Working with Preschool Children Who Are English Language Learners

By McEntire, Nancy | Childhood Education, March-April 2014 | Go to article overview

Working with Preschool Children Who Are English Language Learners


McEntire, Nancy, Childhood Education


This column presents and summarizes recent resources identified by the Early Childhood and Parenting (ECAP) Collaborative related to working with preschool children who are English language learners.

Books

NEW VOICES--NUEVAS VOCES GUIDE TO CULTURAL & LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD. Dina C. Castro, Betsy Ayankoya, & Christina Kasprzak, 2011.184 pp. (Available from: Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, Maryland.) This five-module program is designed to provide preschool teachers practical guidance for working effectively with diverse children and families. The modules include foundations of cultural diversity, cross-cultural communication, understanding diverse families, supporting language development in bilingual children, and working with linguistically diverse children.

ONE CHILD, TWO LANGUAGES: A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language. 2nd Ed. Patton O. Tabors, 2008.195 pp. (Available from: Paul H. Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, Maryland.) This book is a guide for teachers who are working with children and their parents whose home language is not English. Strategies are suggested to promote the acquisition of English while supporting the child's first language. Topics include appropriate assessment and internationally adopted children.

Journal Articles

MANY LANGUAGES, ONE TEACHER: Supporting Language and Literacy Development for Preschool Dual Language Learners. Elizabeth S. Magruder, Whitcomb W. Hayslip, Linda M. Espinosa, & Carola Matera. Young Children, Vol. 68, No. 3 (2013): 8-15. www.naeyc.org/yc/files/yc/file/201303/Many_Languages_Margruder_0313_0.pdf. This article reinforces the importance of encouraging dual language learning in young children whose home language is not English. The authors describe the use of Personalized Oral Language(s) Learning (POLL), focusing on young dual language learners. POLL involves family connections, environmental support, and instructional support.

DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNERS: Effective Instruction in Early Childhood. Claude Goldenberg, Judy Hicks, & Ira Lit. American Educator, Vol. 37, No. 2 (2013): 26-29. www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/summer2013/Goldenberg_Hicks_Lit.pdf. This article includes a review of recent research indicating the importance of using the child's home language, promoting language development in both languages, and involving families. The effectiveness of English-only programs for those learning English and those whose home language is English is compared.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A Synthesis From Four Perspectives. L. Quentin Dixon, Jing Zhao, Jee-Young Shin, Shuang Wu, Jung-Hsuan Su, Renata Burgess-Brigham, Melike Unal Gezer, & Catherine Snow. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 82, No. 1 (2012): 5-60. http://rer.sagepub.com/content/821115. This article is based on integrated research from several studies related to young second-language learners. Findings describe the variations in optimal conditions for second-language learning, characteristics of successful learners, characteristics of effective teachers, and the time required for proficiency in second-language acquisition by children. …

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