31 SES 09 A, Multilingual School Development with Translanguaging in a European Context
The project described in this paper is part of the broader research project ‘Capitalizing on Linguistic Diversity in Education’ that investigates how multilingualism can be used as a resource for educational success and social well-being in Luxembourg. Research projects in preschool, Year 1 and Year 2 classes show that teachers have begun to draw on children’s semiotic repertoires (Kirsch 2017, Kirsch and Bes, 2017). The present doctoral research project aims to understand the ways in which and the extent to which, first, Year 4 and Year 5 teachers in three schools address linguistic diversity and, second, children draw on their language repertoire to learn. The focus lies on the translanguaging practices of teachers and children. Translanguaging is a pillar of multilingual pedagogies which promote social equity and build on socio-constructivist learning theories (García & Li Wei 2014). The education system in Luxembourg is trilingual in Luxembourgish, German and French. The curriculum is based on monoglossic ideologies and a compartmentalised view of language teaching (De Korne 2012). The system is particularly challenging for the 63.5 percent of primary school children who do not speak Luxembourgish as a first language and underachieve compared to the Luxembourgish-speakers (Menje 2017, Muller et al. 2014). This paper draws its data from six days of observations and video-recordings of learning activities in seven French, eight Mathematics and two Arts lessons from September 2017 to January 2018 in one school characterised by the diversity of its intake and the high SES of the families. The data collection is still on-going. The participants are the two teachers of the Year 4 class and three focus children of Slovenian, French and Icelandic background. The thematic analysis focuses on the type of learning activities, the school subjects, the speech acts, the language use, and the pedagogical use of translanguaging. The preliminary findings show that almost all learning activities are teacher-led and that interactions are based on initiation-response-feedback sequences. The teachers systematically translanguage between a target language and the other curricula languages to scaffold learning, build relationships and manage the classroom. Both teachers and children create a specific space for German which is highly unusual in Luxembourg. The children rarely draw on their home languages unless these are the three languages of the country. While translanguaging is frequently used as a scaffold, it is neither transformative nor does it contribute to raising equal opportunities (García & Kleyn 2016).
De Korne, H. (2012). Towards new ideologies and pedagogies of multilingualism: Innovations in inter- disciplinary language education in Luxembourg. Language and Education, 26(6), 479–500. García, O., & Kleyn, T. (Eds.). (2016). Translanguaging with Multilingual Students: Learning from Classroom Moments. New York: Routledge. García, O., & Li, W. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. New York: Basingstoke: Palgrave. Kirsch, C. (2017). Young children capitalising on their entire language repertoire for language learning at school. In Language, Culture and Curriculum, DOI: 10.1080/07908318.2017.1304954. Kirsch, C. and Bes (2017) Emergent multilinguals learning languages with the iPad app iTEO: a study in primary schools in Luxembourg. In The Language Learning Journal, doi:10.1080/09571736.2016.1258721. Menje. (2017). L’enseignement luxembourgeois en chiffres. Retrieved from http://www.men.public.lu/catalogue-publications/themes transversaux/statistiques-analyses/enseignement-chiffres/2015-2016-depliant/fr.pdf Muller, C. et al. (2014). Kompetenzunterschiede aufgrund des Schülerhintergrundes. In Martin, R., Ugen, S. & Fischbach, A. (eds.) Epreuves Standardisées Bildungsmonitoring für Luxemburg. Nationaler Bericht 2011-2013 (pp.35-58). Retrieved from goo.gl/ppf6cM.
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