News

2024

May: Workshop at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria (Spain)

In May, MetaLearn was invited to the University of the Basque Country to hold a two-day workshop for the research group Language and Speech Laboratory, directed by Professor Maria del Pilar Garcia Mayo.

The workshop focused on metalinguistic awareness in young learners, and included presentations and activities related to various parts of the MetaLearn project, such as how metalinguistic awareness can be examined through test instruments and metalinguistic talk.
We would like to extend our thanks to Pilar for the invitation, and to the research group for a lovely time together in Vitoria-Gasteiz!
 

April: Guest lecture on integrating multiple languages on early foreign language learning with Dieter Thoma (University of Mannheim)

MetaLearn, in collaboration with the research group AALM, was delighted to announce a guest lecture by Dr. Dieter Thoma from the University of Mannheim, Germany. The lecture titled "The effects of integrating multiple languages on early foreign language learning in multilingual classrooms”, which was based on the longitudinal projects MEG-SkoRe I and II, addressed the question of how foreign language teaching can harness the languages students already know.

Thoma explored the benefits of plurilingual teaching, specifically regarding vocabulary and grammar acquisition, and investigated the impact of similarities between students' languages and English grammar. We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Dieter Thoma for sharing his insights with us! 

March: MoMM Conference 2024: Multilingualism in Individuals, Education, and Society (Norway)

MetaLearn presented twice at the MoMM-conference on March 21-22 hosted by the University of Bergen. Monika and Christine presented joint work with Simon titled “Teacher cognitions about promoting cross-linguistic awareness.”

Additionally, Kaja presented joint work with Christine, Cecilie and Monika about how metalinguistic awareness can be tested in the presentation “Investigating the foundations of multilingualism: how to assess metalinguistic awareness.” This presentation detailed the development of the MetaLearn MLA-test, and argued for the usefulness of drawing on principles from educational measurement and language testing when researching metalinguistic awareness.
A big thank you to
all participants and the conference organizers for an inspiring digital conference!

March: Guest lecture on reading and language acquisition with Sible Andringa (University of Amsterdam)

MetaLearn and the research group AALM jointly arranged a public lecture by Prof. Dr. Sible Andringa from the University of Amsterdam on the 5th of March. The lecture, titled "What learning to read means for language acquisition," explored the transformative effects of learning to read and its potential impact on language learning.

Prof. Dr. Andringa discussed how the ability to decode script and process written text influences cognitive systems and opens up new linguistic possibilities. We would like to extend our gratitude to Sible for sharing his expertise with us. 

2023

October: Guest lecture on Dominant Language Constellations with Maria Nayr de Pinho Correia Ibrahim

On October 4th 2023, MetaLearn was pleased to invite Maria Nayr de Pinho Correia Ibrahim (Nord University) in collaboration with the AALM research group. Ibrahim held an introductory workshop on Dominant Language Constellations (DLCs) where participants got to make their own constellations.

She also presented how she has used this in her own research, as well as some of the DLCs produced by some of her participants. Thank you Nayr for a very inspiring workshop and thanks to all the colleagues and students who attended! 

November: Konferanse om dilemmaer og utfordringer med mangfoldsarbeid i utdanning 2023 in Drammen (Norway)

Monika presented joint work with Christine and Simon under the title: “Å se sammenhenger mellom engelsk og andre språk elevene kan: muligheter og utfordringer”.  The presentation focused on teacher attitudes towards using student’s full linguistic repertoire in the classroom. This was a conference for teachers, teacher educators and teacher students, allowing the project to reach both an academic and professional audience. Thank you to all participants and the conference organizers. 

September: Nordic Language Teaching and Learning Conference (NLTL) in Kristiansand (Norway)

MetaLearn was represented twice at this conference. Christine and Monika presented joint work with Simon under the title: “Promoting cross-linguistic awareness in Norwegian primary schools: language teachers’ views and reported practices”. This presentation reported the findings from the qualitative interviews with primary school teacher’s investigating their attitudes and practices related to cross-linguistic comparison in the classroom.

Additionally, Monika, Christine and Sandra held a workshop, “Fostering the students’ plurilingual competence through translation tasks”, where participants had the opportunity to work on the tasks developed in the project, as well as learn more about how  translation tasks can be used to promote and further develop the use of the learners’ linguistic repertoires in the classroom.
A
big thank you to all the participants and the conference organizers for an inspirational conference.
 

August: EuroSLA 32 in Birmingham (United Kingdom)

MetaLearn was represented twice at EuroSLA 2023 (30.08-02.09.2023). Kaja and Christine gave a presentation on “Constructing a new test for metalinguistic awareness: The MetaLearn test and its baseline results”. This presentation summarized in a nutshell MetaLearn’s test development article, for which Kaja is the lead author. Additionally, Monika, Christine, and Simon contributed with the poster "Language awareness in primary school EFL lessons: teachers' cognitions and practices. This poster presented some preliminary results from our WP3 on teacher cognitions and practices. Thanks to many colleagues for their interest in our contributions and a special thanks to the conference organizers for yet another great EuroSLA conference! 

June: EDiLiC 10 in Copenhagen (Denmark)

MetaLearn was represented at EDiLiC 2023 (28.-30.06.2023) by Christine, Monika and Kaja. MetaLearn contributed with an entire panel session on “Assessing metalinguistic awareness in early instructed language learning”. Thank you to all participants for your interest and feedback. And a very special thank you to the organizers for a truly inspiring conference! 

June: Milestone reached – Last round of data collection completed

Between March and June 2023, the MetaLearn team conducted the project’s last individual and group tests, with almost 180 fourth graders from five different schools. A great big thank you to all pupils and teachers in the project for making this possible! 

March: Article about MetaLearn on HVL.no 

March: MetaLearn Teacher Midway Meeting

On 17 March 2023, MetaLearn held its midway meeting for all the teachers participating in the project. We are very happy that nine teachers were able to join the MetaLearn team on this occasion! We started the day with a short overview of the project, as a reminder of its complexity, followed by a little “faglig påfyll” on metalinguistic awareness and an outline of the final round of data collection. Professor Debra Myhill (University of Exeter and HVL) then gave a talk about her work on metalinguistic talk in the classroom. After a sumptuous lunch, the teachers got more information about the tasks that the pupils worked on in the intervention part of the project. The teachers were also given the opportunity to try one of the tasks themselves, discuss the potential for learning that such tasks offer and how best to implement them in the classroom. Thank you all for coming, we look forward to seeing you all again soon, during our last round of data collection! 

March: Webinar about assessing young Learners

MetaLearn was happy to participate in a webinar about young language learners hosted by the research group ‘Evaluation and Assessment’ at OsloMet in collaboration with the International Language Testing Association. Christine and Kaja gave a presentation of the MetaLearn-project to the webinar and learned about a number of interesting projects focusing on assessing young learners. 

February: MetaLearn at “God start” conference at HVL Stord

On 2.-3. February 2023, MetaLearn participated in the conference "God start - Begynneropplæringskonferansen 2023" organized by HVL at campus Stord. Christine, Monika and Kaja gave an invited presentation entitled "Språkbevissthet at elementary school - the what and the how". There were about 150 participants, including many school and kindergarten teachers, ensuring thus that MetaLearn reaches out to both the academic and the professional community. We were especially pleased that several teachers participating in the MetaLearn project were able to join us on this occasion! 

January: Seminar about the National Tests in English

The MetaLearn-team was happy to be invited to a seminar celebrating 20 years of the National Tests in English at the University of Bergen. Christine, Kaja and Monika gave a talk about the development of the MetaLearn metalinguistic awareness test and how one can approach testing metalinguistic awareness in elementary school. 

2022

October: Second advisory board meeting

On October the 3rd and 4th, the MetaLearn team was able to welcome the advisory board in Bergen for the very first time! How exciting to meet in person after the long digital stretch owed to Covid. During two intense days, the MetaLearn team reported on the project’s overall progress—and was happy to report having reached all milestones and deliverables. In addition, each work package gave an overview of what they had worked on so far and what is still to come. The focus of the subsequent discussions was on possible analyses and the publications to result from each work package. As a special highlight, we took our national and international guests on a city tour through Bergen on Monday, which culminated in a joint dinner on Mount Fløyen. A big thank you to all members of our advisory board for their suggestions and comments!

September: MetaLearn PhD concluded mid-way evaluation

On September 8, Kaja took an important step in her PhD by completing her mid-way evaluation. After a short presentation by Kaja, Karen Roehr-Brackin (University of Essex) and Øystein Vangsnes (UiT & HVL) gave feedback on Kaja’s presentation, her PhD project, and her progress. A big thank you to the two discussants for their critical comments!

August: EuroSLA 31 in Fribourg (Switzerland)

The MetaLearn project was represented at EuroSLA 2022 (24.-27.8.2022) by Kaja and Christine! Kaja gave a presentation on “Metalinguistic awareness and English proficiency in early instructed language learning” at the EuroSLA doctoral workshop. A big thank you to all participants for your feedback! And, of course, a special thank you to the official EuroSLA discussant, Marije Michel (University of Groningen), and the conference organizers.

June: Milestone reached—MetaLearn intervention completed!

Four rounds of intervention in three schools were conducted and completed in spring 2021. We recorded the pupils while they worked in groups on tasks created by the research team. We look very much forward to analyzing the recordings and sharing our findings!

June: MetaLearn Multiplier Event No. 1

In June 2022, MetaLearn held its first multiplier event for colleagues at HVL! 14 colleagues from the English section attended. One of the foci chosen for this event was the data collection instruments used and developed by the project. The other focus was the realities of doing research with and in schools, where the team reported on some of their experiences. The MetaLearn project team also gave a general overview of the project and its aims and reported on some of the preliminary results.

May/June: MultiLit-seminar in Leikanger

The MetaLearn project was represented at the MultiLit meeting in Leikanger (31.05-02.06.2022). Kaja presented the MetaLearn project to the MultiLit project group, which researches multilectal literacy in education. A big thank you to project manager Øystein A. Vangsnes for the invitation, we hope for many synergy effects!

May: Four MAs successfully submitted an MA thesis related to MetaLearn

This year, four MA students successfully submitted MA theses at HVL which were written in relation to MetaLearn! Here are their topics:

· Metalinguistic awareness in primary school: What and how?

· The relationship between Norwegian elementary school pupils’ cross-linguistic metalinguistic awareness, English competence, and multilingualism.

· Elementary school teacher cognition on metalinguistic awareness in the EFL classroom

· An exploratory study of primary school learners' metatalk in the EFL context

Congratulations!

January: Milestone reached—MetaLearn baseline testing completed!

In fall 2021, MetaLearn conducted individual and group tests with almost 180 third graders from five different schools. We used our newly developed MetaLearn test to test pupils’ metalinguistic awareness, in addition to several other standardized measures such as the BPVS. A great big thank you to all pupils and teachers in the project for making this possible!

 

2021

International workshop with Debra Myhill on November 17th, 2021

The MetaLearn project was very happy to have Professor Debra Myhill of the University of Exeter as our guest for a workshop on 17 November.

MetaLearn teacher kick-off seminar

On 16 September 2021, MetaLearn held a kick-off seminar for teachers from the five schools participating. The MetaLearn team and nine teachers met at Radisson Bryggen for a half-day seminar that ended with a joint lunch. During the seminar, the teachers and MetaLearn project team got to know each other better, and shared expectations about project participation. The teachers also got an overview of the MetaLearn project and the different elements of project participation, including the data collection, teacher interviews, classroom observations, and classroom intervention tasks. In addition, the meeting contained a session on assessment literacy where we took a critical look at how tests are developed and how their results can be interpreted.

Thank you all for coming, we look forward to working with you over the next two years!

Guest lecture on test development and validity with Adrian Palmer

On June 3rd, 2021, MetaLearn organised a guest lecture with Dr. Adrian Palmer (the University of Utah) in collaboration with the AALM research group. Dr. Palmer gave a talk on two approaches for assessment development and validity: the qualities of usefulness approach (Bachman & Palmer, 1996) and the Assessment Use Argument approach (Bachman & Palmer, 2010).

Thank you, Adrian, for a very interesting talk!

Milestone reached: MetaLearn piloting concluded!

May 26th, 2021: Today, MetaLearn successfully finished piloting its newly developed test instrument for metalinguistic awareness. 350 pupils from seven schools in Bergen helped to make this possible. A big thank you to all pupils and their teachers!

Guest lecture on multilingual awareness with Ulrike Jessner-Schmid

On April 21st, 2021, MetaLearn organised a guest lecture with Professor Ulrike Jessner-Schmid (the University of Innsbruck) in collaboration with the AALM research group. Jessner-Schmid gave a talk on multilingual awareness and the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (DMM; Herdina & Jessner, 2002). She also presented interesting results from her current research on the role of multilingual awareness in a variety of language learning scenarios ranging from kindergarten to secondary schools in Austria and Italy.

Thank you, Ulrike, for a very interesting talk!

MetaLearn at the MoMM conference

Christine Möller-Omrani and Kaja Haugen represented MetaLearn at the Multilingualism on My Mind 2021 conference with presentations on test development and the development of metalinguistic awareness.

International test workshop, February 23rd 2021

The MetaLearn team hosted five international experts on assessing metalinguistic awareness at the test workshop.

2020

Kick-off meeting, October 1st-2nd 2020

MetaLearn's kick-off meeting took place digitally on 1-2 October, 2020. The MetaLearn team and the advisory board met to discuss theoretical underpinnings and empirical approaches to the project's central construct, metalinguistic awareness.