Christina Fashanu

Supervisor: Dr. Mark Payne and Prof. Liz Wood

Title of Thesis: An exploratory investigation into communication practices of children in a super-diverse, early years environment.


The landscape of England today has been transformed by new patterns of immigration with people moving from all over the world, from every sector of society, leading to communities with multiple layers of complex, dynamic features (Vertovec, 2007). Policy responses tend to focus on children’s academic achievement and ability to speak the English language, conceptualised as a linear developmental process (Leung & Costley, 2009).
I intend to explore how the complexities of the super-diverse environment impact upon the children’s communication practices through their negotiation of conceptual understanding, through their use of different languages, or ‘truncated multi-lingual repertoires’ (Blommaert et al., 2005), and through their choice of modes. Despite their young age and the multiplicities of factors at play the children manage to communicate successfully.

I intend to investigate their communication further by exploring the following research questions:

  1. What resources do children draw on in order to communicate effectively in a super-diverse environment?
  2. How do the intersections between different socio-cultural contexts contribute to children’s multimodal communicative practices?