Walking through kindergarten semiotic landscapes with multilingual children: A way to explore participation and engagement





Multilingual, kindergarten, agency, walking interviews, semiotic landcapes


Practitioners in Norwegian kindergartens are responsible for actively promoting and developing multilingual children’s language skills (Directorate for Education and Training, 2017). Children’s multilingual language skills develop through participation and engagement. The aim of this paper is to explore how the semiotic landscape encourages interaction and dialogue among children. Semiotic landscapes are public spaces with visible inscriptions made through deliberate human intervention and meaning making (Jaworski & Thurlow, 2010). Utilizing walking interviews as a method, we explored multilingual children’s perspectives on their semiotic environment. Analyzing the interviews through the concept of agency (Duran, 2015), we found dialogues marked by engagement on different levels. We discuss the difference between predictability and unpredictability in semiotic resources and found that the latter leads to stronger engagement and longer dialogues than instructional materials with high level of predictability.


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