Young Bilingual Learners at Home and School

Researching Multilingual Voices

April 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    4th April 2007
  • ISBN 9781858563558
  • Language English
  • Pages 124 pp.
  • Size 5.75" x 8.75"
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Official documents on early education tend to gloss over the experience of children who are learning English as an additional language in generalized terms. Because their learning situation is not well understood, bilingual children may be given few opportunities to display their abilities at school.

Based on the author’s ethnographic study, this book examines the experiences of three four-year-old bilingual children as they begin school in three English nursery classes. It thus provides insights into young children’s use of first languages as well as English and consequently provides a fuller and richer picture of bilingual children's learning.

The book reveals some of the ways in which young bilingual children experience preschool as they begin to learn the language required for formal schooling. It demonstrates how they take control of their own learning at home. And it asks questions: How do Samia, Maria, and Nazma find their own way through preschool? What are their individual strategies for getting by and, beyond that, for learning during their first year of formal schooling? How do they syncretize home and school learning?

The detailed picture that emerges will fill in the detail missing from the current over-generalized view of bilingual children in the early years and provide an important new perspective to a growing body of literature on young bilingual children. It will be essential reading for all teachers, early childhood practitioners and early years policymakers operating in multilingual environments.

Introduction; PART ONE: SETTING THE CONTEXT: RESEARCHING YOUNG BILINGUAL CHILDREN’S LEARNING 1) The Story of My Children; 2) Multilingual Methodologies: Listening to Young Bilingual Children; 3) Visible Learning at Nursery; PART TWO: THE ROLE OF THE CHILD AS LEARNER 4) Young Bilingual Learners: A Socio-cultural Perspective; 5) The Inner Layer: The Child—Invisible Learning in the Nursery; 6) The Inner Layer: The Child—Invisible Learning at Home; 7) Implications for the Education of Young bilingual Children’ Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

Rose Drury

Rose Drury is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood at the Institute of Education, University College Worcester.