In this volume, the editors aim to offer a timely focus on preschool bilingual education in the 21st century by drawing attention to the following trends: (1) the diversity of language models and their hybrid, dynamic and flexible nature; (2) the complexities of children's linguistic backgrounds; (3) children's, parents' and teachers' agencies in interaction; and (4) early bilingual development and education as contextually embedded. Given the complexity of providing a global and comprehensive view of these trends in just one issue, the selection of studies included here seeks to offer insightful consideration of these trends using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods. The contributors explore the trends in different socio-cultural and national contexts in five countries: Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel and Singapore.
The book highlights the need on the one hand to examine early bilingual education within specific socio-cultural contexts, and on the other to search for its universal features. It aims to promote the field of preschool bilingual education as a unique research domain by illustrating its distinctiveness. Last but not least, the studies presented here have a significant contribution to make in the light of the growing interest of policy-makers, ethno-linguistic community leaders, practitioners and researchers in early bilingual development and education. This book was originally published as a special issue of International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.
Introduction- Twenty-first-century preschool bilingual education: facing advantages and challenges in cross-cultural contexts Mila Schwartz and Åsa Palviainen
1. Two languages in the air: a cross-cultural comparison of preschool teachers’ reflections on their flexible bilingual practices Åsa Palviainen, Ekaterina Protassova, Karita Mård-Miettinen and Mila Schwartz
2. Adult monolingual policy becomes children’s bilingual practice: code-alternation among children and staff in an English-medium preschool in Sweden Sally Boyd and Cajsa Ottesjö
3. The early childhood education and care partnership for bilingualism in minority language schooling: collaboration between bilingual families and pedagogical practitioners Mari Bergroth and Åsa Palviainen
4. ‘Why do we know Hebrew and they do not know Arabic?’ Children’s meta-linguistic talk in bilingual preschool Mila Schwartz and Naomi Gorbatt
5. Nurturing bilingual learners: challenges and concerns in Singapore Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen and Baoqi Sun
6. First-language skills of bilingual Turkish immigrant children growing up in a Dutch submersion context Gözde Akoğlu and Kutlay Yağmur