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St John, O. (2018). Between question and answer: Mother tongue tutoring and translanguaging as dialogic action. Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts, 4(3), 334-361
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Between question and answer: Mother tongue tutoring and translanguaging as dialogic action
2018 (English)In: Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts, ISSN 2352-1805, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 334-361Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, tutoring in the mother tongue is a form of special educational support to enable pupils with non-Swedish language backgrounds to follow Swedish medium instruction and succeed at school. For pupils who risk failing to meet minimal curricular requirements, it is an educational right. This study investigates tutor-mediated interaction with Somali newly arrived pupils and subject teachers in oral examinations at the ninth year and asks how translanguaging may be relevant to speech performances in this multilingual setting. Both tutors and pupils translanguage advantageously to accomplish pedagogical objectives. Translanguaging proves subject to the personal aspirations of speakers, the organization of interaction as well as wider pedagogical goals. Following Bakhtin, discrepancy between tutor translingual interpretation and participants’ interpreted utterances is accounted for as the responsive engagement of a second consciousness that supplements other voices creatively. Central aspects of translanguaging are challenged through a dialogic lens. The implications of treating translanguaging in mother tongue tutoring as dialogic action include positioning translanguaging in an interactionist framework, the importance of a discourse of constraint as well as affordance, a dynamic epistemology and the need for teachers and tutors to be aware of the inherent meaning-making processes in translingual interpretation for pupil assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2018
Keywords
pupil assessment, mother tongue tutoring, Bakhtin, Translanguaging, interaction, newly arrived pupils
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68901 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-13 Created: 2018-09-13 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2018). "Not teacher, not interpreter. I am a language assistant": Enabling newly arrived students to learn Swedish through bilingual language assistants (BLAs). In: : . Paper presented at ECER 2018 "Inclusion and Exclusion. Resources for Educational Research?" Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy, September 4-7, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Not teacher, not interpreter. I am a language assistant": Enabling newly arrived students to learn Swedish through bilingual language assistants (BLAs)
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

General description

The use of a learner’s mother tongue during additional language acquisition is widely heralded as a crucially important learning asset (Cummins, 2017; Hyltenstam & Milani, 2012). Despite research and report recommendations to value and make pedagogical use of newly arrived pupils’ indigenous language resources (e.g. Cummins, 2017; Skolverket, 2016), multilingual education in Sweden is still largely dominated by monolingual norms and practices (Jalali-Moghadam & Hedman, 2016). This paper presentation reports the findings of a project geared to the introduction of mother tongue language mentors (LMs) into the initial levels of the regular Swedish for immigrants (SFI) teaching programme of an adult education institute in Sweden. The language mentor project is the vision of an SFI teacher team whose concern over the low number of students who manage to reach minimum requirement levels to pass the first study path spurred them to bring about organizational change. In August, 2017, eight mother tongue language mentors were recruited for the autumn term and a 6-month pilot project was launched. Their mother tongues included several Arabic varieties, Dari and Somali. In cooperation with the participating teachers, this study aims to document and investigate the development and learning processes among participants of the project in order to gauge the effect of mentor intervention on the pedagogical environment in which students strive to learn additional language. Research questions include:

  1. What indicators can be extrapolated from project data and second language acquisition research to serve as a basis for an evaluation of the kind of learning conditions mediated by teacher-mentor pedagogical cooperation for the development of students’ language skills?

  2. In what ways does the work of the language mentors alongside teachers in the first study path effect students’ opportunities to participate in instructional activity and learn Swedish as an additional language?

  3. In the light of project results, what changes need to be made to the mentor programme and their classroom practice in order to further improve conditions for students to achieve higher success rates on the first SFI study course?

Theoretically, this research project is inspired by both Bakhtin’s (1981; 1986) concepts and translanguaging as an account of multilingual communication practice. Bakhtin’s concepts of voice, understanding as responsive and heteroglossia have proved particularly apt in illuminating the phenomena of interest. For example, data points to the way the mentors make student voices accessible to the teachers.  

Translanguaging creates novel analytical and pedagogical prospects in multilingual education. The concept highlights the capacity of bi- and multilinguals to make themselves understood and produce nuanced meanings by gliding between languages so that they use a variety of features and practices from their whole linguistic repertoires (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; García & Wei, 2014). Such communicative mobility on the basis of all a speaker’s linguistic resources has significant promise for doing language which is a necessary condition for knowing it (Dewey, 1938).

 

Methodology

The first methodological objective was to devise a viable research design. To meet project objectives, indicators were extrapolated from participants’ responses, qualitative observation and second language acquisition research which would allow for analysis and evaluation of the quality of the conditions created by LMs and teachers for student language learning. Twelve indicators were discerned from project data highlighting, for example, mentor performance which insured that students have sufficient chance to make sense of Swedish input and to engage with teacher questions independently before the occurrence of mother tongue explanations.

The two main methods of generating data within the project were direct classroom observation and series of interviews with students, mentors and teachers spread across the project period at initial, middle and final stages. Direct observations were seen as essential to gain an inside understanding of the context within which teachers, mentors and student were interacting as well as to capture a more comprehensive view of the focal setting than might be gleaned from the selective perceptions of the participants through interviews (Patton, 2002). Interview series were chosen as a way of tracking changes in participant experiences and perceptions which may cast light on significant development and learning dimensions within the scope of the project.

Expected results

Preliminary results point to significant positive effects of mentor participation in the first SFI study course. The middle and final student interviews provide evidence of advantageous learning experiences and a strong sense of personal and pedagogical support from the mother tongue mentors. Both students and mentors emphasize the critical role mentors play in building up students’ self-esteem and giving them hope as a necessary condition for motivated language learning. All the participants agreed that, given the mentors’ understanding of the students’ cultural differences and linguistic vulnerability, they are able to explain language and cultural difficulties in a way which the teachers simply cannot.

The mentors’ interview responses coupled to observations of their classroom performance show a strong learning curve connected to an evolving realization of the role they need to play. From simply providing ongoing translation of teacher instruction, the mentors have developed practices characterized by strategic intervention and scaffolding techniques. According to the teachers, mentor work had shifted from an initial teacher-student relationship to a well-coordinated co-teaching scenario. A significant pedagogical result was a general appreciation of the need to make a clear distinction between helping (doing the work for the students) and supporting (enabling students to do the work themselves) students in their language learning and the significant benefits of achieving the latter. While there may be potential disadvantages connected to the inclusion of language mentors into SFI education such as a dependency on the intervention of mentor support and an incongruity of methods used by teachers and mentors, the evidence is overwhelming that the advantages of language mentorship at this level of language learning far outweighs possible disadvantages.

Intent of publication

At least two publications are being planned as joint. The first, designed to target a Nordic audience, gives special place to the voices and vision of the participating teachers whose initiative launched the mentorship venture. The second article will profile the project work and its results and target an international journal such as International Journal of Inclusive Education.

References

Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Austin: The University of Texas Press.

Bakhtin M. M.  (1986). Speech Genres & Other Late Essays. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94, 1, 103-115.

Cummins, J. (2017). Flerspråkiga elever: Effektiv undervisning i en utmanande tid. [Mulilingual pupils: Effective teaching in a challenging era]. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone.

García, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jalali-Moghadam, N. & Hedman, C. (2016). Special Education Teachers’ Narratives on Literacy Support for Bilingual Students with Dyslexia in Swedish Compulsory Schools. Nordic Journal of Literacy Research, 2, 1-18.

Hyltenstam, K. & Milani, T. (2012). Flerspråkighetens sociopolitiska och sociokutruella ramar [The Sociopolitical and the Sociocultural Frames of Multilingualism]. In K. Hyltenstam, M. Axelsson & I. Lindberg (Eds.), Flerspråkighet: en forskningsöversikt [Multilingualism: A research overview] (pp. 17-152). Vetenskapsrådets rapportserie 5. Stockholm: The Swedish Research Council.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Skolverket (2016). Utbildning för nyanlända elever [Education for newly-arrived pupils], Stockholm: Skolverket [The Swedish National Agency for Education].

Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and Language (A. Kozulin, Ed. & Trans.). Cambridge. MA: MIT Press. (Original work published 1934).

Series
Network on Language and Education
Keywords
Bilingual language assistants, newly arrived students, mother tongue, voice, translanguaging
National Category
Learning Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69053 (URN)
Conference
ECER 2018 "Inclusion and Exclusion. Resources for Educational Research?" Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy, September 4-7, 2018
Projects
Bilingual Language Assistant Project
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
Adinolfi, L., Link, H. & St John, O. (Eds.). (2018). Translanguaging - researchers and practitioners in dialogue. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Translanguaging - researchers and practitioners in dialogue
2018 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2018. p. 98
Series
Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts, ISSN 2352-1805, E-ISSN 2352-1813 ; Vol. 4, No. 3
National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69297 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-05 Created: 2018-10-05 Last updated: 2018-10-08Bibliographically approved
Bagga-Gupta, S. & St John, O. (2017). Making complexities (in)visible: Empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions. In: Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta (Ed.), Marginalization processes across different settings: going beyond the mainstream (pp. 352-388). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making complexities (in)visible: Empirically-derived contributions to the scholarly (re)presentations of social interactions
2017 (English)In: Marginalization processes across different settings: going beyond the mainstream / [ed] Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, p. 352-388Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Transcripts aspiring to represent naturally occurring interaction mediate analytic insights into fleeting human communicative performances that routinely implicate verbal and nonverbal dimensions in concerted action. Video technologies have introduced unprecedented opportunities to study interactional complexity in minute detail. This article aims to exemplify how the level of detail attended to in transcriptional representations can expand or restrict video data-derived results and throw different analytic light on the constitutive features of interactional phenomena and their generic workings. Towards this aim, various transcription formats are explored to represent classroom interaction from language focused lessons at a school setting in Sweden. The juxtaposition and analysis seek to highlight that making body orientations across time and space as well as written language unavailable for analysis renders invisible integral sense-making actions that bear consequentiality for participants. For the sake of emic and consequential analysis, appeal is made for an endeavour to attend to the interdependence of multimodal social practices that routinely compose naturally occurring interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017
Keywords
classroom interaction, conversation analysis, interillumination, representation, transcript, literacy
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38547 (URN)9781527503298 (ISBN)
Projects
LISA-21
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-11-12 Created: 2014-11-12 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2017). Newly arrived pupils: Voices in counterpart and threshold experiences. In: : . Paper presented at Transcon 2017, "Translanguaging - researchers and practitioners in dialogue". Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, March 28-29, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Newly arrived pupils: Voices in counterpart and threshold experiences
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research aims, etc.

Newly arrived pupils (NAPs) are a heterogeneous group with multiple needs which span learning, social and emotional dimensions. The challenge to include these pupils is particularly pressing because existing programmes of support are not proving adequate to enable newly arrived pupils to overcome the difficulties they face and succeed at school. NAPs comprise the school group that have the greatest difficulties attaining curricular goals and gaining qualification entries to upper secondary school. This presentation reports on a project geared to investigating the organizational and pedagogical provisions offered NAPs by a good practice school and to developing a school-based approach and classroom practice for including such pupils.

This school’s model creates conditions for NAPs to continue their school education in relation to age-appropriate curricular goals. The model entails a dual-track programme of same-language NAP-only classes in which core curricular subject instruction is bilingual and integrated classes in which the NAPs join the regular teaching of other subjects in Swedish. This presentation focuses on one of the project aims which is to explore the usefulness of translanguaging for understanding the multilingual interaction in the classrooms where the NAPs are placed and supporting them in their language and subject learning efforts.

Theoretical and methodological framework

This study takes its point of departure from learning theories which explain the importance of both support and challenge for physical and intellectual development. For example, Vygotsky underscores that assistance from capable others without an element of personal exertion will not be sufficient to realize proximal potential and independent performance. A further aspect of the theoretical framework is theory and research which examine the learning conditions of segregated, ‘withdrawal’ and ‘immersion’ environments respectively. This because discourses circulating around educational responses to NAPs have centred on either language induction (segregated) programmes or direct integration into regular teaching settings. Generally, research has pointed to the logics of both surrounds and emphasized the need for targeted support such as tailored grammar instruction within a framework which requires personal exploration, meaningful engagement and efforts to cope with the situation. In view of the above, the framework also includes a survey of the various kinds of educational provision and support considered appropriate for NAPs and what studies indicate about their strengths and drawbacks.

These perspectives are considered necessary to investigate and illuminate data for the purpose of evaluating the relevance of translanguaging for describing and supporting learning activity among NAPs.

Research design, methods and data analysis

The project has an emergent educational research design. Each of the three project phases has been informed by the former phase. Initially, orientation interviews with persons at various levels of NAP involvement in the municipality focused issues and provided perspectives which framed fieldwork at the partner school. Participant observation was conducted to generate both research data and key questions for the focus groups of teachers and pupils as well as the class tutor. These interviews provided answers related to the project aims and stimulated new perspectives on current practice and possible ways of improving it.

Observation and interviews were chosen in order to gain data of both what participants think and what they do with respect to focal issues. Audio recordings are necessary for detailed analysis of participants’ interaction. Focus group interviews not only generate meaning making processes but, for the NAPs, allowed for interaction in their mother tongue as groundswell for their voices to be heard clearly in Swedish.

With regard to data analysis, Bakhtinian concepts (appropriation, addressivity, multivoicedness and interillumination) proceduralized by conversation analysis make possible analysis of both situated interactional meaning making and the significance of the surrounding contexts permeating the lives of newly arrived children.

Results

Results related to translanguaging are enmeshed in tensions spanning the model. First, the tension between the different pedagogical approaches in the two learning environments. Language-focused content teaching and translanguaging in the segregated class contrasts to teaching approaches in integrated classes. Pupils’ struggle to follow instruction in the immersion environment underscores that commitment to language-focused and translingual support must be shared across the curriculum.

Another tension inheres in the trilateral language learning task NAPs face. Everyday Swedish is as much a communicative challenge as the specialized language of school subjects. At the same time, NAPs in Sweden are engaged in maintaining and developing skills in their mother tongue. Translanguaging can bring these discourses into communicative play, align them, and make manageable what might otherwise be overwhelming.

A further tension invades mother tongue use in each learning context. While mother tongue use in the NAP-only class affords extensive learning opportunities, it tends to be avoided in the integrated classes for fear being marginalized. In this context, pupils’ translingual practices interfere with their social need to fit in and belong to the class. Translanguaging needs to be promoted sensitively and related to both pupils’ need of cultural support and wider school inclusion.

National Category
Learning Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69058 (URN)
Conference
Transcon 2017, "Translanguaging - researchers and practitioners in dialogue". Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, March 28-29, 2017
Projects
The 'language class' project
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2017). Study guidance as translanguaging response to newly arrived pupils. In: : . Paper presented at 18th World Congress of Applied Linguistics (AILA 2017), "Innovation and Epistemological Challenges in Applied Linguistics", Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23-28, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Study guidance as translanguaging response to newly arrived pupils
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Newly arrived students and translanguaging – epistemological challenges  

A central aim of the paper is to explore methodological and theoretical challenges of translanguaging in education for newly arrived immigrants in Sweden. The concept of translanguaging has emerged from a growing interest in multilingualism and multilingual education during the last two decades, especially in the Global North, which was previously — and to a large extent still is — dominated by monolingual norms. Translanguaging offers a challenging and expansive conceptual lens for understanding the linguistically hybrid yet fluid meaning-making practices of multilinguals (Garcia & Wei 2014; Creese & Blackledge 2010; 2015). It highlights the capacity of bi- and multilinguals to make themselves understood and produce nuanced meanings by gliding between languages so that they use a variety of features and practices from their whole linguistic repertoires. Such communicative mobility on the basis of all a speaker’s linguistic resources has significant promise for gaining opportunity to contribute to instructional processes and collaborate with other students so that (language) learning is maximized (Creese & Blackledge, 2010). . At the same time, tendencies in research on translanguaging stand in need of critical assessment. Translinguists insistence on a single integrated linguistic system supporting multilingual communication and the deconstruction of named languages (Otheguy, García & Reid, 2015) raises the question of the role of grammatical systematicity in language learning and how language retains coherent meanings or determinable meaning potentials across different contexts. Rather than accounting for translanguagers’ interaction in terms of individual repertoires and competence, participants collaborative interactional work also has to be inspected to understand aspects of translanguaging. By drawing on empirical examples from two ethnographic studies of language support for newly arrived students in subject learning from Swedish schools, we critically explore the potential of translanguaging.  

National Category
Pedagogy Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69057 (URN)
Conference
18th World Congress of Applied Linguistics (AILA 2017), "Innovation and Epistemological Challenges in Applied Linguistics", Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23-28, 2017
Projects
The language class project
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. & Cromdal, J. (2016). Crafting Instructions Collaboratively: Student Questions and Dual Addressivity in Classroom Task Instructions. Discourse processes, 53(4), 252-279
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crafting Instructions Collaboratively: Student Questions and Dual Addressivity in Classroom Task Instructions
2016 (English)In: Discourse processes, ISSN 0163-853X, E-ISSN 1532-6950, Vol. 53, no 4, p. 252-279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines classroom task instructions—phases traditionally associated with noninteractional objectives and operations—and reveals their composition as interactionally complex and cocrafted. Analyses of video sequences of task instructional activity from three different secondary school lessons show that student questions routinely contribute to making task instructions followable. In this environment, student questions set up tensions between the demand to respond to the individual and responsibility to uphold the general instructional agenda. Data show that, as addressees of student questions, instructors take great care to meet both individual and collective accountabilities. To meet obligation to the addressee and exploit the instructional benefit of the question for the cohort, dual addressivity—targeting two or more addressees in response to a student question—proves a crucial method for achieving such principled practice. Educationally, it appears vital to recognize student instructed action as integral to task-related learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2016
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50400 (URN)10.1080/0163853X.2015.1038128 (DOI)000375001900002 ()2-s2.0-84939213294 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2016). Intersubjectivity and alterity in classroom interaction. In: : . Paper presented at Nordisk Relationell Pedagogik (NORP), Conference and Network meeting, Stockholm, Sweden, March 17-18, 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intersubjectivity and alterity in classroom interaction
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Dialogical epistemologies have spanned both teleological and nonteleological orientations to knowledge that is, both knowledge conceived as convergent on pre-determined epistemic goals and knowledge as divergent, moving centrifugally towards as-yet-unknown outcomes. Nonteleological conceptions of dialogue have challenged absolutist views. Bakhtin teaches us that what is frequently treated as finalized is inescapably unfinalized.

The interdependence between communication and cognition assumed by dialogists foregrounds that question of how producing meaning and understanding interpersonally is related to appropriating knowledge and pedagogy. In accounts of social interaction, an intersubjectivity paradigm has long been privileged. Less attention has been paid to the transformative effects of communicative counteraction. This study explores the relationship between intersubjectivity as involving agreement and attunement in orienting to others and alterity with a focus on divergence and disagreement in other-orientedness. It aims to show the importance of intersubjectivity for explicating part of the logic of classroom interaction and to clarify empirically some ways in which alterity generates significant expansion of consciousness in the classroom.

Data analysis indicates the strategic work teaches and students do to secure agreement and unity around goal-stipulated knowledge in instructional activity. The study also examines classroom data where divergent voices give rise to alternative views and novel understanding of a topic or action. In one episode, students’ resistance to the teacher’s explanation creates a counter movement to the official lesson. As a consequence, the teacher’s epistemic position is decentralized and a meeting of two consciousnesses illuminates a range of meanings related to a French term. In such encounters, participants’ cohesion-building strategies provide interactionally for opposition. In the classroom, both intersubjectivity and alterity are needed to resist reducing other-orientation to a single consciousness and to maximize the meaning-making advantages of bringing a second consciousness to bear on the consciousness of the other.

National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69068 (URN)
Conference
Nordisk Relationell Pedagogik (NORP), Conference and Network meeting, Stockholm, Sweden, March 17-18, 2016
Available from: 2018-09-26 Created: 2018-09-26 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2016). Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging. In: : . Paper presented at EAPRIL Conference 2016 "Challenges of the Digital Era for Education, Learning and Working: Researchers and Practitioners in Dialogue", Porto, Portugal, November 22-25, 2016.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Title: Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging

 

General abstract of the presentation (English) (max. 150 words)

including the aims/objectives of the research, the methodology, the results, and the main conclusions and/or implications for practice

The urgency to include immigrant children in schools is currently one of Europe’s most critical challenges. This presentation reports on a project designed to promote the language development and school subject knowledge of newly arrived pupils so that they can qualify for upper secondary schooling. Project aims include exploring school inclusion policy and practices and developing and implementing effective pedagogical approaches and provision.

Methodologically, Bakhtinian dialogism in joint operation with conversation analysis provide the analytical tools. The project design combines focused observation, focus group interviews, stimulated recall and focus group dialogues.

Preliminary results indicate the need to think beyond the traditional either language induction classes or direct integration scheme, the importance of cultural knowledge about pupils’ ways of reasoning for meaningful instruction and the advantages of engaging parents actively in their children’s schooling. Conclusions highlight solutions which are sensitive to local conditions and the human needs of newly arrived children.

 

 

Detailed abstract

 

  1. How is this study founded by theory and/or how does it originate from practice? (max. 200 words)

    In Europe today, the learning conditions for newly arrived pupils gives cause for deep concern (Bunar, 2015). In Sweden, migrant children have the right to mother tongue instruction, but in Europe this is the exception rather than the rule (Siarova & Essomba, 2014). Despite report recommendations to value and make pedagogical use of newly arrived pupils’ language resources (e.g. Skolverket, 2014), multilingual education in Europe is still largely dominated by monolinguals norms and practices. Content and language integrated teaching has gained considerable educational support, but teachers in multicultural classroom lack ways of working with the language that builds up the subject they teach. Without the strategic pedagogical use of pupils’ current linguistic knowledge in learning a new language and without a focus on the language challenges of teaching school subjects, newly arrived pupils are likely to fall well below their potential levels of development and national curricular goals. 

    Despite pockets of innovative practice and success, knowledge about how newly arrived pupils can best be received and included is currently limited. This study is rooted in practice; it is a response to the struggle of newly arrived pupils to be included.

     

     

  2. What are the central research goal(s), problem(s) and/or question(s) in this study? (max. 150 words)

    The central research goals of this project are to:

     

    1.                         Explore the views and practices prevalent in schools and local educational authorities regarding the inclusion of newly arrived children’s language resources in order to learn about the ways in which these institutions provide for newly arrived children in their vicinities and identify potential areas of further development.

     

    2.                         Investigate the communicative practices characterizing interaction between newly-arrived pupils with teachers and peers with the goal of gaining understanding about the way pupils’ current linguistic repertoires and communicative competences relate to their additional and academic school language learning processes.

     

    3.                         In cooperation with the partner schools, develop and implement effective school-based policy and classroom practice for including such pupils in instructional activity and school life.

     

    4.             Explore and possibly strengthen the pedagogical usefulness of translanguaging for supporting newly arrived pupils in their efforts to master additional and academic languages in schools. 

  3. Which research design  did you use in this study and which methods did you use to analyse the data (i.e. subjects, instruments/intervention and procedure)? (max. 200 words)

    The methodology of this project is framed by an educational research design (McKenney & Reeves, 2012) in that researcher and practitioners innovate pedagogical approaches collaboratively. There is an aspiration to bring both external analyst and school participants into research cooperation in order to critically evaluate the current programme and elaborate creative thinking and approaches informed by the project learning experiences. The data generating methods include overlapping phases of focused observation, focus group interviews and stimulated recall.   The purpose of the observation is to generate key issues and questions for the focus group interviews and critical incidents for stimulated recall analysis. Focus group interviews and stimulated recall are, in turn, intended to guide the development of thinking and strategy for language development and inclusion work alongside newly arrived pupils. With regard to such development, focus group dialogues are envisaged as joint forums for reasoning together and decision making geared to strengthening the educational provisions for newly arrived pupils.

    With regard to data analysis, Bakhtinian concepts (appropriation, addressivity, multivoicedness, interillumination) proceduralized by conversation analysis make possible analysis of both situated interactional meaning making and the significance of the surrounding spheres permeating the lives and competences of newly arrived children.

     

     

  4. What are the results of this study? (max. 150 words)

    Orientation interviews are currently yielding insights into the local reception processes and provision for newly arrived children. Interviewees highlight the need to think beyond the traditional policy of either language induction classes or direct integration provision, the importance of cultural knowledge about pupils’ ways of reasoning for meaningful instruction, the advantages of engaging parents actively in their children’s schooling, the priority to profile newly arrived pupils on teacher education agendas.

    Preliminary results from a pilot study demonstrate the potential of translanguaging for talking inventively and understanding in two languages. At the same time, there is a need to maintain a balance between the affordances of multilingual communication practices without diminishing the systematic constraints that make possible the context-transcendent meanings of language. The study also attests to the importance of attending to the interactional work between multilinguals and recognizing that doing multilingual language is always configured into a larger multimodal framework.   

  5. What are the main conclusions of this study? (max. 100 words)

    Conclusions so far, point to the need for nuanced solutions. For example, school personnel are challenged to ride the tensions between treating newly arrived children like everyone else and making special organization and pedagogical provisions for their education. With regard to translanguaging as communicative performance and pedagogy, the crucial question appears to be not whether to translanguage or not, but rather when to translanguage and when to maintain target language use and support. Translanguage as linguistic facilitation can involve simplifying the (linguistic) task which may be counterproductive to the learning challenges teachers through tasks invite learners to engage with.

     

     

  6. Who (should) use the results of this study and how do the results contribute to the improvement of educational practice?  (max. 150 words)

    The results of the study should be used by the partner schools to develop meaningful ways of supporting the language and subject learning of the newly arrived pupils in their care. The knowledge gained from investigating partner schools is expected to impact the attitudes of educators, school policy and classroom methods towards enabling newly arrived children to succeed at school.

    Teacher education is seen as a key target. To make a long-term difference to the inclusion of newly arrived children, it is vital to find ways of transferring project findings to pre-service and in-service courses so that teachers become aware of the complex educational conditions newly arrived pupils introduce and are able to create opportunities to enable them to succeed.

    The results of the study should contribute internationally. There is a tremendous need to share experiences across national borders of what policy and practices may be context-specific and what context-transferable.    

  7. How are you planning to make your session interactive?  (max. 100 words)

    The following methods could be considered as ways of increasing interactivity in your sessions: Ask delegates to predict answers or results to the research questions; before elaborating your central concept, ask delegates for their ideas and/or experience with the concept; 'demonstrate' your research or treatment by distributing the questionnaires you used or by including video clips of the study set-up; ask delegates to offer explanations for your findings; ask delegates to think about any implications for practice; invite some participants in your study to take part in the sessions, for example, by Skype; give out tasks to delegates, for example, let them brainstorm the topic or research question; organise a small pair discussion about your results; use Twitter with a hashtag; present statements or polls to delegates and ask them to vote ‘for/against’; ‘yes/no’; ‘green/red’.

    Besides seeking to maintain a high level of eye contact, I will also begin by showing five engaging statements about newly arrived pupils which delegates should respond to and discuss in various configurations (e.g. by moving to 'agree'/'disagree' sides of the room and finding ‘opposite’ partners). The presentation will then address each statement. Delegates will be invited to brainstorm around key terms such as newly arrived pupils and inclusion before definitions and issues are offered. Furthermore, delegates will form focus groups to decide on an action plan of provisions which are congruent with the project’s findings and conclusions.

     

     

  8. Which question or general statement related to your study would you like to present to the conference delegates for discussion? (max. 20 words) 

    (e.g. related to your concept, your findings, the implications of your findings, future research plans, how to deal with limitations of your study, etc.)?

    What are the greatest challenges as well as the prospects of enabling newly arrived children to succeed at school?

     

  9. List of references 

    Bunar N. (Ed.). (2015). Nyanlända och lärande – mottagande och inkludering [Newly arrived pupils and learning – reception and inclusion]. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur.

    McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2012). Conducting Educational Design Research. Abington:Routledge.

    Siarova, H., & Essomba, M. A. (2014). Language Support for Youth with a Migrant Background. Policies that effectively promote inclusion. Sirius Network Policy Brief Series. No. 4.

    Skolverket (2014). PM. Dnr: 2014:00254. Slutbetyg i grundskolan [Final grade in secondary school], våren 2014.

     

     

     

National Category
Pedagogy Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69059 (URN)
Conference
EAPRIL Conference 2016 "Challenges of the Digital Era for Education, Learning and Working: Researchers and Practitioners in Dialogue", Porto, Portugal, November 22-25, 2016
Projects
The 'language class' project
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
St John, O. (2015). Dialogism and CA in (exploratory) dialogue. In: : . Paper presented at Norrköpings utbildningsvetenskapliga seminarieserie (NorrUt), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, December 9, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dialogism and CA in (exploratory) dialogue
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69069 (URN)
Conference
Norrköpings utbildningsvetenskapliga seminarieserie (NorrUt), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, December 9, 2015
Available from: 2018-09-26 Created: 2018-09-26 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1730-5463

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