as well as to the socio-political conditions facilitating or hindering language learning (Lüdi & Py, 1984; Lüdi, 1996).
More specifically, our interest concerns the transition from a system to another (family–school) and the connection between different perspectives in a multilingual context (such as in Switzerland): The first perspective relates to the idea of a speaker of a local language who learns other local languages (e.g. a French speaker learning German in Switzerland); the second perspective represents the idea of a speaker of “other” languages learning a local language (e.g. a Spanish speaker learning French in Switzerland); the third perspective refers to the scenario where a speaker of local languages wants to learn other, foreign, languages (e.g. a speaker of French learning English as a foreign language in Switzerland). As the issue of language learning in bilingual/plurilingual children has been the topic of numerous studies (e.g., Bruner, 1983; Bialystok, 1986; Sorace, 2007; Taeschner et al., 2008; Ghimenton, 2014; Pirchio et al., 2014), it is recognized that children who have two or more languages are immersed in two or more cultures, develop some cognitive benefits, such as early knowledge of words, structures and sounds of their languages, have a better ability to learn other languages, and have a greater mental flexibility.
Taking into account the above-mentioned elements, our study aims at answering the following research questions: How to involve children in an activity based on an unknown language? How do children learn to speak the new language and use it in the transition from school to the family? How language enables the integration between teachers, children and parents and through the use of a specific model of language learning? Which is the value of language spoken at home in the transition to other languages learnt at school?
These objectives are reached by training and awareness-raising actions for teachers and parents about the potential benefits of multilingual education. We provide migrant children with a second language learning an experience in the comprehensive context of their school with the narrative format model (Taeschner, 2005), opportunities for migrant parents with second language learning experiences with their children’s teacher and with their own children at home, as well as the possibility for native children and teachers to familiarize with a foreign language (first or origin’s language for some of their classmates) with the narrative format model.
Arcidiacono, F. (Ed.) (2014). Hétérogénéité linguistique et culturelle dans le context scolaire. Biel/Bienne: Editions HEP-BEJUNE. Byalstok, E. (1986). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Child Development, 57, 498-510. Bybee, J., & Hopper, P. (2001). Introduction to frequency and the emergence of linguistic structure. In J. Bybee & P. Hopper (Eds.), Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure (pp. 1-26). Amsterdam: Benjamins. Bruner, J. S. (1983). Child’s talk: Learning to use language. New York, NY: Norton. Ghimenton, A. (2014). Les vertus caches du bilinguisme. Psychoscope, 6, 12-15. Lüdi, G. (1996). Mehrsprachigkeit. In I. Halbband, H. Goebl, P. H. Nelde, Z. Stary & W. Wölck (Eds.), Kontaktlinguistik: Ein internationals Handbuch zeitgenössicher Forschung (pp. 233-245). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Lüdi, G., & Py (1984). Être bilingue. Bern: Lang. Padiglia, S., & Arcidiacono, F. (2014). Intégration et enseignement/apprentissage des langues: le projet SOFT pour lier école et famille. In F. Arcidiacono (Ed.), Hétérogénéité linguistique et culturelle dans le context scolaire (pp. 61-74). Biel/Bienne: Editions HEP-BEJUNE. Pirchio, S., Taeschner, T., Passiatore, Y., & Tomasini, G. (2014). Gagner le défi de l’éducation biblingue: l’application du modèle du Format Narratif à l’école et en famille. In F. Arcidiacono (Ed.), Hétérogénéité linguistique et culturelle dans le context scolaire (pp. 47- 59). Biel/Bienne: Editions HEP-BEJUNE. Sorace, A. (2007). The more, the merrier: Facts and beliefs about the bilingual mind. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Tall Tales about the Mind and the Brain: Separating Fact from Fiction (pp. 193-203). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Taeschner, T. (2005). The magic teacher. London: CILT. Taeschner, T., Rinaldi, P. Taglialatela, D., & Pirchio, S. (2008). “Le parole per raccontarmi”. Una ricerca sull’apprendimento dell’italiano da parte di adolescent figli di immigrati. Psicologia dell’educazione e della formazione 10(1), 21-35.
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