Acts of bridging in communication with newly arrived Ukrainian children in the Norwegian ECEC context




bilingual teachers, Ukrainian children, acts of bridging, newly arrived children


In this paper, we explore emergent communicative practices in a situation where a group of newly arrived children start attending early childhood education and care (ECEC) in a new country. The data are collected in a unique multilingual ECEC setting, organised temporarily for Ukrainian children that had arrived in Norway. Previous research on newly arrived children in ECEC settings in the Nordic context focuses mostly on how one or a few children are integrated into majority-language-speaking groups of children. Our study, however, provides an opportunity to explore communication practices that arise when a group of children share a language with some of the practitioners working with them, but not others. In this paper, we present an analysis of several narratives from practice, where we discuss how children and practitioners use their semiotic resources to accomplish their goals in communicative acts. The narratives show how the ECEC practitioners support children in their communicative efforts and bridge linguistic resources between languages. Inspired by the theory of bridging and bonding social capital (Putnam, 2000), we give a definition to acts of bridging and show that these acts of bridging can be performed by both children and practitioners with different language competences.


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