Challenges, Opportunities, Risks and Hopes: Making the Voice of Children with English As an Additional Language (EAL) Stronger in Early Years Provision.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Angela SCOLLAN, Middlesex University, United Kingdom
In the last decade,  the  needs of young children who are learning English as an Additional Language has been a popular research topic in the area of ‘multilingual education’ (Drury, 2007; Gorter et al., 2013), with a view of enabling children to have full access to the curriculum (Conteh et al., 2007). However, if the focus of the research is centred on Early Years settings, the situation appears to be under-examined.

This presentation discusses the results of a research exploring Early Years settings where communication is hindered by the absence of a shared language. 

The research investigated the phenomenon of language diversity as observed by the professionals who deal with linguistic differences in their everyday practice (in the next stage of the research, the phenomenon will be examined from the perspectives of children and parents).

The first phase of the research consisted of the dissemination online of a survey using Survey Monkey for professionals in Early Years. With the support of partner nurseries, 200 completed surveys were collected.  The survey offered information about the  lack of resources experienced by staff and the attitudes towards the management of multilingualism in their settings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The data from survey was used to design qualitative individual interviews. Twelve professionals were interviewed. The interviews highlighted the professionals’ plea for empowering their practice through professional development.

This study offers valuable insights,   developing a picture of actual practice with a view to generating understanding that can be applied to framing recommendations for good practice, and the development of new approaches.