Preschool world language learners’ engagement with language : what are the possibilities?

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-333
Journal / PublicationLanguage Awareness
Issue number4
Online published14 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


What does development of language awareness among very young world language learners look like, especially when they have relatively infrequent exposure to the language they are learning? Adopting an ‘engagement with language’ (EWL) perspective and attending closely to classroom discourse, our research analyses interactional data drawn from several Head Start preschool classrooms (children aged 3–5 years) in order to both establish what sorts of explicit language awareness such young learners display in episodes of EWL and point out what other opportunities for cultivating language awareness are latent, but ultimately unexploited, in the classroom discourse excerpts presented. Our analysis is the basis for the claim that world language education more broadly, especially in the case of young learners, can be enhanced if curriculum and instruction intentionally focus on developing language awareness and deepening EWL.

Research Area(s)

  • engagement with language, language awareness, preschool, world language learning, young learners