ICT-facilitated parent interventions to support families with young children in linguistically diverse contexts. Design and implementation, using the ISOTIS Virtual Learning Environment
Interventions facilitated by the ISOTIS online platform can promote the use of multi-lingual resources in families
Design-based research studies in four European countries focused on developing interventions which positively address cultural and linguistic diversity, and support families with young children and language backgrounds other than the school language. Involving practitioners and parents in co-creative processes and building on their cultural and linguistic resources were key design-principles. Implementation took place in England, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Cooperating partners were family learning and parent tutors (n=5), teachers (n=11), public librarians (n=7), and a community worker. Parents were taking part in group or individual support sessions (n=25) or involved with teachers of four preschool and primary classrooms (Nchildren/classrom=22-24).
Intervention activities aimed to promote shared reflections about languages, and language practices in multi-lingual families. Support for child learning was considered in the context of transition to school, with a focus on making use of multi-lingual resources in families. A main component of all interventions was the use of technology (the ISOTIS Virtual Learning Environment); content and tools were designed to provide informative and stimulating resources, and to support communication, documentation and sharing of multi-lingual and multi-cultural experiences.
The report concludes with key messages which call for organisational support, professionals with cultural sensitivity, close networks to educational institutions, the involvement of children, and opportunities for reflection and practice for parents. Bottom-up approaches are recommended, which strongly build on existing resources and use of technology. The need for a wider political and institutional culture that pays attention to and supports family heritage culture and language is emphasised.