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A critical analysis of the Every Child a Talker language programme and its possible influence on the formation of dispositions towards language/s in early years in England

Rojas-Bustos, Kyara Lorena. 2018. A critical analysis of the Every Child a Talker language programme and its possible influence on the formation of dispositions towards language/s in early years in England. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis analyses the positions that minority languages were given in a language programme for early years provision in England. Every Child a Talker (ECaT) was an initiative that was designed to strengthen children’s early language development by improving the quality of language provision in early years settings (DfCSF, 2008b). These resources are still in use today in early years services. For this study, ECaT was interpreted as a market whose members were engaged in institutionalised activities to produce, reproduce, exchange and accumulate valued capital (Bourdieu, 1977; 1991).

Critical discourse analysis (mainly inspired by Fairclough, 2010; 2009) was applied using a range of analytical tools in order to provide a systematic interpretation of discursive constructions of language practice. The resources and guidelines that were distributed to support this initiative were interpreted as institutionalised macro discourses designed to influence local language practice. Two consultants who worked in the implementation of the initiative were interviewed with the intention of recontextualising the discursive constructions around language practice at the micro level.

This research suggests that there is a pervasive process of legitimation of one dominant language at the expense of the ‘other languages’, thus perpetuating monolingual ideologies and practices. While the ‘other languages’ were partially included, this analysis argues that they were also extensively excluded and underappreciated as value capital. Although resistance to and transformation of dominant discourses appeared in the interviews, the highly regulated structure of the initiative tends to diminish local knowledge. Significant contradictory discourses about inclusivity and multicultural practices in the early years sector, as well as the potential marginalisation of home language/s, are also reported.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00025987

Keywords:

Early years education, language ideologies, Bourdieu, critical discourse analysis, recontextualization, intertextuality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Date:

30 November 2018

Item ID:

25987

Date Deposited:

11 Mar 2019 17:10

Last Modified:

11 Mar 2019 17:17

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/25987

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