The integration of toys and narrative writing for plurilingual and pluricultural education at primary school: A pedagogical intervention

Presenter: Tú Anh Hà

Affiliation: FPT University, Vietnam

Chosen format: Presentation


We are living in a globalised world with mobility and migration, which poses challenges for social cohesion, especially the ability to understand and empathise with minority groups who can be marginalized in the society. Minority children are among the ‘at risk’ ones if the society lacks plurilingualism and pluriculturalism, which are essential for social interaction and conflict avoidance as they perceive individuals as complex entities, formed by multiple experiences and identifications linked with the languages they speak. In order to build plurilingualism and pluriculturalism for children to create an inclusive learning environment for them, the integration of toys and narrative writing is designed. While toys which are connected to play bring pleasure for participants, narrative writing provides an opportunity for sharing in different forms: arts, language(s) and translanguage, etc, which can develop children’s plurilingualism. The main concept is that behind each toy, there are different layers of stories. There is an individual story, and there is also a story of the community. As Wilkinson (1974)’s perspective, toys function as media of communication, meaning that they can transfer information, people’s thoughts and beliefs which are shaped by their experience, cultural backgrounds and global trends in the era of globalization, etc. Therefore, each toy also encompasses culture of a region, a community and a country. Regarding the narrative development, the narrative tells the stories behind each child’s favorite toy, which gives children a chance to share their perspectives and listen to others. This can help to build their pluriculturalism. In the narrative, each child and their toy play as the main characters in which their interaction in a specific setting made up of the space and other players can reveal their cultural background. Even with a global toy, in different settings, participants still have different ways to interact or play with the toy. The inquiry approach focusing on questions are applied to guide students tell their own stories and investigate the stories of the toys connected with the region as well, such as about the materials making the toy or how the people in their community play the toy. After the narrative writing, children can choose others’ toys to play with and share feedback for the narrative writer. For the implication of the intervention, this intervention can be used to design lessons for children to develop their pluriculturalism and plurilingualism by presenting not only theoretical and empirical evidence to integrate toys and narrative writing for plurilingual and pluricultural education at primary school, but also steps and methodological precautions to carry out the intervention.

Key words: Plurilingualism, pluriculturalism, primary education, toys, narrative writing


Tú Anh Hà is currently an English lecturer at FPT University, Hanoi. She finished her Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Play and Education, Toys and Languages at the University of Córdoba (Spain), Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal) and Marmara University (Turkey) (course 2019-2021) and a Master Degree in Teaching and Learning English as a Second Language at University Rovira i Virgili, Spain (2016-2017). She is interested in education for sustainable development. Her research interests include applying literature, drama, toys and play as methods of teaching literacy and integrating equality and equity in the class, curriculum development integrating blue and green economy, intercultural education and peace education.