Teachers’ reflections on linguistic diversity in the linguistic and semiotic landscapes of Swedish-medium ECEC units in Finland





Swedish-medium ECEC in Finland, linguistic and semiotic landscapes, linguistic diversity, teacher reflections


This article examines teachers’ reflections on their practices regarding linguistic diversity in linguistic and semiotic landscapes (LSLs) in Swedish-medium early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Finland. Data comprising 14 videos and written assignments were collected during in-service training for ECEC staff. Based on a qualitative thematic analysis, four practices related to the interplay between the language of instruction and children’s other languages were identified and related to different spatial frameworks in the physical learning environments. The findings reveal a distinct promotion of the language of instruction throughout the landscapes. Linguistic and semiotic resources were produced or emplaced by the teachers to enhance interaction in and learning of the language of instruction for all children. Other languages were displayed, especially in the entrance hall, with caregivers as the primary audience, welcoming the families to the unit and providing a means of disseminating information, but not as a learning resource for the whole group. While the study reveals that teachers are aware of the potential of using LSLs as a part of their pedagogical work, it also reveals a lack of systematic planning when it comes to developing the landscape to support language awareness for all children.


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