Welcoming Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms Learning from International Schools Edited by: Edna Murphy

Paperback - 256 pages
Related Formats:
06 Jun 2011
Parents' and Teachers' Guides
Multilingual Matters
225 x 170


Teachers in multilingual classrooms have been working for some years to improve their repertoire of ways to address the needs of very young children who enter school not speaking the language of instruction. The work of 22 seasoned teachers and administrators in international schools all over the world, this book contains a wealth of information for classroom teachers, enabling them to face a new school year with confidence, and for administrators to understand more clearly what is involved in the teaching of young children who do not yet understand the schoolís language. Written by teachers well experienced in addressing the needs of this young and vulnerable group, this book will come as a boon to new teachers presented with a multilingual classroom for the first time.


Packed with practical and powerful strategies for educators serving diverse schools, this book makes a strong case for greatly varied, original, creative, and instructionally effective uses of students’ mother tongues as an integral component of the curriculum of English-medium international schools. While presenting the research rationale, the authors from around the world have enlivened their chapters with rich, delightful, and humorous descriptions of real life in early childhood classrooms full of diverse learners from multiple language backgrounds. The book includes compelling messages and should be required reading for all teachers, administrators, and parents of this globally interconnected world of the 21st century.

- Virginia P. Collier, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education, George Mason University

Edna Murphy’s edited volume, Welcoming Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms, is a nice collection of essays that provides a wealth of practical advice about incorporating students’ native languages in early elementary classrooms, classrooms in which English is the language of instruction. The usefulness of the strategies outlined in Welcoming Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms and the contributors’ powerful insights make the volume an important text, one that many educators will find quite valuable.

- Paul J. Ramsey, Teachers College Record, February 08, 2013

The book would be mainly of interest to teachers and assistants working in Early Years settings and schools. In view of the growingawareness of the importance of early language development for later development of academic and social skills, the book serves a useful purpose in raising the profile of linguistic diversity in the primary school.

- Sarah King, Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist, Inclusion Support, Sandwell M.B. C. in Debate 150, March, 2014

Author Biography:

Edna Murphy, after a short career as a teacher, became head of primary schools first in London and then Brussels. She founded and edited for 22 years the International Schools Journal, a semi-annual publication now in its 30th year. She later conceived of, edited and contributed to a book entitled ESL: A Handbook for Teachers and Administrators in International Schools. She also served for many years on the Board of the European Council of International Schools. In this capacity and well into her retirement she headed accreditation teams to schools in Europe, Asia and Africa, the primary school being her particular interest.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

Table of Contents

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