Recommend methods for supporting diverse language learners and their families.
Through the lens of an experienced early childhood educator, consider the following scenario:
You work in a publicly funded Pre-K classroom as a lead teacher. This program has a set literacy and language curriculum. The majority of the students come from a linguistically diverse background and have little to no English proficiency upon entry into the program.
You have worked in this program for several years, and recently, have had a newly hired colleague approach you regarding her frustration with her English language learners, or ELLs. Your colleague feels that she is not prepared to meet her students’ unique needs, and she is looking to you for ideas and guidance in regard to best practices for language learners.
According to The National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC, early childhood educators are encouraged to rely on their creative skills in working with children to infuse cultural and linguistic diversity in their programs. Educators should provide ELL children with multiple opportunities to learn and ways for them to demonstrate their learning, participate in program activities, and work interactively with other children.
Focusing on established best practices for supporting young, English language learners in their acquisition of language and literacy skills, consider the support you could offer your colleague in this situation.
First, imagine this conversation in your mind. How would it start? How would your colleague approach you? Where would you be? What would you be doing? Second, think about how your colleague might describe her issues and frustrations to you. Then, consider all you have learned, both through your course work and professional experiences. Lastly, imagine how you would explain it all to your colleague, think of what questions she might or would ask.
For the deliverable in this module, you will write a transcript of the conversation about English language learners in their acquisition of language and literacy skills you imagined above. Create this deliverable as a script, including names of speakers and their words. Use punctuation or formatting options (underline, bold, italics) to help the reader “hear” the conversation. Include the setting at the beginning of the script. For example:
[Late Thursday afternoon. Two teachers pass each other in the faculty mail room.]
Maryjane: “Whoa, Alexandra! You look wiped out. What’s wrong?”
Alexandra: “I don’t know, Alex. I am just beyond frustrated with some of my students. I honestly have no clue what I can do to help them learn English fast enough to keep up with the rest of the class.”
The script, including all dialogue and any “stage directions”, must be 400-600 words.
Additionally, your script must specifically address each of the following:
- Explains to colleague the importance of encouraging home language use and its impact/transfer of literacy skills into L2 or a second language.
- Specific methods or best practices for teaching ELLs that the colleague could utilize immediately.
- Best practices for engaging linguistically diverse families into the program/classroom.