Research projects

Current projects

  • Views on Aging and Health in Everyday Life
  • Social Roles and Personality in later Life 
  • TRANSLA - Translanguaging programme for teachers working with language minority preschool children in Luxembourg (GA) – FNR CORE Junior grant
  • HOMELY -  Home literacy environment and family language policy of language minority children in Luxembourg (GA) – University of Luxembourg
  • COMPARE - Collaboration with parents and multiliteracy in early childhood education (Claudine Kirsch and GA) – FNR CORE grant
  • IRMA - Intergenerational Relations in the light of Migration and Ageing  - FNR CORE Junior grant, PI: Dr. Isabelle Albert)
  • ARPA - Améliorer les Réseaux de Professionnels pour la Santé Mentale des Personnes âgées atteintes de Troubles Psychiques en Europe - ErasmusPlus, PI: Dr. Isabelle Ernens, LIH
  • MIMY - Empowerment through liquid lntegration of Migrant Youth - H2020: PI: Prof. Dr. Birte Nienaber, University of Luxembourg
  • INTERFASOL - Intergenerational Family Relations Across Europe - COST ACTION 1311, PI: Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Fontaine, Porto University
  • SWITCH - Subjective Wellbeing and Identity Construal in a Changing World (FNR CORE Junior grant, PI: Dr. Elke Murdock)
  • Icelandic Research Fund (IRF) –Inclusive societies? The integration of immigrants in Iceland. PI – Prof. M. Meckl, University of Akureyri, Iceland.  External expert: Elke Murdock
  • ROSEnet -  Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion - COST Action CA15122, PI: Prof. K. Walsh, University of Galway, Ireland
  • FNR Pairing Scheme – Politics meets Research – 2019
  • CRISISCOVID-19 Fast-Track Call
  • PAN-VAL: Le vieillissement actif au Luxembourg: besoins des résidents luxembourgeois et non-luxembourgeois et leur participation et non-participation aux activités offertes par les différents services (VAL)
  • CONNECT – Online forum for people affected by dementia (initiated by Dieter Ferring, founded by the Fondation du Grand-Duc et de la Grand-Duchesse; PIs: Anna Kornadt/Christine Schiltz)
  • DFG Network: “Images of Aging: Via a Dynamic Life-span Model to New Perspectives for Research and Practice" funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), CO-I: Anna Kornadt


Home Literacy Environment and Family Language Policy of Language Minority Children in Luxembourg (HOMELY)

Principal Investigator

Dr Gabrijela Aleksić

































































































Project Duration

December 2017 – January 2019

































































































Funding and Support

Research Unit INSIDE, MLing and LUCET


































































































Early literacy skills are critical for later academic achievement of all children. However, language minority children are particularly vulnerable when it comes to developing literacy in a language other than their own. A wealth of research showed that children’s home language should not be abandoned as it is important for promoting dynamic multilingualism, assuring cross-linguistic transfer, strengthening family ties and developing identity.

This project aims to explore home literacy environment, family language policy and language competences of language minority preschool children in Luxembourg. It involves children age 4 to 6, their parents and teachers. To achieve the aim I conducted three studies:

  1. In the first study I investigated the language resources and the activities of children in their families in the form of a parent questionnaire. There were 76 questions in 8 languages. I received 600 parent questionnaires back.
  2. In the second study, through the 31 interviews with the interested parents from the first study, I explored the family language policy: how parents and children learn, manage and negotiate different languages at home. We took photos of cultural objects at parents’ homes and listened to their stories
  3. In the third study, we tested 196 preschool language minority children in their language competences in home language (Portuguese, Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian, French, German and English) and Luxembourgish. We used the Performance Indicators on Primary Schools Test (PIPS, Tymms, 1999), a test of early literacy and numeracy. In addition, I asked the teachers to rate the children on the socio-emotional skills and behaviour at school.

Finally, I invited the school coordinators and their teams to identify opportunities, difficulties and possible sources of support when working with language minority children.

Structural equation modelling and content analyses showed us important links between the children’s home literacy environment, family language policy, and language competences in their home languages and Luxembourgish. For example, the most important predictors for children’s early reading were parent involvement, parent reading habits and numbers of books, while for children’s print knowledge this was parent involvement. Additional information on children’s socio-emotional skill and behaviour enlarge the context of those links. Based on this valuable information we can strengthen the collaboration between families and teachers regarding children’s multilingual development and their academic achievement.

Translanguaging Programme for Teachers Working with Language Minority Preschool Children (TRANSLA)

Principal Investigator

Dr Gabrijela Aleksić





































































































Research Associate

Džoen Dominique Bebić-Crestany





































































































Local mentor

Dr Claudine Kirsch





































































































External mentors

Ofelia García and Nancy Hornberger





































































































Project Duration

01.02.2019. – 31.07.2021.






































































































Supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund


The new law in 2017 declared multilingual education mandatory with the focus on developing Luxembourgish, familiarizing children with French and valuing their home languages. It is therefore necessary to help the teachers to constructively approach children’s daily multilingual practices particularly in their critical preschool years. Translanguaging pedagogy builds on the use of the full linguistic repertoire of linguistically diverse children in a number of ways. Translanguaging engages children cognitively, linguistically, and socio-emotionally in order to reinforce their learning, achievement, and identity. This project advocates partnership-based research where the aims are to: (1) provide professional development course on translanguaging to preschool teachers to help them design their multilingual classroom practices, (2) foster home-school collaboration by actively involving children’s families, and (3) reinforce children’s cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional engagement in the classroom. The programme contains 8 sessions on multilingual classroom, home-school collaboration, multilingual brain and cross-linguistic transfer, oracy, literacy, and teachers’ own experience with translanguaging pedagogy.

To assess the effectiveness of the course and reach the first aim, 40 teachers participated in focus groups and filled in a questionnaire before and after the course that lasted for six months (June – December 2019). To investigate the second aim on home-school collaboration, we interviewed 17 parents. Furthermore, to examine children’s cognitive, linguistics and socio-emotional skills, 23 children were tested by a test of early literacy and numeracy in Luxembourgish and their home language, three times over the course of one year. In addition, teachers filled in the questionnaire on children’ socio-emotional development and behaviour. The second aim was further explored through the video recordings of the classroom sessions led by selected teachers and their preschool groups. We filmed teacher and children interactions during multilingual activities as well as parent involvement such as reading a book in children’s home language. In February 2021, we organised a teacher-parent conference in which we presented the positive results we gathered during the project.

A wealth of research has shown that children’s engagement, positive attitudes toward the school and close home-school collaboration increase their academic achievement. More specifically, research has shown that translanguaging develops deeper thinking, affirms multiple identities, develops language and literacy and promotes social justice. Thus, the present project supports this mission too.


*Adapted abstract from the project proposal.

Working group: Socio-cultural change and ways of living in migration societies

The interdisciplinary working group discusses topics concerning Luxembourg as an (im)migration country. We focus on social change regarding different stages of life and generations. Our investigation takes into account several research levels:

–        Interactions

–        Social networks and biographies

–        Identities and constructions of identity

–        Values and value transmission in families



Dr Isabelle Albert

IRMA: Intergenerational relations in the light of migration and ageing

Stephanie Barros Coimbra (Master Clinical Psychology)

IRMA: Intergenerational relations in the light of migration and ageing

Mag Elisabeth Bourkel

Intercultural communication and intercultural competency in the Luxembourg medical setting

Assoc Prof Dr Ute Karl
Professor for Social Work
Domain: Processes and Systems of Social Regulation

Biographies and transnational networks of older migrants in Luxembourg - a pilot study

Dipl. Psych. Elke Murdock

National Identities Construal in the Luxembourg Context
(PhD working title; supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dieter Ferring)