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WG4 at #YouthMediaLife 2024
Ute Smit
Jun 3, 2024

On 26th March 2024, representatives of Working Group 4 from CA21114 were invited to participate in athematic symposium entitled, ‘New Horizons in Informal Second Language Learning: Insights from European Contexts’. This symposium was part of a larger conference hosted by the University of Vienna entitled #YouthMediaLife 2024, a research network exploring interdisciplinary perspectives on digital practices (https://youthmedialife.univie.ac.at/). On this occasion, we presented two aspects of our current research outputs for Working Group 4, focusing on the exploration of extramurally digital practices of young people (aged 9-21) across Europe and how these support learners to develop their disciplinary literacies in CLIL classrooms in school. A second aspect of our research also focuses on how teachers use digital tools in CLIL classrooms to develop disciplinary literacies. Our first contribution to the symposium focused on the challenges and opportunities of creating an appropriate multilingual research instrument that seeks to interrogate this very relationship between what learners’ do outside of school and how it supports their learning in school. While we focused principally on the content of our survey, we also spoke about other important ethical aspects of human participant research and how we overcame these given that we were working across so many different jurisdictions with different rules. We also focused on the challenges of creating an effective survey that is purely quantitative and that works in a variety of different CLIL contexts. Our second presentation focused on the student survey from two angles: firstly, how the abstract and complex construct of bi/multilingual disciplinary literacies can best be operationalised in a quantitative instrument geared towards teenagers all across Europe. Secondly, we presented the pilot data that was gathered to test our questionnaire instrument in Albania during the latter months of 2023 and elaborated how this trial enabled us to develop the second version of the questionnaire for the data collection proper beginning in March 2024.

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