Conference presentation “Language learning through storying on iTEO in a nursery school”


On 9th September, Claudine Kirsch and Laurence Di Letizia present the paper “Language learning through storying on iTEO in a nursery school” at the EECERA conference (European Early Childhood Education Research Association) in Barcelona.

Language learning through storying on iTEO in a nursery school

Luxembourg is a trilingual country and the EU state with the highest percentage of foreign residents. Currently, 62% of nursery children do not speak Luxembourgish as their first language. They learn Luxembourgish in the nursery aged 4.

The project “TEO” aims at developing multilingual oracies through collaborative storytelling in nursery and lower primary schools. “Storying” is a leading activity because it activates cognitive, social and emotional processes. It capitalizes on children’s resources and encourages them to narrate, draw, play, read and write stories. The iPad App iTEO is designed to record and edit the spoken word. The automatic replay promotes reflection on language and encourages autonomous language learning.

The project draws on social constructivist learning theories and on Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. The qualitative longitudinal study (2013 – 2016) relies on several methods including regular observations, video-recordings, interviews with the children, the teachers and the parents and the collection of audio and visual material. Teachers and parents gave written consent for the video-recordings to be used for educational purposes.

Our presentation focuses both on the various ways the teacher uses storying to give children a voice and on the multiple ways a Portuguese child learns to use iTEO. She sings, reports on events, retells stories and transforms and invents stories based on an action-hero. She uses translanguaging to get her meaning across, develops language skills through collaboration and reflection and develops a secure sense of identity.

The practices of the teacher and the children promote inclusive education programmes.

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