The diversity of languages and cultures represented in NSW is characteristic of Australia’s multicultural and multilingual society.  According to the 2016 Census, 22.47% of the NSW population indicated that they speak a language other than English at home. Due to this, is not surprising that there are large numbers of children from bi/multilingual backgrounds in attending early childhood settings. Therefore, it is essential that educators, families, communities and policy makers appreciate the importance of providing opportunities for languages learning.  This workshop will explore a range educational strategies and implications that assist in promoting bi/multilingualism and languages learning in early childhood education. Participants will be able to, identify the different ways in which children become bi/multilingual; discuss the different types of bilingualism; identify the role of the home language in developing sociocultural, intellectual and linguistic capabilities; explore economic, sociocultural and intellectual benefits of bilingualism; investigate the issues and implications for educators, families and policy makers.

About your presenter: Dr. Criss Jones Diaz

I have been a teacher educator for over twenty years. Prior to my commencement at the University of Western Sydney, I taught English as an additional language in Central America and the Caribbean where I learnt Spanish as an additional language. My professional background is grounded in education and community contexts where I have collaborated with educators providing professional development on early literacies, bi/multilingualism, languages learning and diversity issues. My research and publications focus on languages, literacies and identity negotiation in contexts of diversity and difference. I have authored numerous journal articles and book chapters pertaining to my area of expertise.   With colleagues from Western Sydney University, I am currently working on research examining heritage language maintenance and loss in young children Birth – 5 year attending early childhood settings in New South Wales, Australia

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