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Reports

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Research into richness of vocabulary in children’s television

It seems that there is a change in the richness of vocabulary used in children’s TV programming in Ireland when comparing patterns of usage in programmes broadcast in 1992 with those in 2017. This finding comes from research carried out by VirtuLApp partner Kathleen Mc Tiernan from TCD in Dublin with her colleagues and published in the Journal of the Irish Association of Applied Linguistics (Teanga).In this investigation, the research team discovered that the richness of the vocabulary used in children’s television has decreased over time while the number of words spoken has increased over time, with this increase being significant for action and attribute words. This pattern of findings reflects a trend in children’s television towards the production of programmes of reduced lexical complexity which may facilitate children’s word learning.

Translanguaging in the context of mainstream multilingual education

This article by Joana Duarte was published in the International Journal of Multilingualism in 2018. It focuses on translanguaging which in the context of multilingual education has been has been as a means of including several languages in the classroom. However, teachers often assess translanguaging-based approaches as being too vague and idealist. This study discusses data from two settings (Luxembourg and Netherlands) in which teachers put the concept of translanguaging into practice to include both migrant and minority languages in their regular schools. Examples from each dataset show the different functions of translanguaging in the two settings. Analyses of classroom transcripts from these schools shows how translanguaging can be used as a pedagogical strategy to acknowledge migrant languages, achieve less language separation in traditional immersion models and to increase content understanding.

Language Awareness and Multilingualism

This book edited by Jasone Cenoz, Durk Gorter and Stephen May and published by Springer one of ten volumes of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education published by Springer. This third edition in 2017 is the benchmark reference text in its field.It is a comprehensive study of language awareness or knowledge about language in education which includes 29 contributions. taken together they provide provide an informative introduction to the complexities and controversies in this developing field of knowledge. The collection as a whole covers a broad spectrum of approaches, from educational to psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic, as well as the study of critical language awareness. The volume takes an interdisciplinary approach and illuminates the crucial role of language awareness in education.

A holistic model for multilingualism in education

This article published by Joana Duarte and Mirjam Guenther-van der Meij in the EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages and available in Researchgate in 2018 presents a holistic model for multilingualism in education, which combines different approaches to teaching and knowledge and places them in a continuum—from the acknowledgement of different languages to their actual use as a language of instruction. The model addresses attitudes, knowledge, and skills related to the multilingualism of both teachers and students and is suitable for different school types and students (i.e., for both minority and migrant students). The model is tested in the northern Netherlands in a multilingual education project that combines different approaches to multilingual education for both migrant and minority learners.