Embracing Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education

Language is a vital link connecting individuals and fostering communities with a sense of belonging. Humans have continually adapted and developed new linguistic skills to express their needs and desires throughout history. Despite the convenience of modern communication technology, accessibility remains a challenge for many. In the United States alone, people utilize over 350 languages, including Native North American languages such as Navajo, Yupik, Dakota, Apache, Keres, and Cherokee, among others. Given this rich linguistic tapestry, fostering cultural and linguistic exposure is paramount, even in early childhood education (ECE) settings.

In early childhood education experiences, prioritizing inclusivity can be met by embracing diverse languages and providing tools and resources to enhance learning opportunities. Creating an open and welcoming environment where all learners feel valued and included regardless of their linguistic background. Unfortunately, dual and multilingual learners often encounter feelings of guilt, oppression, and linguistic marginalization.

The objective is to promote bi/multilingualism by affirming and celebrating individuals’ linguistic identities. We advocate for using appropriate and accessible language materials and tools to support learners’ linguistic development. Below, you’ll find a curated list of valuable resources and tools designed to empower educators and parents to nurture linguistic diversity within early childhood settings.

Here are some great resources:

 Books to have in your preschool classroom library: