Embrace linguistic diversity in early childhood settings

Embrace linguistic diversity in early childhood settings

owl

To support educators with the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in early years settings we partnered with Early Childhood Ireland on the following two projects:

    1. Our World of Languages (OWL) a project which aims to help educators build confidence to respond to linguistic diversity in their practice through a play and arts-based storytelling approach.
    2. OWLET: Lullabies of the World which aims to support babies and young children to practice language, develop their own positive identity, and an understanding of others. Both of these resources can be used by educators and parents. 

The practical elements of the project which educators can use in their service include:

    • Create a puppet theatre as a stage for creation, communication and storytelling
    • Offering children open-ended materials to create puppets for the theatre
    • Making story boxes to act as a bridge between home and the early years setting. 


The project highlights the value of partnership between educators and families, which means everyone works together to benefit children’s learning and development. It is essential that educators are aware of the importance of working collaboratively with parents and families. 

The Owlet project consists of three elements: Audio Recordings Of 10 Different Lullabies, An Illustrated Children’s Board Book and An Educator E-Resource. Our Lullabies of the World article provides more information on each individual element. 

 

The project focuses on using lullabies as a means of supporting children’s identity and sense of belonging. Educators and parents can utilise the resources in the project by:

    • Listening to the playlist of lullabies which represent different languages around the word 
    • Use the illustrated book to draw on the magic created through the songs. Each of the 10 lullabies is uniquely represented in the board book
    • Educators can use the online, interactive resource to explore the lullabies further

Section 4 of the interactive resource discusses how educators can use lullabies in everyday practice. The lullabies can be incorporated more into everyday practice through the examples below. These can be done by educators individually or as a team.

 

  • The lead-up to and during sleep times
  • Supporting children’s emotional regulation including reducing stress and practicing mindfulness
  • Calming background music to create a relaxed atmosphere in the room
  • To signal a change in the daily routine
  • To welcome families into your service during a settling-in period
  • To strengthen bonds and relationships between educators and children
  • Developing a cultural connection through linguistic and cultural awareness
  • Supporting children’s speech and language development
  • Exposure to music.

Get in touch

If you have engaged with the OWLET resources, we would love to hear about your experience! Please email your feedback to Christina at cmarnell@earlychildhoodireland.ie 

Other resources

You may also be interested in:  

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