Affirming the Rights of Emergent Bilingual and Multilingual Children and Families explores how the philosophy, principles, and practices of the internationally acclaimed Municipal Preschools and Infant Toddler Centers of Reggio Emilia, Italy, advance the social justice and linguistic human rights of emergent bilingual and multilingual children and their families, particularly immigrants and refugees.

The book is driven by the authors’ research-based discourse including an interview with Reggio Emilia educators and direct observations in the Preschools and Infant–toddler Centers in Italy. Chapters include survey and follow-up interviews, and classroom examples from U.S. early childhood educators inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach some of whom are in multilingual settings. Recommendations are included for practitioners who are intentional about advocating for the rights of emergent bi- and multilingual young children. Also included are the researchers’ interpretations and reflexive narratives on contextuality, intersectionality, and intertextuality, which interweave theories and practice. The insightful examinations of scholarly work and the critical review of the distinctive features of the Reggio Emilia philosophy contribute to an early childhood education transformative lens that challenges the status quo of inequities and foregrounds the linguistic and cultural rights of learners who speak different languages. The authors review research and theory that inform the latest developments in culturally and linguistically responsive practices in innovative early education (infant through pre-k), family participation, and teacher preparation and development.

Of general interest to educators and researchers around the world who work to ensure the rights of emergent language learners, this is an essential text for upper-level and graduate students, early childhood educators, educational and community leaders, administrators, and researchers. 



About the Editors and Contributors

Preface by Carla Rinaldi


Section A Framing the Conversation

Chapter 1: Introduction to our research, framing constructs, and purposes

By Brenda Fyfe, Yin Lam Lee-Johnson, Juana Reyes, and Gigi Yu

Chapter 2: What we learned from our conversation with Reggio educators

By Gigi Yu, Brenda Fyfe, Baji Rankin, Juana Reyes


Section B The theory of the hundred languages: Crossing borders

Chapter 3: Breathing New Life: The Graphic Languages, Translanguaging, and Metaphoric Language with Young Children in Multilingual Contexts 

By Geralyn (Gigi) Yu and Juana Reyes

Chapter 4: Multimodal Translanguaging and Assisted Intersemiotic Translation in the Reggio Emilia Approach: Applications to Multilingual Learners

By DJ Kaiser, PhD

Chapter 5: Studio art teachers’ perspectives on multimodality and the hundred languages in early childhood multilingual contexts 

By Jesus Oviedo and Gigi Yu


Section C Pedagogical Implications: Interweaving Research, Theory, and Practice  

Chapter 6: The Beginnings of Language: Exploring the Language Strengths of Infants and Toddlers 

By Cheryl Breig-Allen, Baji Rankin and Jennifer Strange

Chapter 7: Words Unspoken: Pedagogical documentation and linguistically minoritized young children 

By Juana Reyes and Gigi Yu

Chapter 8: The Principle of Progettazione in Supporting the Language Development of Multilingual Children 

by Cheryl Breig-Allen and Jennifer Strange

Chapter 9: Family engagement and participation:  Learning from and with emergent bilingual and multilingual children and families

By Brenda Fyfe and Nahid Nader-Hashemi

Section D Transformative Lens for Affirming the Rights of  Emergent Bi- and Multilingual Language Learners in the United States.

Chapter 10: Transforming the Reggio-inspired Approach in the USA: Critical Chronotopic Analysis for Restoring What’s Radically "Reggio"

By Yin Lam Lee-Johnson


Chapter 11: The Metaphorical Context of the Atelier as a Border Crossing Space: Exploring Relationships in Young Children’s Languaging and Translanguaging Processes 

By Geralyn (Gigi) Yu, Yin Lam (Nicole) Lee-Johnson, and Juana Reyes

Chapter 12: What Does It Mean to Be Emergent Bi- and Multilingual Language Learners? Self-Stories and Counternarratives from Educational Researchers

By Juana Reyes, Nahid Nader-Hashemi, Yin Lam (Nicole) Lee-Johnson

Chapter 13: Teacher education and professional development to support emergent bilingual and multilingual children

by Brenda Fyfe and Baji Rankin


Section E Pushing the boundaries of our conversation

Chapter 14: Teaching in cultural and Linguistic super-diverse Australian classrooms: A north - south exploration of Reggio Emilia.

By Lester-Irabinna Rigney and Carla Rinaldi

Chapter 15: Conclusions: Moving the Conversation Forward  

By Brenda Fyfe, Gigi Yu, Juana Reyes, and Yin Lam Lee-Johnson

Appendix A Questionnaire

Appendix B Follow up Interview questions