Multilingual Children and their Imaginative Worlds

Children's imaginative play has long attracted scholars in different fields, from psychologists like Vygotsky in the 1960s to sociolinguists in recent years. This symposium with papers from diverse contexts will address such methodological and theoretical questions as how bi/multilingual children use linguistic varieties and other semiotic resources in their plays, and what implications their language use may have for the languages, families, communities, and societies.

Kids playing in a playground

This two-day symposium hosted by Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing), University of Oslo, seeks to shed light on how bi / multilingual children's imaginative worlds and their language use within them could methodologically and analytically help us understand their views on languages, multilingualism, as well as the concomitant implications, outcomes and consequences for languages, communities and societies. During the symposium, we will focus on how children's imagination mediates their language use in such imaginative spaces as naturally occurring plays at home or playground leading to language shift (e.g. Mirvahedi & Cavallaro, 2019; Smith-Christmas, 2020), or intentionally created ones to catalyze using a minority language, eg in language revitalization efforts.

The full program of the symposium can be downloaded here.


Aniko Hatoss

How do online games help language maintenance? Children’s imaginative world and transnational language maintenance in Hungarian-English bilingual families in Australia

Mohammd Nofal and Corinne Seals

Linguistic reflection drawings as an imaginative space for expressing belonging

Kelly Shoecraft

Plurilingual dinosaurs at play: Children negotiating meaning using French, English and gestures

Mona Hosseini

Multilingual children’s imaginative worlds and their language use: Chronotopical analysis of children’s play

Carola Kleemann

Translanguaging roleplay in North Sámi and Norwegian

Eman El Sherbiny Ismail

Negotiating Control in Imaginative Play: Parent-Child Multilingual Interactions

Kay Tisdall

Childhood Studies’ Perspectives: debates about agency, rights and research

Seyda Tarim

Turkish immigrant Children’s Multilingual practices during Pretend Play at a U.S. Turkish Saturday School

Arantzazu Martinez Etxarri

Multilingualism and creativity

Jungmin Lee

Multilingual children’s pretend play: An ethnographic case study in an English-dominant kindergarten classroom

Roberto Alvira, Ana María Cely, Manuela Silva, and Natalia Hernández

Gaming strategies in EFL classes

Melissa Schuring and Eline Zenner

English lexical resources in Belgian Dutch preadolescents’ role play

Min-Seok Choi

Translanguaging space in imaginative play: The role of embodied actions in the use of heritage language

Keynote speakers

Prof. Amy Kyratzis, University of California, Santa Barbara

Prof Asta Cekaite & Prof Polly Björk-Willén, Linköping University

Prof Kay Tisdall, University of Edinburgh

Published Oct. 8, 2021 10:39 AM - Last modified Jan. 28, 2022 3:46 PM