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Embracing, contesting and negotiating new languages: Young children's early socialization into foreign language learning

With early childhood foreign language programs on the rise worldwide, this study is guided by the question of what young participants are learning about language, linguistic diversity and language education itself through their initial experiences with foreign language learning. Our study analyzes young learners' encounters with linguistic difference and diversity in seven U.S. pre-school classrooms in which children learned Chinese, Korean or Spanish twice a week from a "language partner". Adopting a language socialization perspective and analyzing video-recorded classroom interactions through the lenses of language awareness and engagement with language/s, we are able to characterize these early encounters with FL learning based on the interactional patterns of embracing, contesting and negotiating languages we discerned in our data. We highlight interactions that involve explicit talk about language/s as particularly promising in thinking about pedagogy as well as program goals and structures. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
New York

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