Session 2 - Collaborating Partners

Language and
Early Literacy:
at Home
and in
Early Childhood
and Community
Session 2:
Language and
• (insert your name/title here)
• Insert your co-presenter’s name/title here)
for this Session …
Participants will:
• Become familiar with standards that apply to
language and vocabulary development
• Explain how language and vocabulary
development is related to later reading ability
• Identify strengths and areas for improvement in
current language practices through a selfassessment process
• Use a process for selecting and teaching
vocabulary words
• Describe strategies adults can use to support
language and vocabulary development
for today’s Session
Check-in activity
Discussion in pairs or small groups:
• What do you hope to achieve by participating
in this session?
• What are your expectations of the
facilitator(s) in this session?
Guidance from the Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction:
• Deliver content-rich curriculum with challenging but
achievable goals in ways that honor and respect the
unique learning needs of young children
• Use a play-based curriculum to develop self
regulation, language, cognition, and social
• Core or universal curriculum should include support
for all developmental domains and content areas as
described in the WMELS
The Wisconsin Model for Response to Intervention: Applications in Early Childhood Settings. WI Dept.
of Public instruction, June 2012
Dual Language Learners (DLLs)
“Children, birth to 5, who are learning 2 or more
languages at the same time, as well as those
learning a second language (English) while
continuing to develop their home or first language.”
Reinl, R. Language in Play: Introduction to the Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards,
Webinar 2013
• Universal practices, the foundation for meeting
the needs of all children, includes differentiated
• Adaptations and modifications to
meet the needs of individual children
essential – it’s Developmentally
Appropriate Practice (DAP)!
Dual Language Learners (DLLs)
For guidance and support for serving DLLs, refer to
the following resources:
• WIDA Early Years
• Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners
Serving Dual Language Learners Facts and Tips:
• Office of Head Start
Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
Exposure to print, books, and
read alouds are important, but
not enough to prepare children
to become readers and writers.
 Intentional teaching - using shared (dialogic)
reading, shared writing, and multiple opportunities
to interact with writing, letters, sounds, and
spoken words - is necessary.
 Children might also need some explicit
developmentally appropriate instruction to learn
vocabulary, phonological awareness, the alphabet,
and print concepts.
Teaching Cycle
Gathering information to determine what the child
can do and what the child is ready to learn
• Data Collection
• Data Analysis
Providing meaningful,
experiential activities that
support individual and group
goals guided by supportive
interaction and relationships
Planning and Curriculum Goals
Deciding what should be done to
promote development and what we
want children to learn
• Needs Identification & Prioritization
• Planning (Strategy/Indicators)
National guidance
Children need 3 sets of interrelated skills and
knowledge, taught and cultivated over time,
to reach reading proficiency:
• language and communication skills
• content knowledge
• “mechanics” of reading
A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting All Students Reading by Third Grade, National
Governors Association, Washington, DC., 2013
National guidance
•“Research finds that, while children
typically develop all of these skills during
the first eight years of life*, the mastery of
language & communication skills is more
likely to distinguish good readers from
poor readers in the long run.”
*language and communication skills; content knowledge; & “mechanics”
of reading
A Governor’s Guide to Early Literacy: Getting All Students Reading by Third Grade, National
Governors Association, Washington, DC., 2013, p. 12
National guidance
• simple vocabulary knowledge- not a strong
predictor of later reading comprehension
• Vocabulary knowledge in the context of strong
oral language skills is essential
• Each is dependent on the other to be effective
Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel, 2008
Research-based Early Literacy Content Areas
• Oral Language
(WMELS A. Listening & Understanding & B. Speaking &
(WMELS A. Listening & Understanding & B. Speaking &
• Phonological Awareness
(WMELS C. Early Literacy)
• Alphabet Knowledge
(WMELS C. Early Literacy)
• Concepts about Print
(WMELS C. Early Literacy)
(WMELS C. Early Literacy)
Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
A. Listening and Understanding
A.EL.1 - Derives meaning through listening to
communications of others and sounds in the
A.EL.2 - Listens and responds to
communication with others
A.EL.3 - Follows directions of increasing
Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards
B. Speaking & Communicating
B.EL.1 - Uses gestures and movements (nonverbal) to communicate
B.EL.2 (a, b & c) Uses vocalizations and
spoken language to communicate (includes
language forms - syntax, semantics, and
Wisconsin Common Core State Standards–
English Language Arts (CCSS - ELA)
• Reading Standards, K-5
• Speaking and Listening Standards, K-5
• Language Standards, K-5
For more info:
Should we be concerned?
Key variable in learning to read with comprehension!
By age 3, working vocabulary:
Children from high income families = 1,116 words
Children in working-class families = 749 words
Children in families living in poverty = 525 words
• Observations of 55 kindergartens classrooms:
found limited instruction in vocabulary in most
Hart, B. & Risley, T.R. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American
Children, Brookes Publishing, Baltimore, MD., 1995, 2003
Research suggests …
• Haphazard approaches to teaching
• Much vocabulary instruction provided in
“teachable moments” during read alouds
• Limited effort to reinforce the new
vocabulary in context within the child’s
Neuman, S.B., & Wright, T.S. All About Words: Increasing Vocabulary in the
Common Core Classroom, PreK-2, Teacher College Press, New York, NY, 2013
According to research, how many times does a child
need to hear a word before he remembers it ?
Less than 10 times
10-15 times
25-30 times
40-50 times
(Neuman & Wright, 2013)
The Word Gap
“Generally, children come into
school with vocabulary at one
point and leave with
vocabulary at the same point
… We’re not teaching very
many words, and we’re not
teaching in a way that
children will retain the words.”
(Neuman & Wright, 2013)
Research suggests …
• Students exiting high school need 80,000
words in their vocabulary!
• Be intentional in vocabulary word selection
• Children can learn 500 new words per year
• Word exposure, activities, read alouds, &
“teachable moments” - good strategies but
not enough to close the gap
• In addition, provide explicit instruction
followed by multiple opportunities to use
the new words in a variety of settings
Susan B. Neuman, presentation based on book, All About Words: Increasing
Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom, PreK – 2, Teachers College Press, New York,
NY., 2013
Research suggests …
• quantity of words heard is critical
• Important to assess the amount of talking that
occurs in care and education settings for young
children to raise awareness of quality and quantity
Hart & Risley, 2003
Tools to assess your
• Classroom Assessment Scoring System
• Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale –
Revised (ECERS-R)
• Early Language and Literacy Classroom
Observation Toolkit (ELLCO)
• Child/Home Early Language and Literacy
Classroom Observation (CHELLO)
Activity time!
Early Learning Language Self-Assessment:
Talking with Children
A. Rate yourself (or your team) on each item of the tool
using this scale:
4= Looking Good!
3= Doing Pretty Well
2= Needs Attention but Not Top Priority
1= Needs Attention NOW
B. Review scores/set goals for improvement
C. Identify evidence of progress/achievement
Clip #3 – Evidence-based Practices
(17 minutes)
Language and Literacy:
Preparing our Children for 3rd Grade Literacy
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D.
General vocabulary building strategies
• NARRATE children’s activities
(describe what the child is doing while s/he is doing it)
• Repeat & Expand on child’s language
(Child: “Dog.” Adult: “Yes, it is a dog. He is a big, red
• Use new words that connect to words the
child already knows/uses.
(Child: “The towel is soaking up the water.” Adult: “Yes,
it is soaking up the water. Another word that means
the same thing is ‘absorb’; the towel is absorbing the
• An oral tradition in many cultures
• Enhances language and literacy curriculum
• Supports vocabulary growth, listening,
comprehension, an other early literacy
• Another method of differentiating instruction
Evidence-based principles for
vocabulary instruction
Effective vocabulary instruction …
is explicit
requires careful selection of vocabulary targets
is intentionally designed
is delivered with repeated exposure and practice
is linked to assessment
Spencer, E.J., Goldstein, H., & Kaminski, R. Teaching Vocabulary in Storybooks: Embedding Explicit
Vocabulary Instruction for Young Children, Young Exceptional Children, DEC, vol. 15, No. 1, March
Embedded vocabulary instruction
#1 – select words to teach
• Review story book
• Consider “Tiered” words
• Choose Tier 2 words for universal instruction, based
on frequency/ease of definition/ significance to
• May choose Tier 1 words for some children (with
delays/disabilities or learning English)
• Select Tier 3 words for those children who are ready
for additional challenges
(Spencer, Goldstein, & Kaminski, 2012)
Decision-making model
Process for selecting vocabulary
words to teach:
• Review curriculum materials/activities
• Consider unit of study – thematic/
categorical/project-related words
• Books used in theme/project
Christ, T. & Wang, X.C. Supporting Preschooler’s Vocabulary Learning Using a
Decision-making Model to Select Appropriate Words and Methods, Young Children,
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC., vol. 67,
no. 2, March 2012
Decision-making model
(Christ & Wang, 2012)
Step #1 Identify all words that are likely to be
new to the children
Step #2 Select words you will teach based on:
• do the children need to know this word in
order to understand the story/topic?
• will this word be useful in conversations?
• does this word lend itself to use across
activities and contexts?
• does this word relate to other words the
children are currently learning?
Decision-making model
(Christ & Wang, 2012)
Step #3 Decide on methods/strategies to
intentionally teach the words
• Model how to use contextual cues
(illustrations, etc.)
• Directly teach new words – “a cave is a hole in
the mountain”
• Ask comprehension questions
• Embed opportunities to use the new words in
Additional resource:
Highly recommended !
Build Language through
a) Provide dramatic play area - children can take
on new roles; adults can introduce and use
new vocabulary
b) Model conversational language in dramatic
play roles
c) Provide materials to experiment with writing
d) Play games that support language experiences
e) SCAFFOLD learning by asking questions or
providing prompts
Double Focus!
Highly effective teachers and caregivers…
provide daily, intentional language and early
literacy learning opportunities for the children they serve,
and …
engage families in providing daily, intentional
language and early literacy learning opportunities for their
own children!
Winton, P.J., McCollum, J.A., & Catlett, C. Practical Approaches to Early Childhood Professional Development: Evidence,
Strategies, & Resources. Zero to Three, Washington, DC., 2008
• Share a new concept or specific strategy you
learned that you will use.
• What questions do you still have about
teaching early literacy?

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