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Newly arrived pupils and translanguaging
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1730-5463
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.

     

     

     

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Pedagogy Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69059OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69059DiVA, id: diva2:1250882
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' projectAvailable from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved

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St John, Oliver

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Output format
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