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Cognitive-inclusive approaches to cross-language awareness in the linguistic integration of children with migrant background

ARIS Code: Z6-50201

Project duration: 1. 10. 2023–30. 9. 2025

Project leader: Tina Čok, PhD

Participating institute at ZRS Koper: Institute for Linguistic Studies

The research project is conceived as a response to the changing global social reality associated with an increasingly multi-ethnic society, caused also by continuous migration flows and the changes in the functioning of the world order in the light of the transition from a multilateral to a multipolar world. This consequently affects national social policies and strategies.

The integration of immigrant children into the Slovenian education system is implemented through the Guidelines for the Integration of Immigrant Children in Kindergartens and Schools. Slovenia aims to integrate newly arrived immigrant children who have insufficient or no command of the language(s) of schooling through short-term introductory classes into the regular curriculum in all subjects as early as possible. Despite the good practices, OECD reports on the performance and well-being of immigrant children and youth show that Slovenia is one of the countries where the low academic performance of pupils with an immigrant background is particularly pronounced.

The aim of the research project is to enhance and improve current methods of linguistic integration for children with an immigrant background by focusing on inclusive and cognitive approaches to language learning and teaching in order to improve their academic performance and reduce their social exclusion.

The objectives of our research will be achieved through targeted, intensive cross-language awareness training for all children in the school community. The fundamental purpose of inclusion is to engage everyone in this training, i.e. native and pupils with an immigrant background. To this end, the project will develop and test a specific didactic approach and teaching techniques for cross-language awareness training that take into account the cognitive aspects of first language conceptualisation for pupils in the second and third triad of primary school.