This study examines benefits that arise from the pedagogical practice of translanguaging, which utilizes bilingual children’s full language repertoire, in a pre-kindergarten classroom where parents are invited to join their children, bringing their home language alongside the English instructional language to the classroom. Extensive research demonstrates that when parents are engaged in their children’s teaching and learning, children are more successful, academically and socially. Parent engagement in language learning provides a unique opportunity because parents possess the capacity to support young children with both the school and home languages. With narrative inquiry research methodology, participants are seen to be holders and constructors of knowledge. This inquiry intends to have teacher and parent participants give particular accounts of their experiences that provide fine-grained insights into the construct of translanguaging both in the classroom and at home, thus deepening understanding of how it can serve as a pedagogical approach to language development for young newcomer children. This study sheds light on the importance of parent engagement in newcomer children’s language development. Offering parents a place in children’s learning on the school landscape opens up currently untapped teaching and learning resources to maximize young children’s language learning outcomes.
Emma Chen, University of Saskatchewan, Canada