Children's Literature in Multilingual Classrooms

From Multiliteracy to Multimodality

November 2014
More details
  • Publisher
    Trentham Books
  • Published
    18th November 2014
  • ISBN 9781858565576
  • Language English
  • Pages 190 pp.
  • Size 6.125" x 9.5"
  • Images figures & photos

In the true multilingual classroom, children use a variety of languages to learn: their home languages, the school language, foreign and second languages offered in the curriculum, minority languages, endangered languages. Transforming our monolingual classrooms into spaces where a multiplicity of languages can thrive remains a pedagogical challenge for most teachers, but greatly enhances the children's learning.

The authors in this collection describe inspirational initiatives in the teaching of literacy and the role of children's literature in multilingual primary classrooms. Accounts by teachers and researchers from the UK, Canada, France, New Zealand, Finland, Spain and Austria of recent innovative classroom-based research projects illustrate new conceptualizations of multilingual literacies and their pedagogical impact in the various teaching contexts.

The book explores new forms of pedagogy and presents inspiring examples, such as the 'Little Books', that teachers can adapt to the circumstances and interests of all the children in their classrooms. Every teacher educator, and any school with children who speak languages other than the official one, needs this book.

"This is an inspirational book revealing the cognitive, social and emotional strengths of migrant children when teachers promote the home languages and stories of their families. It illustrates innovative and excellent pedagogical practice by teachers across the world and thus provides an essential resource for classrooms and teacher education courses."

Professor Eve Gregory, Goldsmiths - , University of London

"This original collection of international studies brings together a range of theoretical perspectives to show how children's literature can be effectively used in the multilingual classroom. The book will inspire researchers, teachers and educators around the world who are seeking ways to draw upon and foster children's linguistic and cultural resources."

Dr Charmian Kenner, Goldsmiths - , University of London



1) The changing role of translators in a bilingual context: Catalan (in)visibility and the translation of children's literature
2) Windows between worlds: Loanwords in New Zealand children's picture books as an interface between two cultures
3) Translating heritage languages: Promoting intercultural and plurilingual competences through children's literature
4) Children's literature as a catalyst for dual language awareness
5) DIY plurilingual literature: A multimodal approach to linguistic inclusion in the urban elementary classroom
6) Interweaving cultures through bilingual fairytales: A communitarian program linking family and school literacy practices
7) Reading and making books in two languages
8) From a school task to a community effort: Children as authors of multilingual picture books in an endangered language context
9) The big world of Little Books

Christine Hélot

Christine Hélot is Professor of English in the Teacher Education Department of the University of Strasbourg in France.

Raymonde Sneddon

Raymonde Sneddon is a French/English bilingual who loves playing with languages. She was a primary teacher in east London who specialized in working with bilingual children, their families and communities and is now Research Fellow at the University of East London.

Nicola Daly

Nicola Daly is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand.