Bilingual Childcare: Hitches, Hurdles and Hopes

Author: Victoria Benz

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Multilingual Matters
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This ethnographic study explores aspects of bilingual education in two early childhood German–English education centres in Australia. Using various sources of data and multiple methods of analysis, it investigates the processes at work when establishing and implementing a bilingual programme and examines the language attitudes, ideologies and practices of the parents, educators and administrators involved. It addresses the complex relationship between the childcare provider and its clientele in its socio-political context in an attempt to arrive at a broader understanding of institutional bilingual education in early childhood. The book will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in bilingual education, language ideology and early childhood education studies, as well as to teachers, trainee teachers and childcare providers.

An intriguing and in-depth ethnographic description of an early childhood bilingual/dual language program in Australia. This study is enlightened with discussions of the politics of language and language policies, details on program implementation, as well as educators' and parents' attitudes toward the program. Educators, researchers, students, and parents would all benefit from this interesting book, which has application to different languages and countries.

Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, San Jose State University, USA

In this well-researched and well-written book Victoria Benz addresses early bilingual childhood education from three perspectives. By including both institutional and family policies as well as public policies, Benz turns her work into a pioneering contribution to the examination of sometimes counterproductive perspectives on bilingual education in the monolingual English-speaking Australian society. The volume highlights factors that can limit opportunities to develop a strong bilingual environment.

Monica Axelsson, Stockholm University, Sweden

Although Victoria Benz has been studying on specific childcare in Australia, I feel that her findings could be applied to many other bilingual childcares and that anybody wishing to run such a childcare should be reading this book and see how they can improve what they are doing, what they are offering, how they are offering it. It gives light on language ideology vs the practicalities of life. This book would also be of great interest to teachers who are training and looking at bilingual education. It is well researched and gives a new perspective on bilingual education in monolingual society. 

Multilingual Cafe, May 2018

Victoria Benz has extensive experience in the teaching of German as a second language to all age groups from the pre-primary to the tertiary sector. She is Honorary Postdoctoral Fellow at Macquarie University, Australia and her research interests include bilingual early childhood education and language attitudes and ideologies.


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

Glossary, Abbreviations and Acronyms

Transcription Conventions

  1. Researching Bilingual Early Childhood Education: An Institutional Ethnography
  2. What We Know: Language Policies and Provision
  3. The Institution
  4. Bilingual Programme Implementation
  5. The Clientele
  6. Value-Action Gap
  7. The Value of Language and Language Learning
  8. The Future of Bilingual Early Childhood Education



Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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