Resource-rich approaches for learning in a Multilingual Secondary Science Classroom in Luxembourg: A teacher’s point of view
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
1:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Convention Center - 205 A
In the current study, I examine the ways one teacher positions her students as resourceful in the science classroom. In the multilingual country Luxembourg, more than 50% of the students speak at home language(s) different from their languages of instruction. Many teachers consider both, the languages the students bring to the classroom, which are different from the school languages, as well as their everyday trans-lingual language practices, as deficient. Furthermore, like in most western countries, in Luxembourgish schools, the main focus is on the written and spoken modes, which diminishes the potential other modes offer for meaning making. Both trends especially marginalize multilingual students, as many of them have little confidence to express themselves monolingually in the language of instruction as well as in the written and spoken mode alone. I am conducting an ethnographic study in at an alternative high school, where students who dropped out of the traditional school system get another chance to gain a school leaving certificate. In order to give the students a fair chance to succeed, the classroom teacher employs a resource rich approach to learning in order to position each student as a valuable member of the learning community. I examine a whole-group interaction between the teacher and her students in order to understand in what ways the teacher positions the students as resourceful by looking at the different strategies the teacher applies to both position herself and her students in a way that allows for a meaningful interaction which facilitates learning.