All over the world, the language of instruction in education is usually the dominant language in society, which for many children is different than the one they speak at home or in their local community. Despite the growing number of children with bilingual backgrounds in Nordic kindergartens, political guidelines have often overlooked the enrichment that linguistic and cultural diversity affords all children in this age group (The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2017; The Swedish National Agency for Education, 2019). Additionally, Nordic research indicates that teachers tend to follow a monological ideology based on the idea that development of language skills depends on relegating multilingual children’s languages to separate domains. Linguistic practices in kindergartens can be complex, and tension between monolingual and multilingual approaches might lead to uncertainty among practitioners about how to support multilingual children’s use of their mother tongues while also actively promoting and developing majority language skills within the entire group.

A pedagogical perspective on translanguaging in kindergarten

The aim of this special issue is to inspire and discuss possible practices to widen perspectives on the linguistic repertoire of young children and provide kindergarten practitioners, educators, and students a stronger professional foundation to work with multilingualism. The fulcrum of this special issue is translingual practices in Nordic kindergartens. Translanguaging describes a pedagogical practice that facilitates flexible and adjusted use of different linguistic features, variations and other dynamic and fluent practices that rise from action and speech, and in relation to people, time, and place (Wei, 2018). Thus, translanguaging is based on an extended idea about bilingualism where all the semiotic resources of the child can be understood as parts of a holistic communication repertoire in which aesthetic, bodily and emotional expressions are included. 

In research, translanguaging is often tied to a school context and has yet to find its way into kindergarten practices to the same degree. However, in recent years there has been an increasing interest in translanguaging in Nordic early childhood research, and it is this interest we seek to stimulate and consolidate through a special issue. We want to know more about what happens when translingual practices and didactic methods move from the context of school to a kindergarten setting, where the language environment is affected to a greater extent  by emotional, bodily, and aesthetic dimensions. We see a need to widen the pedagogical aspect of translanguaging in kindergarten practices and focus on the following questions:  

  • What translingual practices occur in Nordic kindergartens?
  • How are aesthetic and bodily practices expressed as part of translanguaging in kindergarten?
  • How do parents and practitioners feel about translanguaging practices in kindergarten?
  • How are translinguaging practices negotiated in a group of children?
  • In what way can encouraging translanguaging practices in kindergarten contribute to the pedagogical practice?

The questions are suggestive, and we welcome all perspectives on translingual and translanguaging practices, including those that may have been explored to some extent before, such as: atmosphere; aesthetic dimensions and expressions, emotions and affect; relations, including parental collaboration; multilingual practitioners; kindergarten teacher-child and child-child relationship; children and parents’ identity, ownership, and affection, as well as young children’s emergent multilingualism. The target group for the special issue is kindergarten teachers, students in early childhood education and special education, as well as researchers in early childhood.

Editorial staff   

Johanne Ilje-Lien, OsloMet

Katrine Giæver, OsloMet

Line Møller Daugaard, VIA University College


Deadline, abstract: May 1st 2022
Deadline, feedback on abstract: June 15th 2022
Deadline, full article: November 1st 2022
Deadline, feedback from reviewers: February 1st 2023
Deadline, final article: May 1st 2023
Expected publishing: November 2023


Logg in to Nordisk barnehageforskning here and send in your abstract (app. 500 words). Please make sure to mark your submission like this: TRA_Title