Kindergarten Teachers Speak: Working with Language Diversity in the Classroom

Kindergarten Teachers Speak: Working with Language Diversity in the Classroom

Kindergarten Teachers Speak: Working with Language Diversity in the Classroom

Kindergarten Teachers Speak: Working with Language Diversity in the Classrooms

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Référence bibliographique [580]

Moons, Caroline. 2010. «Kindergarten Teachers Speak: Working with Language Diversity in the Classroom». Mémoire de maîtrise, Montréal, Université McGill, Faculté d’éducation.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«My intentions for this thesis are, first and foremost, to reflect the experiences of kindergarten teachers in Heusden-Zolder [in Belguim ]with regard to working with language diversity in the classroom.» (p. 7)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«What are kindergarten teachers’ experiences with linguistically diverse groups of children? How do teachers believe they ought to work with linguistically diverse groups? What do kindergarten teachers know about second language acquisition?» (p. 8)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«A total of 57 teachers, or 82.6% of all kindergarten teachers in Heusden-Zolder participated. All 57 responded to a questionnaire [...]; 15 of these teachers volunteered to be interviewed as well. In addition, I asked all kindergarten principals to fill out an email interview. Six out of ten principals in Heusden-Zolder participated.» (p. 33)

Instruments :
- Questionnaire
- Guide d’entrevue semi-directif

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé


«In Belgium, language diversity in the classroom is often perceived as a problem. It is necessary, however, to recognize the importance of students’ home languages in order to work with this wealth in a constructive manner. Teachers need to be prepared to work with linguistic diversity (and also cultural diversity) and be given possibilities to do this well. [...] The findings show that the ‘Dutch-only’ policy of schools is hardly carried out by teachers. Schools’ language policies should therefore be revised. Overall, teachers know how to support multilingual children (by scaffolding and differentiating/individualizing their lessons). However, offering these extra forms of support makes it difficult to meet all students’ needs. Smaller classes would make it more doable for teachers to differentiate or individualize their lessons. The findings also show that teachers know how to work with children going through the silent or non-verbal period and children who show (language) interference, but that extraordinarily few teachers are aware of the importance of the home languages. It is therefore necessary to shift the focus from language (Dutch as L2) to a focus on “languaging” at home and in school. Instead of advising parents to speak Dutch at home, teachers should stimulate parents to talk more with their children and bring the act of languaging to the foreground, not replace the home language(s) by the second.» (p. iii)