Linguistics and English Language

Bilingualism research group

Speaker: Emile Jenny (University of Geneva)

Title: Exploring the impact of a Swiss bilingual program (French/German) on L2 and mathematics learning through a mixed method design

Abstract: In this presentation, we describe how the use of two methodological approaches led researchers to evaluate the competences of 10- to 12-year-old pupils in a bilingual (French/German) public primary school in Switzerland. The following target disciplines have been selected for the aim of the study: L2 (French or German) and mathematics. The first part focuses on quantitative aspects: by using close-ended questionnaires, L2-tests in four communicative competences and mathematics tests, we have compared the results of children following the bilingual program (n=76) with the results of children following monolingual education (n=214). The second part describes the qualitative approach adopted in order to gain a better understanding of classroom activities and perceptions of a teacher involved in the bilingual program. This part includes the discursive analysis of classroom social interactions and the semi-structured interviews with teachers. The use of mixed methods has been helpful in detecting the complex context of knowledge production in the analyzed setting, in which the use of two languages has been effective in enhancing content and language learning. Therefore, recommendations for the growing number of bilingual programs such as recommendations for further researches are presented in the final part of the presentation.

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May 04 2020 -

Bilingualism research group

2020-05-04: Exploring the impact of a Swiss bilingual program (French/German) on L2 and mathematics learning through a mixed method design

Online via link invitation