Collaboration with parents and multiliteracy in early childhood education
International assessment studies continue to show that children of ethnic minority background and low socioeconomic status are more likely to have poor literacy skills and weak academic achievements. Preliteracy skills are strong predictors of literacy development, and, therefore, it is essential that parents and early childhood educators engage children in literacy activities from an early age. In trilingual Luxembourg, the non-formal sector of early childhood underwent important changes. In 2017, a multilingual education programme was implemented, requiring educators to develop children’s skills in Luxembourgish, familiarise them with French and value their home languages. The programme builds on language education, partnership with parents and networking with various institutions. Currently, home-crèche collaboration and multiliteracy activities in crèches are underdeveloped.
Accompanying 20 crèches in Luxembourg
To help educators develop their understanding of the importance of literacy and collaboration, design multiliteracy activities, and establish partnerships, a project launched by the department of Humanities of the University of Luxembourg offers professional development to educators in 20 crèches. The researchers examine, firstly, the ways in which educators, parents and children engage in multiliteracy activities and adults establish home-crèche collaboration. Secondly, the pay close attention to influence of the multiliteracy practices and collaboration on the actors’ attitudes and literacy engagement.
Researching multiliteracy and collaboration with educators, parents and children
The mixed-method study uses questionnaires to identify the current state of partnerships and literacy practices as well as the educators’ and parents’ (changing) experiences of and perspectives on collaboration and multiliteracy.
The researchers also conduct a qualitative ethnographic study with observation, video-recording, interviews and documentation in three crèches to gain insights into multiliteracy practices and the establishment of partnerships. The findings should address research gaps in relation to partnership building at the micro-level, the engagement in multiliteracy activities of three-year-olds, their parents and educators, and the influence of collaboration and multiliteracy on attitudes and engagement. In addition, the study should contribute to the development of partnerships and multiliteracy in crèches and homes.