31 SES 11, Towards a Holistic Approach on Multilingualism: Capturing Multilingual Writing Repertoires in Education
Previous research on educational attainment of bilingual and monolingual students in Germany attempted to clarify the role of students’ home language. Researchers interpreted heritage languages as an indicator hindering academic success of bilingual students (Stanat 2010). The explanatory power of this indicator and the quantitative measuring methods used by these studies were strongly criticized by recent research (Cummins 2013). Furthermore, there are findings that indicate that, regardless of the language(s) spoken in the family, having a home environment that supports literacy stimulates language development and enhances academic language skills (Leseman et al. 2010). There has been little research in Germany, if any, which investigated the influence of familial multilingual literacy practices on the development of written language skills by using productive and receptive tests and combining quantitative and qualitative methods. This paper aims to fill in this methodological gap by investigating the role of parents’ multilingual literacy practices for the development of students’ biliterate writing and reading skills. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the longitudinal study was initially conducted involving more than 150 German, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese first grade students and their families as examples of different heritage backgrounds in Germany, empirically evaluating bilingual productive language tests. At further measurement point forty students, 4th grade students by that time, and their parents (10 from each heritage background group of the initial sample) were selected for further bilingual productive and receptive language tests and qualitative interviews. Qualitative text analysis (Kuckartz 2014) was used for analysing the interviews held with the students and their parents in order to track familial and social factors such as home literacy activities and language networks influencing students’ biliterate writing and reading skills. Initial results show that, regardless of the language(s) spoken in the family, students who were raised in a home environment that supports literacy have experienced positive impact on their biliterate writing and reading skills and hence on their general school success. Quantitative and qualitative analysis have revealed features of literacy activities in productive and receptive language data.
Cummins, J. (2013). Immigrant students’ academic achievement: Understanding the intersections between research, theory and policy. In: I. Gogolin, I. Lange, U. Michel, & H.H. Reich (Eds.), Herausforderung Bildungssprache und wie man sie meistert (pp.19-41). Münster. Kuckartz, U. (2014). Qualitative Text Analysis. A Guide to Methods, Practice and Using Software. Sage Publications, London. Scheele, A. F., Leseman, P. P. M., & Mayo, A. Y. (2010). The home language environment of mono- and bilingual children and their language proficiency. Applied Psycholinguistics (31), 117-140. Stanat, P. (2006). Stanat, P. (2006). Schulleistungen von Jugendlichen mit Migrationshintergrund: die Rolle der Zusammensetzung der Schülerschaft. In J. Baumert, P. Stanat, & R. Watermann (Eds.), Herkunftsbedingte Disparitäten im Bildungswesen: Differentielle Bildungsprozesse und Probleme der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit: Vertiefende Analysen im Rahmen von PISA 2000 (pp. 189-219). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.
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