Questions about digital and multilingual learning
In cooperation with universities
In Canada, Binogi's research partners include the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, University of New Brunswick, and University of Montpellier. Currently, Binogi is engaged in 3 research projects.
Filling the Learning Gaps caused by the pandemic: Supporting teachers and their diverse students with digital technology
The closure of schools across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant gaps in educational provision for both ‘mainstream’ and ‘vulnerable’ school populations. Additionally, teachers across grades K-12 have struggled to find learning resources that connect with the curricula they are mandated to teach. When students fall behind, they develop a learning gap, a lack of knowledge and understanding of curriculum content, relative to their peers. Learning gaps are relatively common and invariably require, at some point, a strategy to help the student catch up. A rather unique consequence of the Covid19 pandemic is that it has likely caused, in a single timeframe, a learning gap in relation to curriculum expectations in a substantial proportion of the student population.
In this project, we are investigating how Binogi may support the accelerated catch-up phase of students with a learning gap as well as reinforce the digital skills of teachers.
Expanding Web-Based Educational Opportunities
Poor academic achievement among language learners continues to be the focus of international debate, particularly in countries with a high influx of newcomer and refugee students, such as Canada. Among the proposed causes, not mastering the school language is a key factor. Language learners need at least five years to catch up with their native-speaking peers in school. During this time, language learners invest a substantial proportion of their efforts in learning the school language, while struggling with the academic language demands of content subjects. As a result, some fall behind academically. In addition, results of various studies show a clear decline in the interest of the general school population in STEM in the middle grades and a reduction in the opportunities to practice outside school hours.
The closure of schools across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant gaps in educational provision for both ‘mainstream’ and ‘vulnerable’ school populations. The challenges for teachers have been daunting even in the case of students who have access to computer technology at home and who speak English and/or French fluently; however, the challenges are even more acute for students who could be classified as ‘vulnerable’ as a result of their families’ precarious socioeconomic situation, the recency of their arrival in Canada, or the fact that neither parents nor children may speak English or French fluently.
In this project, we are investigating how Binogi supports academic progress of students, increases their interest and practices of STEM, supports the involvement of parents as well as reinforces the digital skills of teachers.
Plurilingual Pedagogies and Digital Technologies to Support Learning
This research project aims to explore how middle-grade children and youth use the multilingual content of a digital learning tool to access STEM content. We are implementing and evaluating the impact of an online STEM-focused platform that combines a highly engaging interface with a choice of several languages across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and France, in regions where there is a greater than average number of language learners in schools. Our partnership seeks to clarify 1) the students’ level of engagement in learning STEM content, 2) the extent to which the multilingual features promote academic progress, 3) the inclination of students to access academic content in French, and 4) the experiences of teachers with regards to using this technology. We also explore various strategies to support teachers in learning to integrate multilingual digital tools across the STEM curriculum including the collaborative development of resources.
For more information on these research projects, visit The Escape Projects.
Talks with Binogi and Dr. Jim Cummins
In 2018, Jim Cummins met with Binogi to discuss a number of relevant factors for multilingual learners including language and identity, and language complexity. Enjoy this short video on language teaching methods and translanguaging.