Promoting the contributions of multilingual preschoolers


Journal Article


Chapman De Sousa, E. B.


Abstract: This study analyzed the use of Instructional Conversation (IC) in a multilingual preschool context. It sought to identify scaffolding strategies that promoted the contributions of multilingual children to IC. Twenty-seven hours of video data from seven classrooms were analyzed. Only three sequences emerged in which multilingual children actively contributed to the conversations. Educators in these sequences promoted children’s contributions by: (a) using multimodal resources, (b) responding to the actions and words of the children, and (c) focusing on shared meaning-making or intersubjectivity. Translanguaging emerged as an important strategy to encourage the involvement of multilingual children in IC. Results provide invaluable exemplars of effective IC in preschool classrooms with multilingual children. The results demonstrate alternative ways of talking with young multilingual children and indicate a need for a pedagogical focus away from teacher-directed practices to joint activities and responsiveness to children’s contributions.


Chapman De Sousa, E. B. (2017). Promoting the contributions of multilingual preschoolers. Linguistics and Education, 39, 1–13.