ELIAS

Early Language and Intercultural Acquisition Studies (2008-2010)

News: ZDF live interview on second language acquisition in bilingual preschools

Kersten, K., Rohde, A., Schelletter, C., Steinlen, A.K. (eds., 2010). Bilingual Preschools. Vol. I: Learning and Development. Trier: WVT.

Kersten, K., Rohde, A., Schelletter, C., Steinlen, A.K. (eds., 2010). Bilingual Preschools. Vol II: Best Practices. Trier: WVT.

ELIAS is a multilateral EU Comenius project which aims to advance Europe-wide establishment of bilingual preschools and collaboration with non-academic educational institutions. Researchers monitor young children's learning progress in second language acquisition, intercultural communication, bilingual science skills and environmental awareness ("green immersion") in one bilingual zoo preschool and six bilingual preschools. Located on the premises of the Magdeburg Zoo, the unique zoo preschool thrives on its proximity to animals and zoo personnel and provides an ideal learning environment for bilingual nature and science education. Such collaboration is unprecedented in Europe and the world.

Bilingual or immersion education from native speakers of a second language (L2) is the most effective CLIL teaching method for L2 acquisition and simultaneously imparts other key skills such as content learning and intercultural awareness. Thus, this innovative pedagogical concept is ideal for Europe’s knowledge-based society, giving young children the earliest head start in their lifelong learning process and preparing them to better exploit their foreign language skills in later schooling.

Applying such approaches as ethnographic participant observation and standardised qualitative and quantitative assessments, ELIAS conducts thorough research studies of the development of the children's first and second language acquisition (L2 English) and intercultural competence. The findings shed light on the effectiveness of the bilingual preschool concept and document the children's learning progress.

All project materials are available on the official ELIAS website at www.elias.bilikita.org/

Currently, the ELIAS data on language acquisition, instructional quality, individual and program variables are being reanalyzed using linear multilevel modeling and structural equation modeling.

 

Project Coordinators (updated affiliations)

Holger Kersten (Halle University), Kristin Kersten (Hildesheim University)

Project Partners (updated affiliations)

Suzanne Akerman (Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma), Petra Burmeister (University of Education Weingarten), Michael Ewig (University of Vechta), Anna Flyman Mattsson (Lund University), Gisela Håkansson (Lund University), Alex Housen (Brussels University), Ute Massler (University of Education Weingarten), Katharina Neils (Speech Therapy Practice Magdeburg), Kai Perret (Zoological Garden Magdeburg, Thorsten Piske (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Andreas Rohde (University of Cologne), Christina Schelletter (University of Hartfordshire), Anja K. Steinlen (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Inge Strunz (University of Education Weingarten), Christine Tiefenthal (Heilwig Gymnasium), Shannon Thomas, Martina Weitz (University of Cologne), Henning Wode (Kiel University)

Project Preschools and Zoological Garden

Preschool École Communale de Clabecq (near Brussels), Preschool Lund, Preschool "Bumblebees" (Cologne), Preschool "Rheinpiraten" (Cologne), Preschool Hamburg, Preschool Friedrichsort (Kiel), Preschool Melsdorf (Kiel), Preschool Tübingen, Zoo Preschoold "Children's House" & Zoological Garden Magdeburg

Publications

Kersten, K., Steinlen, A.K., Schüle, C. (forthc.). Variables affecting early foreign language learning: Evidence from bilingual preschools.

Kersten, K. (ed., 2010). ELIAS: Early Language and Intercultural Acquisition Studies. Final Report: Public Part. Magdeburg: ELIAS. (pdf)

Edited Volumes

Kersten, K., Rohde, A., Schelletter, C., Steinlen, A.K. (eds., 2010). Bilingual Preschools. Vol. I: Learning and Development. Trier: WVT.

Kersten, K., Rohde, A., Schelletter, C., Steinlen, A.K. (eds., 2010). Vol II: Best Practices. Trier: WVT.

Selected Chapters from Vol. I and II:

Gerlich, L., Kersten, H., Kersten, K., Massler, U., Wippermann, I. "Intercultural Encounters in Bilingual Preschools." In K. Kersten, A. Rohde, C. Schelletter, A.K. Steinlen (eds.),  Bilingual Preschools. Vol. I: Learning and Development. Trier: WVT, 137-176.

Kersten, K., Drewing, K., Granados, J., Leloux, B., Lommel, A., Schneider, A., Taylor, S. (2010). "How to Start a Bilingual Preschool: Practical Guidelines." In K. Kersten, A. Rohde, C. Schelletter, A.K. Steinlen (eds.), Bilingual Preschools. Vol. II: Best Practices. Trier: WVT, 77-101. (pdf)

Kersten, K., Steinlen, A.K., Tiefenthal, C., Wippermann, I., Flyman Mattsson, A. (2010). "Guidelines for Language Use in Bilingual Preschools." In K. Kersten, A. Rohde, C. Schelletter, A.K. Steinlen (eds.), Bilingual Preschools. Vol. II: Best Practices. Trier: WVT, 103-116. (pdf)

Steinlen, A.K., Massler, U., Schelletter, C., Thomas, S., Akerman, S., Burmeister, P., Buyl, A., Ewig, M., Flyman Mattsson, A., Gerlich, L., Håkansson, G., Housen, A., Kalbe, E., Kersten, H., Kersten, K., Neils, K., Pahl, K., Piske, T., Ramsey, R., Rohde, A., Weitz, M., Wippermann, I. (2010). "Results of the ELIAS Research Studies: A Summary." In K. Kersten, A. Rohde, C. Schelletter, A.K. Steinlen (eds.), Bilingual Preschools. Vol. II: Best Practices. Trier: WVT, 35-76.

Thomas, S., Burmeister, P., Ewig, M., Kersten, K., Akerman, A. (2010). "Green Immersion." In K. Kersten, A. Rohde, C. Schelletter, A.K. Steinlen (eds.),  Bilingual Preschools. Vol. I: Learning and Development. Trier: WVT, 177-212.

Journal Articles and Chapters in Edited Volumes

Kersten (2016). "Early Language and Intercultural Acquisition Studies: Forschungsergebnisse des ELIAS-Projekts in bilingualen Kitas." In T. Piske, A.K. Steinlen (Hrsg.), Bilinguale Programme in Kindertageseinrichtungen: Umsetzungsbeispiele und Forschungsergebnisse. Tübingen: Narr, 239-258. (peer reviewed)

Kersten, K., Rohde, A. (2015). "Immersion teaching in English with young learners." In J. Bland (ed.), Teaching English Language to Young Learners:Critical Issues in Language Teaching with 3-12 Year Olds. London: Bloomsbury, 71-89. (peer reviewed)

Kersten, K. (2014). "Bilingual pre-primary schools: language acquisition, intercultural encounters and environmental learning." In S. Mourão, M. Lourenço (eds.), Early Years Second Language Education: International Perspectives on Theories and Practice. London: Routledge, 29-45. (peer reviewed)

Kersten, K., Rohde, A. (2013). "On the road to nowhere: The transition problem of bilingual teaching programmes." In D. Elsner, J.-U. Keßler (eds.), Bilingual Learning and CLIL in Primary School. Tübingen: Narr, 93-117. (peer reviewed)

Kersten, K. and Rohde, A. (2013) "Teaching English to young learners." in A. Flyman Mattsson and C. Norrby (eds.), Language Acquisition and Use in Multilingual Contexts: Theory and Practice. Lund: Media-tryck, 107–121.

Steinlen, A.K., Kersten, K., Tiefenthal, C., Wippermann, I., Flyman Mattsson, A. (2013). "Empfehlungen für die Verwendung der Fremdsprache in bilingualen Kindergärten." In A.K. Steinlen, A. Rohde (Hg.), Mehrsprachigkeit in bilingualen Kindertagesstätten und Schulen: Voraussetzungen - Methoden - Erfolge. Berlin: dVb.

Kersten, K. (2012). "Fremdsprachenerwerb im Kindesalter: Forschungsergebnisse aus bilingualen Kitas." In F. Lenz (Hg.), Bilinguales Lernen - Unterrichtskonzepte zur Förderung sachbezogener und interkultureller Kompetenz. Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 25-56.

Kersten K. (2012). "Forschungsergebnisse in Bilingualen Kindertagesstätten: ELIAS-Projekt 2008-2010." In Verein für frühe Mehrsprachigkeit an Kindertageseinrichtungen und Schulen e.V. (ed.), Ich kann zwei Sprachen: Spielend Sprachen lernen mit Immersion im Kinderalter. Kiel: FMKS.

Kersten, K. (2012). "Frühes Fremdsprachenlernen in bilingualen Kindertagesstätten." News & Science: Begabtenförderung und Begabtenforschung 30 (1), 12-17.

Kersten, K., Fischer, U., Burmeister, P., Lommel, A., Schelletter, C., Steinlen, A.K., Thomas, S. (2010). Immersion in Primary School: A Guide. Kiel: FMKS. (pdf)

Kersten, K., Perret, K. (2008). "Erster deutsch-englischsprachiger Zoo-Kindergarten in Magdeburg eröffnet." Begegnung Zoo: Zoopädagogik Aktuell, 4-5.