The OWL Project: Strengthening Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy in Early Years settings

In 2022, Early Childhood Ireland and Mother Tongues partnered to design, develop and implement the Our World of Languages (OWL) Project, a small-scale, evidence-based, arts-based storytelling pilot project. This project was supported by the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal in association with Community Foundation Ireland.  

We wanted to develop, pilot and evaluate our own evidence-based approach to strengthening linguistically responsive pedagogy in Early Years settings so that young children and their families experience a sense of identity and belonging in Early Years settings. Research suggests that experiencing a positive sense of identity and belonging is critical to children’s and families’ effective engagement in early learning. We piloted the workshop-based OWL approach in two culturally and linguistically diverse  areas of Dublin.

We learned from the implementation and an independent evaluation by Maynooth University of the OWL Project.  We used this learning to develop the OWL Provocation Pack which is aimed at Early Years educators to support them strengthen linguistically responsive pedagogy in preschool settings using a play- and arts-based storytelling approach.

You can access the pack below.

You may also be interested in: ‘This is me! Exploring language and identity with Mother Tongues’ – an Early Childhood Ireland course that introduces you to the key aspects of multilingualism and encourages you to reflect on ways to embed multilingualism in your practice. Click here to find out more.