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Exploring multilingualism in the early years setting

A programme in partnership with Kildare County Childcare Committee


The goal of this programme is to provide a space for learning and for reflection on the tools and techniques to enhance their linguistically and culturally responsive
The focus will be on the ways to support bilingual/multilingual learners in acquiringthe language of school while respecting and fostering their home language and the knowledge they bring to the school community.


Your language is important

Flyer with tips on raising multilingual children

Home language survey

A questionnaire to find out about the languages of your pupils

ECML resources

Inspiring language learning in the early years

Inspiring Practice

In this video, we visited the Early Language and Learning Lab in DCU which examines the ways in which early educational environments contribute to young children’s development and learning. Dr Sinéad McNally and her team, Ms Emma Reilly and Ms Christina O’Keeffe, share their knowledge and expertise on how to support EAL and how to create a welcoming environment for migrant children and families.

In this video, the team from DCU’s Early Language and Learning Lab discuss practical tips on inclusion of children with EAL through play and activities, the role of the educator as a mediator and how culturally responsive learning experiences and parental engagement contribute to the long term academic success of all children in the classroom.

The educators and the children sing a bilingual song and play a game. The children show how they feel and the peers verbalise the feeling in a language of their choice. The educators switch between French, Luxembourgish and English.

The educators tell the story of “the little rabbit with the big scratch” in French and Luxembourgish and involve children through gesture, mime, action and the use of pictures. The children relate the story to their own experiences.

Four children listen to recordings of their parents on the app iTEO with the educator: songs are in Russian, French and Italian, the story in Luxembourgish. One child points to the pictures in the book while they listen to the story.

This video series provides suggestions for home learning activities. Videos are available in Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Arabic and English.


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