chapter  5
17 Pages

The Bilingual Echo: Children as Language Mediators in a Dual-Language School

Research into young children’s linguistic abilities shows that they are sensitive to the

language skills of their peers and can adjust their language to facilitate comprehension

and communication. This article discusses findings of a research project on young

The study explores how children use their two languages in that setting, how they

develop their bilingualism, and in what ways they manifest their metalinguistic and

metacommunicative skills in the classroom. One aspect of their developing bilingualism

is demonstrated in the ways that they collaborate with each other and serve as mediators

for the language and concept learning of their peers. This article demonstrates aspects of

the interactive work of negotiating shared meaning in the classroom by children of

varying degrees of bilingualism and those just starting to develop their bilingual skills.