A1 Journal article (refereed)
Language orientations in early childhood education policy in Finland and Norway (2020)


Alstad, Gunhild Tomter; Sopanen, Pauliina (2020). Language orientations in early childhood education policy in Finland and Norway. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, Early online. DOI: 10.1080/20020317.2020.1862951


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editors: Alstad, Gunhild Tomter; Sopanen, Pauliina

Journal or series: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy

eISSN: 2002-0317

Publication year: 2020

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/20020317.2020.1862951

Open Access: Publication published in an open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73625


Abstract

This article investigates the language orientations in education policy documents for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Finland and Norway. Finland, an officially bilingual country, and Norway, a predominantly monolingual country, share similar views on ECEC. However, the ECEC field in both countries has undergone major changes in recent years: more children are attending ECEC, and the increasing number of children with diverse backgrounds and minority languages. The document analysis includes seven policy documents related to ECEC in Finland and Norway. The analytical approach is based on Ruíz’ framework for language orientations, i.e. language as resource, language as right and language as problem. The analysis shows that the language orientation in ECEC policy is rather vague and open. On the one hand, multilingualism is seen as a resource. On the other hand, multilingualism is considered as challenging in terms of language diversity, facilitating multilingual and first language development. In both countries, there seems to be a a monolingual ideology underlying the policy. We discuss these findings in light of policy implementations and finally underline the importance of critical multilingual awareness in early childhood teacher education.


Keywords: early childhood education and care; language teaching; monolingualism; bilingualism; multilingualism; language policy; education policy

Free keywords: language education policy; language orientations; ideologies; multilingualism; early childhood education; early childhood education policies


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Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1


Last updated on 2021-14-01 at 15:53