Little Multilingual Minds (LMM)
Nurturing Australia’s little multilingual minds: A heritage and foreign language extension program for preschoolers (3-6 years)
Young families are often busy and lack community support to transmit and maintain their Heritage Language to their young children. Little Multilingual Minds (LMM) has been created in response to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families. LMM is a project that enhances and extends preschool children’s Heritage Language (HL) input and skills during early childhood. LMM also support families with children learning a second language other than English.
Our philosophy centres around the notion that children learn and develop their language(s) best through play and enriching social activities. We aim to strengthen children’s self-esteem and self-identity through developing their HL in meaningful social activities.
LMM works partnering with already established early education or preschool settings, facilitating the tools and knowledge necessary to support diverse language families optimally. Therefore, the LMM model is practical and convenient for families, as there is no need to transport children to a different location to participate in our extension sessions. There is also an online modality on the make.
In the first stage, the LMM program will enable data collection with the collaboration of our first educational partner and its families. Our data collection design and testing procedures will include a within-participants pre and post design. Educational elicitation techniques will be used alongside to psycholinguistic tasks. These include storytelling, vocabulary size, word learning, recognition and production tasks, as well as general cognition tasks (e.g. memory, executive functions). Audio-visual tools and modern equipment will aid in optimal data collection.
LMM is funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL).
Our team is composed by researchers and educators with years of experience in language learning and supporting language minority communities.
Stay tuned for exciting news as we will soon start the LMM program with our first partner, a bilingual early childhood setting in Sydney.
If you are interested in including your early education centre, working within or contributing to LMM, please contact Professor Paola Escudero.