Multiple Facets of Multiple Languages. Deep Drilling in Phenomena of Language Development and Education in Multilingual Contexts

Time Thursday 13:30 - 15:00
Location Faculty of Law - Room 12
Speakers Irina Usanova, Thorsten Klinger, Ingrid Gogolin, Anke Grotlüschen, Ulla Licandro
Chair Drorit Lengyel, François Grin

Linguistic diversity and its consequences for education is a highly significant topic for virtually all European countries. In-migration – the primary driver of increasing linguistic diversity in a national society – is no longer a feature faced by a selected group of North-Western European countries, but in the meantime also by European regions that traditionally functioned as source regions of migration rather than receiving regions. In a European perspective, it is crucial for the development of adequate strategies for dealing with diversity to exchange about phenomena and developments that may (or with good reasons may not) comprise of model cases for other contexts. The proposed symposium strives to present German research results and discuss their validity, scope and generalizability in a European perspective.

The consequences of linguistic diversity for education are controversially discussed. On the one hand, it is seen as an impediment for individual development as well as social consistency. On the other hand, the positive potential that can be associated with multilingualism is underlined. This potential is seen for both, individual development as well as the social coherence, cultural creativity and innovativeness of a society.

The “bi- or multilingualism controversy” can be traced back in history, yet only fairly recently we begin to have significant data at command which allows for scientifically substantiated opinion making. The contributions to our symposium present examples of such data, deriving from research in longitudinal or trend perspectives. Contributions are related to

a) results of a worldwide unique longitudinal study which observes language development of roughly 2000 students in their languages German, English, heritage languages Turkish or Russian, and 2nd foreign languages French or Russian over three years (4 waves of data collection). The data comprises of receptive (reading) and productive (writing) tests in all languages concerned (Gogolin, Usanova, Klinger).

b) results from a trend study on adult literacy (2nd Leo level 1 study) with the general question how many people in Germany can be assigned to which levels of literacy. Background information (e.g. on age, gender, migration background, socio-economic factors) is available for in depth data analysis. The study includes around 7,200 German-speaking adults aged 18 to 64. The size and sample selection allow for conclusions about the total German population (Grotlüschen).

c) results from a small scale in depth-study on language acquisition and development of children with a refugee background encountering German for the first time in their Kindergarten groups. The study shows exemplar language development biographies over one year of children who live and learn under highly vulnerable conditions (Licandro).

EERA Going Green

As part of the commitment of EERA to ensuring that our annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) is as sustainable as possible, we were delighted to work with the local organisers of our Hamburg 2019 conference to develop our 'Green Agenda'.  Watch this videoto learn more!

To cover and document the conference from a student’s perspective, Josephine Hohberg, a masterstudent in Hamburg, will blog and report on her #ECER2019 experience.
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