31 SES 07 A, Interventions for Multilingual Education: What Works in Including Home Languages in European Education
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.
Egert, F., Fukkink, R. G., & Eckhardt, A. G. (2018). Impact of In-Service Professional Development Programs for Early Childhood Teachers on Quality Ratings and Child Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research June, 88(3), 401–433. García, O., Johnson, S. I., & Seltzer, K. (2017). The translanguaging classroom: leveraging student bilingualism for learning. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Kirsch, C. (2020) Translanguaging as a pedagogy in formal and non-formal education in Luxembourg: theory into practice. In C. Kirsch & J. Duarte (Eds.), Multilingual approaches for teaching and learning. From acknowledging to capitalising on multilingualism in European mainstream education. Abingdon: Routledge. Lewis, G., Jones, B., Baker, C. (2012). Translanguaging: developing its conceptualisation and contextualisation, Educational Research and Evaluation. International Journal on Theory and Practice, 18(7), 655–670. Vaish, V. (2019a). Translanguaging pedagogy for simultaneous biliterates struggling to read in English. International Journal of Multilingualism, 16(3), 286–301. Vaish, V. (2019b). Challenges and directions in implementing translanguaging pedagogy for low achieving students. Classroom Discourse, 10(3-4), 274–289. Young. A., & Mary, L. (2016). Autoriser l’emploi des langues des enfants pour faciliter l’entrée dans la langue de socialisation: Vers un accueil inclusif et des apprentissages porteurs de sens. La nouvelle revue de l’adaptation et de la scolarisation, 73, 75–94.
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