This chapter explores children’s interactions in a multilingual classroom to examine the different ways plurilingual students used communicative resources in interaction during science investigations. The aim of this research is to illuminate how these culturally and linguistically diverse young students drew on numerous resources during science investigations on the topic of worms, using a variety of approaches including digital microscopes. This ethnographic study draws upon video data collected in a mixed-age kindergarten class (4–6-year-old students) to analyze children’s participation whole class dialogue and small group interactions around worm investigations and to consider the ways in which children engaged as they made and expressed meaning. We position science learning as embodied cultural enactment, and we aim to work towards new understandings of the complex processes within translanguaging spaces in science education. The claims from this research underscore the value of dialogic, open-ended classroom structures for facilitating spaces for culturally and linguistically diverse students to draw on their many resources, and to agentically participate in science investigations.
- Early childhood science
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We employ the term plurilingual to describe the linguistic capabilities and abilities of the students with whom we work as discussed by the Council of Europe (2001, 2018). The purposeful use of the term plurilingual is used, instead of the use of terms that position the linguistic capabilities of actors relative to whole or native- speaker as ideals (bilingual, multilingual, language learners, etc.) Plurilingual, by contrast, valorizes the abilities and strengths of those who possess diverse communicative repertories. For a more detailed discussion of the theoretical implications of the use of a plurilingual theoretical position refer to Piccardo (2019), and in relation to our research specifically see Wilmes et al. (2018).
Following Roth (2005) we adopt the Scheffer stroke (|) to indicate dialectical relationships.
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Siry, C., Wilmes, S., te Heesen, K., Sportelli, D., Heinericy, S. (2021). Young Children’s Transmodal Participation in Science Investigations: Drawing on a Diversity of Resources for Meaning-Making. In: Jakobsson, A., Nygård Larsson, P., Karlsson, A. (eds) Translanguaging in Science Education. Sociocultural Explorations of Science Education, vol 27. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82973-5_4
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