”Språklige rollemodeller. Hvordan barnehageansattes kompetanse om språk kan styrkes”.

Aspøy, T.M.
Bråten, B.
Oslo: Fafo.


The report disseminates results from a study of how Norwegian preschool staff understand the competences linked to children's language development at preschools ("barnehage"). The overall research question is how to strengthen the competences of preschool staff with regard to language development. The study investigates this by asking the preschool staff how they address work on language, what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it.


Results of the report show that preschool staff put emphasis on two types of language work:

  1. The general language work. This entails that the staff generally want to create good language environments by becoming better language role models themselves.
  2. The specialised language work. This entails special efforts towards children who struggle with language in different ways. In this context, the staff expressed a need to learn more about how they can help and accommodate children with language challenges.

The preschool staff expressed that they can improve their competences through guidance and by reflecting on their own practices. The preschool staff considered spontaneous guidance between the staff important, as well as organised guidance with managers competent to provide guidance or external consultants. Moreover, they expressed a wish for courses which can provide them with tools to map and identify children who need special efforts with regard to their language development. For example, courses focusing on improving the staff's skills to identify children who need special help and follow-up as well as how they should relate to bilingual children. In addition, the staff expressed that structural factors such as time and time pressure can be an issue.




The study is based on 11 focus group interviews with assistant teachers, staff who work with children and young people, preschool teachers and preschool managers from different preschools in four different municipalities. The municipalities varied with regard to geographical location and composition of the population. The preschools were selected on the basis of the percentage of children with a non-Norwegian ethnic background. A total of 50 preschool employees took part in the study. Moreover, individual telephone interviews were carried out with preschool staff in a municipality in the Sami language area.


Aspøy, T.M. & Bråten, B. (2014). ”Språklige rollemodeller. Hvordan barnehageansattes kompetanse om språk kan styrkes”. Oslo: Fafo.

Financed by

Not disclosed