Language practices in Danish nurseries

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This paper presentation draws on an ongoing linguistic ethnographic research project exploring language practices in Danish nurseries. Nurseries are pedagogical institutions targeted at small children aged 0-3 years, and since 90% of Danish 1-2 year olds are enrolled in nursery (or similar pedagogical institutions), the nursery constitutes a vital welfare institution in Denmark (cf. Høyrup 2018) – for the children and families, for the professionals in the nursery and in a societal perspective. However, in stark contrast to this significance, the nursery constitutes a highly underresearched field in comparison with other pedagogical institutions such as kindergarten or primary and secondary school. This project aims to shed light on the linguistic dimensions of everyday life in the nursery. Theoretically, the project is informed by an understanding of language as social practice (Holm & Laursen 2009) and addresses the following research questions: Which language practices do children and professionals engage in in everyday life in the nursery? What characterizes young children’s linguistic and communicative repertoires in the nursery? Which understandings of language and of good language learning environments inform the practice of the professionals in the nursery? Methodologically, the project unfolds as a linguistic ethnography (Daugaard et al 2016). Inspired by team ethnography (Blackledge & Creese 2010), the project is based on fieldwork in three different nurseries in two different Danish cities. During 10 months of fieldwork, a multi-facetted empirical material is produced. The ongoing first phase of the fieldwork is based on fieldnotes, photos and audio and video recordings. In the second phase of the fieldwork, this will be supplemented by discursive shadowing (Dewilde & Creese 2016) of selected children and professionals through an entire day in the nursery, and finally various interviews will be carried out with the professionals in the nurseries. Throughout the project, special attention is given to the exploration of ways to investigate, analyse, understand and represent the linguistic and communicative repertoires of small children in nurseries in meaningful and adequate ways within a linguistic ethnographic perspective. In the paper presentation, we will present preliminary findings from first phase of fieldwork in the three nurseries.
Publikationsdato6 mar. 2019
StatusUdgivet - 6 mar. 2019
BegivenhedNera 2019: Education in a globalized world - Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sverige
Varighed: 6 mar. 20198 mar. 2019


KonferenceNera 2019
LokationUppsala University


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