Bilingual children as policy agents : Language policy and education policy in minority language medium Early Childhood Education and Care

Mari Bergroth, Åsa Palviainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The current study examines bilingual children as language policyagents in the interplay between official language policy and education policyat three Swedish-medium preschools in Finland. For this purpose we monitorednine Finnish-Swedish bilingual children aged 3 to 5 years for 18 months. Thepreschools were located in three different parts of Finland, in milieux withvarying degrees of language dominance. The children were video recordedduring their normal daytime routines in early childhood education and care.Three types of communicative situations were analyzed: an educator-led smallgroup activity, free play with friends, and an activity in which one child wasplaying alone. Representative dialogs were selected to illustrate the children’sagency in constructing and enacting bilingual and/or monolingual languagepolicies. Our analysis shows, firstly, that official national language policiescan be enacted in different ways depending on the wider practice structures ofthe site; and, secondly, that each bilingual child has a unique agency and anactive role in the construction of not only the monolingual policy but also abilingual policy within the frames of early childhood education and care. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)375–399
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Language Policy
  • Preschool
  • Agency
  • Education Policy
  • Early Childhood Education and Care

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