Jamaican Children’s Drawings of Talking in Jamaican Creole and English

Karla N. Washington, Rachel Wright Karem, Corrine Macaluso, Cecilia Schwartz, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


More than half the world’s population is multilingual, with most children speaking two or more languages. This linguistic diversity necessitates culturally responsive practices and creative solutions that uphold children’s right to communicate and enact Articles 12 and 13 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This research explored children’s views and ratings about their talking in both of their languages to describe their cultural and linguistic experiences. Cross-sectional insights from 23 multilingual children in Jamaica were gained via children drawing themselves talking when conversing with an adult in Jamaican Creole and English. No key differences were observed between the children’s drawings in each of these elicitation contexts. However, sometimes children drew more people when their drawings were elicited in Jamaican Creole, possibly indicating the collectivist culture in Jamaica and the perceived individualistic culture in formal English-speaking contexts. Children’s drawings provide ecologically valid resources for expressing their voices in ways that can increase professionals’ understanding of communicative experiences. However, it is important to consider children’s drawings and their descriptions cautiously and not over-interpret their meaning. Drawings engage children as experts in their lives and allow them to communicate about matters concerning them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
ISSN (Print)2468-8746
ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754


Dive into the research topics of 'Jamaican Children’s Drawings of Talking in Jamaican Creole and English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this