Preschool English Learners

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Preschool English LearnersPrinciples and Practices to PromoteLanguage, Literacy, and LearningA Resource GuideSecond EditionCalifornia Department of Education Sacramento, 2009

Preschool English LearnersPrinciples and Practices to PromoteLanguage, Literacy, and LearningA Resource GuideSecond Edition

Publishing InformationPreschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to PromoteLanguage, Literacy, and Learning—A Resource Guide (Second Edition)was developed by WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studiesfor the Child Development Division, California Department ofEducation. It was prepared for printing by the staff of CDE Pressunder the direction of Tom Mays. It was edited by Faye Ong,working in cooperation with Sy Dang Nguyen, Consultant, ChildDevelopment Division. The cover and interior were designed byCheryl McDonald; typesetting was done by Jeannette Reyes. Itwas published by the Department, 1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA95814-5901. It was distributed under the provisions of the LibraryDistribution Act and Government Code Section 11096. 2009 by the California Department of EducationAll rights reservedISBN 978-0-8011-1703-9Ordering InformationCopies of this publication are available for sale from theCalifornia Department of Education. For prices and orderinginformation, please visit the Department Web site at or call the CDE Press Sales Office at (800) 995 4099. An illustrated Educational Resources Catalog describingpublications, videos, and other instructional media available fromthe Department can be obtained without charge by writing tothe CDE Press Sales Office, California Department of Education,1430 N Street, Suite 3207, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901; FAX (916)323-0823 or by calling the CDE Press Sales Office at the telephonenumber shown above.NoticeThe guidance in Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices toPromote Language, Literacy, and Learning—A Resource Guide (SecondEdition) is not binding on local educational agencies or other enti ties. Except for the statutes, regulations, and court decisions thatare referenced herein, the document is exemplary, and compliancewith it is not mandatory. (See Education Code Section 33308.5.)ii

ContentsA Message from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction . vAcknowledgments . viChapter One: Introduction to the Resource Guide . 1What You Will Find in This Guide . 2Core Beliefs . 3Principles and Practices: Children as Active Learners . 4Summary of the Guide by Chapter . 5Continued Professional Development. 6Chapter Two: Preschool English Learners,Their Families, and Their Communities . 9The Children . 10The Role of Families in Language and LiteracyDevelopment. 13The Diversity of the Immigration Experience . 14Connecting School and the Home Language . 14Varieties of Language . 17Chapter Three: Connecting Firstand Second Languages . 19Children and Their Language Development . 20The Components of Language. 22A Wide Range of Language Practices . 25Awareness of How Language Works . 29The Influence of Peers on Language Development . 30Chapter Four: Paths to Bilingualism . 33Theoretical Basis for Supporting Bilingualism. 34Simultaneous Bilingualism . 36Early Phase (Birth to Three Years) . 37Middle Phase (Three to Four Years) . 38Later Phase (Five to Six Years) . 39Successive Bilingualism . 41Receptive Bilingualism . 42iii

Chapter Five: Stages and Strategiesin Second-Language Acquisition . 45Stages of Learning a Second Language . 46The Use of the Home Language to Communicate . 47The Observational and Listening Period . 47Telegraphic and Formulaic Speech . 48Fluid Language Use . 50Strategies in Second-Language Acquisition . 52Chapter Six: Code Switchingand Language Loss . 57Code Switching . 58Language Loss . 60Chapter Seven: English Learners with Disabilitiesor Other Special Needs . 63A Language Disorder Versus a Language Difference. 64Special Education Programs and English Learners . 65Coordinating Language and Communication Goals . 68Chapter Eight: Recommended Early LiteracyPractices . 71Defining Early Literacy . 72Connecting Home and School Literacy Practices. 73Teaching Through Language . 76Reading Books Aloud to English Learners . 77Writing as a Part of Early Literacy. 80Making Stories Come Alive . 81Literacy Strategies for English Learnerswith Special Needs . 83AppendixesA. Principles for Promoting Language, Literacy,and Learning for Preschool English Learners . 93B. Prekindergarten Learning and DevelopmentGuidelines . 94C. Desired Results for Children and Families. 99D. California Preschool Learning Foundations . 102E. Transition to Kindergarten or Elementary School . 114Glossary . 124Works Cited . 129iv

A Message from the State Superintendentof Public InstructionFamilies, teachers, and policymakers have become increasingly aware ofthe need to address the linguistic diversity of California’s preschool stu dents, many of whom are experiencing formal schooling for the first time.The teachers of preschool children have long been sensitive to the culturalbackgrounds of the students and their families. Now they seek guidance asto how best to educate children from homes in which a language other thanEnglish is spoken and to prepare these English learners for their transitioninto kindergarten or elementary school.This resource guide, Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices toPromote Language, Literacy, and Learning (Second Edition), provides teacherswith the knowledge and tools they seek to educate preschool English learnersmost effectively. It was developed by a group of experts who collectivelybrought strong practical, academic, and research backgrounds to the topicof educating young English learners. In their work the group demonstratedits steadfast commitment to assisting such children enrolled in California’sschools and their families.This document builds on the foundation laid by an earlier version titledFostering the Development of a First and a Second Language in Early Childhood,published in 1998. In addition, companion materials, including a video, aWeb site, and materials for statewide training, will be developed to supple ment the information contained in the guide. This guide is meant to be usedin conjunction with Appendix B, “Prekindergarten Learning and Develop ment Guidelines”; Appendix C, “Desired Results for Children and Families”;Appendix D, “California Preschool Learning Foundations”; and Appendix E,“Transition to Kindergarten or Elementary School”; which can be found atthe back of this publication.I hope that teachers will find this resource guide useful as they work toprovide high-quality preschool programs for all children. Thank you for yourefforts on behalf of our children.Jack O’ConnellState Superintendent of Public Instructionv

AcknowledgmentsThis publication was developed for the California Department ofEducation, Child Development Division, under the direction ofRebeca Valdivia, Director of the English Language Learning forPreschoolers Project, WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies. Sadly,Rebeca, the lead writer of this document, lost a courageous battle withcancer on October 21, 2008. The CDE dedicates this publication to Rebecafor her countless contributions to the lives of young children, especiallyyoung English learners and children with special needs. This undertakingwould not have been possible without the expertise and contributions ofthe many talented people who deserve our sincerest gratitude for their time,energy, and dedication. They include a panel of experts, staff from theCalifornia Department of Education’s Child Development Division, stafffrom WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies, and 50 focus-groupparticipants from around the state representing the various audiences thatthe guide is designed to reach.Panel of ExpertsThe panel of experts provided academic and practical perspectives affectingall aspects of the guide. Contributions to the contents, principles and prac tices, and updated research were generated by the panel during the 2003-04contract year. Panel members and their job titles and locations are listed asfollows:Patricia Baquedano-Lopez, Associate Professor, Graduate School ofEducation, Language and Literacy, Society and Culture, University ofCalifornia, BerkeleyMaria Fátima Castro, Coordinator, Central California Migrant Head Start,Santa Cruz County Office of Education, CapitolaRuth Chao, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Universityof California, RiversideAnna Eunhee Chee, Associate Professor, Charter College of Education,California State University, Los AngelesKris Gutierrez, Professor, Graduate School of Education, Universityof California, Los AngelesJ. Ronald Lally, Co-Director, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd,SausalitoPeter Mangione, Co-Director, Center for Child and Family Studies,WestEd, SausalitoSy Dang Nguyen, Consultant, Child Development Division, CaliforniaDepartment of Education, Sacramentovi

Joyce Palacio, Principal, El Sereno Early Education Center, Los AngelesUnified School DistrictJames L. Rodriguez, Associate Professor, College of Education, San DiegoState UniversityCalifornia Department of EducationThanks are also extended to the following members of the Department’sChild Development Division: Michael Jett, Director, whose vision andleadership inspired the development of the project; Gwen Stephens,Assistant Director, Quality Improvement and Capacity Building; andSy Dang Nguyen, Consultant, for ongoing revisions and recommendations.Project StaffThe writing, editing, and reviewing involved in any project cannot becompleted without the tireless work of dedicated staff. The contributionsof the following staff members from WestEd’s Center for Child and FamilyStudies are gratefully acknowledged: Peter Mangione, for writing aconsiderable amount of the contents throughout the guide, editing multipledrafts, and providing administrative support, guidance, and oversight;Carrie Parente, for design, editorial, formatting, and administrativeassistance; Sara Webb, for helping with the design and layout; andJ. Ronald Lally and Catherine Tsao, Director, National and InternationalTraining, for proofreading.Special ContributionsSpecial thanks go to Marilyn Astore, member of the Executive Committee,California Preschool Instructional Network. She reviewed several drafts of theguide, provided important recommendations concerning the presentation ofcontent, especially in the chapter on early literacy, and contributed sugges tions for resources and references.Special thanks also go to Joyce Palacio, a member of the panel of experts,and Norma Quan Ong, an independent early childhood consultant in SanFrancisco. They contributed vignettes taken directly from children, families,and staff in early childhood settings.Focus GroupsFour focus groups were assembled by WestEd in San Diego, San Francisco,El Centro, and Los Angeles. The 50 participants were preschool teachers,program directors from early childhood education programs, trainers, consul tants, and parents. They examined an earlier draft of the guide and providedcrucial feedback for improving its readability and accessibility for the targetaudience.vii

EditorsRosario Diaz Greenberg, Associate Professor, California State University,San Marcos, and James Rodriguez, a member of the panel of experts, provid ed invaluable expertise during the extensive revision and editing process.PhotographsThe photographs in this guide came from two sources. Julie Espinosa andfamilies in Pasadena, California, graciously contributed photographs. Abouthalf of the photographs were taken by Lang and Associates at the EducationalEnrichment Systems, Inc./Linda Vista Child Development Center in SanDiego. Many

the class from Spanish-speaking, English-speaking, Vietnamese-speaking, Chinese-speaking, Farsi-speaking, and Russian-speaking homes. Many of the children have grown up together in this early care and education setting from the time they were infants. The lead teacher is bilingual in English and Farsi. Two assistants are bilingual in English

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