I obtained my degree in pedagogy at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and in leadership and developmental youth work at the University of Jönkoping, Sweden. As a young youth worker, I was active in war-affected areas in the former Yugoslavia by creating workshops for children. My interest in early childhood education and the critical preschool years started to develop. I obtained my Master’s degree in psychology at the University of Luxembourg, with my thesis focusing on cultural differences in empathy, self-esteem, and self-disclosure of adolescents from different countries. Cultural psychology took an important position in my research endeavors. The importance of home languages of immigrant children for their school success was the focus of my PhD thesis at the University of Luxembourg. My doctoral dissertation won the award for scientific excellence and novelty in all disciplines. I developed a particular interest in multilingualism, socioemotional skills, home literacy environment, family language policy, and early literacy and numeracy of preschool immigrant children during the course of this work. Following the award, I received an FNR grant to work as a visiting researcher at the City University of New York focusing on multilingual pedagogies and practices of young immigrant children.
My most significant publications include a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of bilingual programs in Europe for immigrant students’ school success (2015; Review of Educational Research ), the book Drama of Multilingualism: Literature Review and Liberation (2021; Information Age Publications), the book for immigrant preschool children Mara’s song (2021), the book for immigrant parents Sumak (2021), and the website for teachers working with multilingual children (www.transla-program.org).
To explore the richness of topics on multilingualism in early education, I develop interdisciplinary projects in which I include preschool immigrant children and their parents and teachers. There are two projects of this kind: Home Literacy Environment and Family Language Policy of Language Minority Children in Luxembourg ( HOMELY ) and Translanguaging Program for Teachers Working with Language Minority Preschool Children ( TRANSLA and TRANSLA-PROGRAM ).
Interdisciplinarity, availability, curiosity, empathy, and intellectual flexibility are important for my work. Researching in this domain is exciting for me as I believe in discovery and sharing.
See my profile on https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5382-6637