Listening to stories : collaborating with children and their teacher to explore the communicative repertoires of young emergent bilinguals

Harini Rajagopal
<span title="">2022</span>
This study explores ways to value emergent bilinguals' rich communicative repertoires and to design multimodal and multilingual pedagogical practices that build on these resources students bring from home to school. I listen to children's stories as they draw from their various languages, multiple modes of expression, and socioculturally informed ways of engaging with the self and others. I also present young children's views on linguistic diversity and multimodal learning, and their
more &raquo; ... s on the inclusion of their linguistic resources in classrooms. Interconnecting theories of multilingualism and translanguaging, and multiliteracies and multimodality, I researched in a Canadian public Grade 2/3 classroom. I used education design research and methodologies for collaborating and researching with the children and their teacher, while paying attention to contextual realities. Data were generated through home visits and in-class interactions and projects that integrated a variety of multimodal methods, and included my subjectivities as a multilingual and racialized parent. The stories in the study emphasize different communicative repertoires – including languages, drawing, photography, pop culture, conversations, collaboration, and playfulness – that emergent bilinguals use as resources to showcase their learning and capacities. Pedagogical designs were co-constructed valuing these creative repertoires and multiliterate practices as resources for learning and I interpret learnings from this process. Congruently, I also stress raciolinguistic ideologies and the realities of class, cultural, and systemic inequities that multilingual and marginalized students and families frequently experience in their interactions in schools and in society. My findings highlight the synergistic connections between multimodal and multilingual ways of meaning making and the identities of competence that emerge when we listen carefully to children's stories. I emphasize the significance of process and relationships at the heart of [...]
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