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Open Access Negotiating and appropriating the 'one person, one language' policy within the complex reality of a multilingual crèche in Strasbourg

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The aim of this article is to analyse the early childhood education and care (ECEC) language policy in the city of Strasbourg, focusing on an ethnographic case study of a newly established bilingual English–French crèche in the city. In France, establishing an early childhood education structure – more specifically, a day care centre catering to young children – involves close coordination with national, departmental, and local government entities. Associations that embark on this process go through a long administrative process.

Taking this fact into consideration, we maintain that to understand the language policy in ECEC, it is imperative to examine the overlapping participation of different government entities and services from the national, regional, departmental, city, and local levels. Our data reveal that the conceptualization of the language policy at a newly created bilingual crèche structure was highly influenced by top-down language policies and pervading language ideologies. Yet, the crèche personnel needed to interpret, negotiate, and appropriate this policy in order to consider its feasibility and to take into account the children's interests and welfare within the normal functioning of this early years structure.

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Keywords: BILINGUAL EDUCATION; EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE (ECEC); FRANCE; LANGUAGE ACQUISITION; LANGUAGE POLICY; ONE PERSON ONE LANGUAGE (OPOL)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 15 September 2016

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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