The early childhood education and care partnership for bilingualism in minority language schooling: collaboration between bilingual families and pedagogical practitioners

Mari Bergroth, Palviainen Åsa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Educational partnerships occur at the intersection of early childhood education and care (ECEC), families, and the surrounding community, and have been shown to play a significant role in student success rates in education. There is, however, a gap in research on the role and potential of ‘partnership’ in the case of bilingual families with children enrolled in monolingual minority language ECEC. This study aimed tofill this void by examining parental and practitioner discourses on partnership and on obligations, desires, abilities, and competencies involved in acting on a bilingual childhood in the context of monolingual minority ECEC. Parents in nine Finnish–Swedish bilingual families and six pedagogical practitioners at three Swedish-medium minority language ECEC units in Finland were interviewed. We applied ethnographic discourse analysis – nexus analysis – on the interview data and found that the family languages (Finnish and Swedish) did not seem to be given equal importance; Swedish, the minority language in Finland and the language of the ECEC, was foregrounded at the expense of Finnish. The study suggests that partnership is a useful concept and a tool to understand the possibilities and challenges involved in promoting bilingualism in ECEC, especially in the context of a minority language ECEC.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publication21st Century Pre-school Bilingual Education
EditorsSchwartz Mila, Palviainen Åsa
ISBN (Print)978-0-8153-9318-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Bilingual family
  • Childhood bilingualism
  • Early childhood education and care
  • Educational partnership
  • Educational practitioners
  • Language Policy

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