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A Plurilingual Portfolio Projectfor secondary school and research in Luxembourg Marie-Anne Hansen-Pauly University of Luxembourg “Researching Multilingually” Durham University 28th-29th March 2012
“How can we tell the dancer from the dance?” Claire Kramsch / W.B. Yeats, “Among Schoolchildren”Researching multilinguallyabout multilingual and plurilingual practices in schoolcontexts Multilingual refers to Several languages involved: plurilingual learners and researchers Situations in which they are used People who use several languages (plurilingual learners/ teachers) Works of reference for the research Multilingually Involving several languages in the research process/ development project with its outcomes
Outline Situating the project - Luxembourg Multilingual curricula for plurilingual learners/ teachers Project motivation Getting started : project development Comparing perspectives Choosing a tool for learning AND research Driving questions Implementing the project Negotiating and clarifying the concepts: Developing a “third space” for multilingual approach Final report and outcomes Analysing the data Disseminating results Questions for future research
Situating the project MULTILINGUAL COUNTRY:History and statisticsLanguages and education Multilingual curricula/ plurilingual learners
Some historical facts about languages in Luxembourg For many centuries a trilingual country: Luxembourgish – Lëtzebuergesch, the spoken idiom of all French, the language of legislation, administration, and more recently the lingua franca of immigrants from southern Europe as well as the language of commuters German, langue d’alphabétisation Since the 19th century, both German and French have been school languages for all pupils 1984 – this trilingualism was formally recognised in a law
“A Language Friendly School ?” All students learn languages French, German, English – as compulsory languages/ languages as subjects Italian, Spanish, … as optional languages All students use second/ foreign languages to learn other subjects All teachers teach through a second/ foreign language Students bring in a multitude of first languages – not taught/ used at school
Examples of secondary students’ syllabus/ language of instruction Valérie, aged 14 Maths French History German speaks L and some F Biology German at home Geography German 3rd year of SE PE LëtzebuergeschFrench French Arts German French Religious Ed. German FrenchGerman German Latin FrenchEnglish English
5è Valérie’s weekly schedule 9th grade – Secondary Time of exposure to various languages Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday1 French English History Biology French2 Latin PE Latin French Geography3 Maths Maths German PE Latin4 Geography Art & Design English Ethics English5 Ethics Maths6 German French Maths7 German History French Latin German
4e Tom’s weekly schedule 10th grade – Secondary Time of exposure to various languages Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday1 Maths German French PE French2 Moral Ed. Chemistry Maths German Biology Art&Design Chemistry3 PE English English Geography4 History Biology English French Geography Art&Design5 English Maths French6 German French History Maths German
A word about language and non-language teachers Graduates from various countries Good language competences Curricula developed in Luxembourg/ resources from abroad
Research interests in learning and teaching processes CLIL Learning, using and acquiring several languages Learner and teacher Development of inter- and perspectives transcultural competences through experiences of texts/ literature
Events triggering the idea for the project 2001 : Eu Year of languages: CEFR ... ELP national versions in many countries National educational language policies in Lux 2005-EU presidency: Multilingual Classroom Growing awareness of CEFR CoE Profile of educational language policies: more cooperation recommended University of Luxembourg (2003): multilingual Research unit: LCMI (Language, Culture, Media, Identity)
Driving questions for our research Focus on language learners Compare teaching traditions and methodology Explore teachers’ cultural identities Do teachers follow an L1 or an L2 / foreign language approach? How can awareness of common concerns be raised? What cooperation between language teachers could help learners?
Getting started : project negotiation COMPARING PERSPECTIVESUniversity teamCooperation with language teachers (Lycée Classique Diekirch)CHOOSING A TOOL FOR LEARNING AND RESEARCH
University Team 4 common languages/ different levels or areas of academic expertise Luxembourgish as first language plus German, French, English at varying levels of competence All involved in teacher education Also coordinated a European project : CLIL across Contexts: A scaffolding framework for teacher education (2006-2009)
The team as matrix for the work• Guy • Vic FRENCH GERMAN Lëtzebuergesch ENGLISH GERMAN• M-A • Dany
Preliminary work Negotiating our understanding of key concepts through common background reading in 3 languages Community of practice, Activity theory, ... Language use rather than knowledge about the language Documents of the Council of Europe and theoretical underpinnings Social constructivism : Kersten Reich; Philippe Jonnnaert; Mary Larochelle , Socio-cultural theory: J.P. Lantolf ... Language biographies “third culture” Claire Kramsch, ...
Examples of “problem” terminology requiring some negotiation German words: Didaktik HOU – handlungsorientierter Unterricht English words : Skill Assessment TBL French words: Compétence Évaluation autonomie
Decision Initiate a research/ development project that would focus on all learners’ (school) languages 2 possibilities: Separate studies, with each a focus on ONE language; diachronic appraoch Common project with a focus on new, integrated perspectives, as suggested by CEFR and ELP ; synchronic approach Work with a common tool : a language portfolio find a school where some language teachers are ready to work together and cooperate with the university
Whole team University team StudentTeachers teachers Learners Home languages
Several functions for the portfolio For teachers: Allows implementing recommendations of CoE and Ministry of Education: development and evaluation of language skills and of cultural competences Fosters innovative practices with a focus on skills Can be a tool for differentiation, constructive feedback For learners: Is an instrument for growing autonomy and self-reflection Strengthens learning strategies in all languages For researchers: Provides data on learning and teaching processes in 3-4 languages An artifact for mediation between communities A mirror of plurilingual learning
Plurilingual portfolio Dialogic and interdisciplinary approach Researchers and project participants are interacting communities of practice Projects and changes can be monitored according to principles of activity theory A person’s languages should be conceived as one dynamic and integrated system (multilingual mind) The learners’ environment is crucial for language development (ecological perspective)
Implementing the project• NEGOTIATING AND CLARIFYING CONCEPTS• DEVELOPING A “THIRD SPACE” FOR MULTILINGUAL APPROACH
Project organisation 3 years at different levels Regular meetings with language teachers of the same class: to listen and ask questions about current practices to observe lessons Provide some input on skills/ competence-based language learning Foster exchanges and cooperation between teachers Propose activities around the common portfolio
Concepts of Portfolio Starting with the EU model : ELP/ PEL/ ESP: reluctance and scepticism, as too much focus on can-do statements, and functional L2 language German models of portfolios, eg Themenportfolio More complex, content-based approach , more appropriate for L1 approach focus on creativity Ilse Brunner, Felix Winter French/ Canadian models of portfolios: du concept de compétence à l’évaluation des apprentissages (process-oriented); practical details Georgette Goupil et Guy Lusignan English/ American models of portfolios: standard-based; Multiple - Intelligences Carol Rolheiser et al. = Preference for models in one’s “own” language , with a concernfor cultural issues and cultures of learning; some cross consultaion
Agreement on key principles Focus on use of language, situated learning, task based learning Accept a common negotiated framework of reference for the 3 languages: 4/5 basic language skills Include cultural elements or work on more literary texts Allow for some learner autonomy Encourage goal setting and self-evaluation Focus on process to provide formative feedbackOn other points no complete agreement could befound, in particular in relation to formal, summativeassessment practices.
Points of discussion Creativity and product oriented? Tool for remediation? Portfolio structure? Choice of documents: ... ? Inclusion of Luxembourgish? Integration in regular lessons or separate times for pf? Common portfolio/ folder for all languages? Language biography? In what language? Project duration?
“Third space” Conceive the classroom and the portfolio as spaces integrating different cultural and language components E.g.: Learners who are familiar with texts in German, French ..., and who have their own cultural experiences will integrate these elements into their construction of meaning when reading a text in English or ...
Final report and outcomes • Analysing the data • Disseminating results • Questions for future research
Analysing the data Learners’ productions as inserted in the portfolio Oral presentations of portfolios with comments of self-evaluation Interviews with learners Posters on portfolio experience Teacher questionnaires Student teachers’ reports of their portfolio experiences
What do the portfolios developed by teachers/ students tell us about the processes of language acquisition and multilingualism? What we looked at to assess multilingual learning The use of a language biography References to learners’ L1 Common structure of portfolio presentations for all languages Shared grids of (self-)evaluation Assessment practices Language learning strategies / awareness of similarities Examples of mediation Visibility of (common) teaching methodology
Conclusions A portfolio of plurilingual learners must be more than the addition of separate monolingual language portfolios Space for integrated , intedisciplinary/ multilingual products Space for common reflections on shared checklists Space for separate culturally determined products and personal comments from a plurilingual perspective Space for learners’ creativity and personal interests Shared responsibility of language teachers – provide slots in the curriculum (timetable)
Questions of multilingually researching team Separate, expert reports or global appreciation? E.g.: Can an expert of German analyse the English components of a portfolio? What language(s) for dissemination? Bilingual presentations? Slides in one language and oral comments in another? Publication? –Multilingual publishers? Translations?! Role of a common language – but which one?