Action research to transform early language practice: Exploring representations of plurilingualism in a private nursery

Kyara Rojas-Bustos, Daniela Panniello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through an exploration of language practices in an early years setting, this paper aims to examine discourses about transforming monolingual practice generated during an internally driven action research. Based on a small private nursery in an affluent part of London, this action research was conducted with the intention of reviewing internal practices that support young children who speak English as an additional language (EAL). Parents and practitioners took part in an initial questionnaire (n=21). This was followed by semi-structured interviews (n=3) and a focus group (n=5) with practitioners. The data was analysed considering some of the theoretical points proposed by Bourdieu and the discourse analysis tools suggested by van Leeuwen. Despite the recognition of potential barriers, encouraging positive dispositions towards language diversity were identified. The most significant feature of our examination was the value of local knowledge and the diverse language repertoires encountered in the setting. Our analysis evidence that action research can empower practitioners to challenge monolingual mindsets and to move towards an exploration of alternative (plurilingual) ideas, despite the monolingual ethos imposed by the curriculum and other external regulatory forces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8(1)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2022


  • Action research
  • Bourdieu
  • early years
  • English as an additional language
  • plurilingual practice

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