This book offers much-needed support to practitioners working with children from different language backgrounds in early years settings. The authors make theories on multilingual learning accessible to the reader, linking the ideas clearly with practice. The book contains many excellent suggestions for working with families to create a classroom environment that develops children's home languages as well as English and fosters educational success. Charmian Kenner, Senior Lecturer in Education, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK This volume speaks urgently and eloquently to educators and policy-makers about the potential of schools to enrich children and communities in contexts around the world where population mobility and linguistic diversity have become the norm. Tozun Issa and Alison Hatt highlight the gap between the pathologising assumptions about language and diversity that are woven, often invisibly, into official policies and what we know about the crucial importance of embedding instruction and curriculum into the fabric of children's lives. Issa and Hatt also show, however, how teachers can resist overly prescriptive and intellectually narrow instructional mandates. Their vivid accounts of teachers, students, and families co-constructing knowledge, insight and linguistic awareness illustrate the process of teachers re-claiming their identity as educators rather than simply transmitters of centrally dictated curriculum. Jim Cummins, Professor of Education, University of Toronto, Canada This practitioner-focused book adeptly and succinctly surveys and synthesizes policy, history and the literature widely accepted by Education Studies as a discipline to make compelling recommendations to augment practice in the early years. The reality of multiculturalism in the early years is brought into sharp focus with research-informed arguments in favor of fostering diverse cultural identities and languages for development . As a book on policy and practice, it will serve students well. -- Sam Bamkin, De Montfort University, UK
About the Author
Tozun Issa is Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, UK, where he is Director of the Centre for Multilingualism in Education. Alison Hatt was, until recently, Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, UK.