As linguistic diversity is growing in classrooms across Europe, and as language has been identified as key to educational success, it is imperative that researchers in the field communicate and collaborate. Network 31 is an ideal forum for such communication and collaboration to take place. We especially encourage young researchers to take the opportunity to network with and gain feedback from experts and peers within our network. Following activities are underway to support young researchers:
- encouraging young researchers to submit poster proposals as a way to showcase their research interests to others, and to become involved in the network
- offering the assistance of experienced researchers in finding partners for organizing symposia
- planning workshops
- organizing meetings between the ECERs
During ECER 2019, Network 31 cooperated with the German “Coordination Office for Multilingualism and Language Education (KoMBi)” to organise a workshop on language assessment in multilingual contexts. The session introduced and critically discussed the challenges of developing new instruments for parallel assessment of multiple languages, their reliability and validity as well as the comparability of tests across different languages. The session was very well received and participants gave a very positive feedback. NW 31 plans to organise further workshops devoted to language assessment at future ECERS. Network 31 also collaborated with WERA IRN “Reading Literacy and Associated Reading Interventions for High-Risk Children from Disadvantaged Communities”. We invited the IRN’s link Convenor Surette van Staden as a discussant to ECER 2019 to share her expertise with our network participants. Network 31 and WERA IRN on Literacy plan to stimulate further collaboration between our respective members.
Network 31 Convenors met with editors of several publishing houses to discuss dissemination opportunities for the Network’s publications. During one such meeting, participants developed ideas for an edited volume on multilingual education. A working group of academics has been established to take the initiative forward.
With the support and encouragement of its Convenors, two Network 31 applications were made for EERA funding this year. The first submission relates to developing and piloting a Network 31 mentoring programme. The programme aims to bring together emerging researchers from NW31 with similar research interests to collaborate between and during ECER conferences. Supporting the work of our emerging researchers is a key priority of Network 31. This mentoring program would link emerging researchers from different national contexts with more established academics within our network, thus potentially enlarging the number of abstract submissions from newer researchers from a wide geographical context. We expect this mentoring initiative to improve the overall quality of submissions to our network as researchers will be facilitated to work on connecting symposia themes. The second application proposes an international working group on multiliteracy. Research on multiliteracy is a key research area in Network 31. Though highly relevant for individual development and school success, multiliteracy practices remain under-researched in the European context. Network members from four countries (so far) are participating, and we are optimistic that the working group will work effectively to identify common methodological approaches and address the challenges associated with conducting research on multiliteracy.
Coordination Office for Multilingualism and Language Education (KoMBi) in Germany
Multilingual Childhoods SIG (MC SIG)
European Early Childhood Education Research Association
Reading Literacy and Associated Reading Interventions for High-Risk Children IRN
World Education Research Association