Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Early Years 28, Vol. 3, pp. 299-309, 2008.


This paper considers how children learning a second language were supported as active participants during storytelling sessions in an Irish-language immersion preschool in Dublin. Audio-recordings and observations were made of the story sessions once a fortnight over a period of six months. The resulting transcripts were analysed from an interactionist perspective, recognising both the cognitive and social aspects of the process. The staff were also interviewed and a questionnaire was completed by the parents. The analysis showed that the practitioners provided support for the children through dynamic repeated readings of target books, scaffolded interactions, sufficient experience of storybook reading and small and large group organisation of story sessions. The language of the stories was integrated with the language used in the other activities and interactional routines. Difficult choices had to be made in regard to the type and breadth of learning experiences provided when focusing primarily on second language learning.