Supporting multilingual development in early childhood education: a scoping review

Zhijun Zheng*, Sheila Degotardi, Emilia Djonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While many studies have examined early childhood teachers’ strategies for promoting the learning of majority languages, few have focused on how teachers help children learn their home languages. This scoping review summarises existing empirical evidence of teachers’ strategies to support young children's multilingual development. A systematic literature search identified 18 studies, detailing strategies that were categorised into four themes: 1) translanguaging, 2) interaction-promoting, 3) linguistics-based, and 4) culture-based. The review provides a comprehensive overview of the range of strategies that can support multilingual development. It identifies gaps in the literature about strategies for diverse cultural groups and for multilingual infants, and highlights the need for future research to examine the relations between particular strategies and children's multilingual outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101894
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • early childhood education
  • multilingual children
  • teachers’ pedagogies
  • majority and home language development
  • language environment


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