Multilingual Childhoods


Sandie Mourão, Independent consultant, Portugal
Gunhild Tomter Alstad, Hedmark University College, Norway


The Multilingual Childhoods SIG was launched at the 2015 EECERA conference in Barcelona. It has been set up with a view to bringing together researchers who are investigating the learning of two or more languages in the home, school or community by children from birth to the age of 6 years old – this includes aspects of L1 and L2 language development in contexts of awareness of languages, additional languages, foreign languages, second languages, bilingual education, and immersion.

More information about this SIG can be found on the Multiligual Childhoods SIG website


  • To bridge the areas of multilingualism and early years education;
  • To promote and disseminate research in early years multilingualism and its implementation in policy and practice;
  • To create opportunities for informed and constructive discussion and debate;
  • To foster possibilities for cross-national collaboration and interaction.


Click here to view the 2015 report (pdf)

News & Events


Multilingual Childhoods SIG meeting

Time: 29/08/2017, 14.00-17.00

Location: Complesso Belmeloro, via Belmeloro, Bologna, Italy

The Special Interest Group “Multilingual Childhoods” are inviting conference delegates to join them for a preconference seminar on Tuesday 29th August 2017. The seminar will take place at Complesso Belmeloro, via Belmeloro, Bologna, 2- 5 pm, and will focus on theoretical aspects of multilingualism in early childhood education. The overall purpose for this seminar is to discuss theoretical issues in multilingualism in general and in ECEC in particular, and relevant issues to elaborate might be “what is ‘language’ in multilingual ECE contexts”. How is “language” defined, and on what epistemological and ontological grounds?

The format of this year is a seminar/workshop where three articles will be given a short introduction (5 minutes), and then discussed by all the participants. Please click here for more information.

Places are limited so please confirm your attendance by email to Dr. Gunhild Tomter Alstad

Activities & Publications

Activities and Presentations at EECERA 2016

  1. Multilingual Childhoods SIG pre-conference session at the 2016 EECERA conference

‘Second Language Learning Research in the Early Years: Ethical Considerations’ with Dr Máire Mhic Mhathúna, (Dublin Institute of Technology) and Professor Nóirín Hayes, (Trinity College Dublin).

At Dublin City University, from 15.30 to 17.30, Room HG07 (School of Nursing)

  • Exploring language ideologies in multilingual contexts
  • Multilingual childhoods sig: multilingual practices for multilingual children
  • Multilingual challenges and opportunities
  • Challenge and success in bilingual learning – Nordic preschools as learning spaces for cultural inclusion and social justice

Current SIGs