Barnehagen som læringsarena for gryende flerspråklighet – en oversikt over forskning 1985–2015.

Alstad, G. T.
NOA — norsk som andrespråk 30(1-2), 284-309.


The purpose of this literature review is to provide insight into the increasing volume of ECEC research about multilinguality in ECEC settings. The article focuses on ECEC research concerning Norwegian ECEC centres in the period from 1985 to 2015.


The survey shows that Norwegian research on ECEC and children in relation to multilinguality started in the late 1980s, and research in the field gathered momentum after 2005, resulting in an increasing number of publications and degrees. The scientific studies constitute a knowledge base characterised by diversity and contributions from several research disciplines. The author’s analyses led to the following two main themes characterising the research field: (1) Multilingual children’s language and language use, and their development of a second language in ECEC settings, and (2) pedagogical practices characterising the staff’s work with the language of multilingual children. Furthermore, the field is characterised by primarily applying traditional ethnographic methods for data collection. Moreover, the author concludes that the field cannot be considered as one cohesive, established research field. Consequently, given the high level of politicisation of the field, there is a need to further develop and strengthen its research base.


The study was designed as a survey of research fields. The survey was carried out in two steps: first, through a general thematic categorisation, and secondly through more detailed descriptions of the individual studies based on two thematic categories. Finally, trends in themes and methodologies were analysed. The collection of studies was performed through detailed database searches by means of keywords, and through other literature reviews based on headings. The author pursued references and bibliographies from studies and reviews in order to systematise the process. The type of studies included conference papers, research, development work, as well as publications and dissertations from university colleges and universities in Norway.


Alstad, G. T. (2015). Barnehagen som læringsarena for gryende flerspråklighet – en oversikt over forskning 1985–2015. NOA — norsk som andrespråk 30(1-2), 284-309.

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