National Statistics Dual Language Learners

Terry Kohlmeier, M.Ed
Chase Callard, MA
Research Assistants,
Dept. of Special Education and Rehabilitation
Utah State University
UMTSS Conference - June 13, 2013
Terry Kohlmeier – [email protected]
Chase Callard – [email protected]
Doctoral Students, Department of Special Education
and Rehabilitation, Utah State University
Research Assistants: Spanish version of the IGDI’s
Language and Literacy Assessment and RIA Pre-K –
Dual Language Curriculum
The importance of dual language development in
bilingual children.
The features of bilingual development in
The need for curricula that addresses dual
language acquisition.
Recommended practices for early literacy
instruction with Spanish-English speaking
READ IT AGAIN Pre-K! Dual Language Learners
Young Dual Language Learners are the most diverse;
47% of children younger than five belong to a racial
or ethnic minority group. (The Center for Public Education,
Spanish is the second most common language in the
United States, over 21% of school age children (Ages
5-17) population. (National Center for Education Statistics,
In 2010, 56% of language minority children (Ages 3, 4
and 5) were enrolled in full or part day pre-primary
and kindergarten programs. (National Center for Education
Statistics, 2009)
By 2050, of the nation’s children approximately 39%
are projected to be Hispanic or Latino (up from 21%
in 2009). (US Census, 2010)
Dual Language Learners-(DLLs)” to include
children from both of these categories who
are learning two languages at one time.
(deHouwer, 1990; Paradis, Genesee, Crago, 2010; MacLaughlin
Simultaneous: Two languages acquired from
Sequential: The introduction of a second
language around the age of 3 years.
Additive bilingualism: “Situations where both
languages are supported and languages
develop in parallel.”
Subtractive bilingualism: “Situations
characterized by a gradual loss of the first
language as a result of increasing mastery
and use of the second language.”
(Diaz & Klingler, 1999; Paradis,et al., 2010)
Stages of Second Language
Acquisition in Young SEQUENTIAL
Bilinguals (Tabors, 1997)
Child is listening and observing while “cracking
the code” of the new language.
Early Production:
Telegraphic speech: Children used shortened
phrases such as “put paper” to convey “I want
you to put the paper on the table.”
Formulaic speech: Children use prefabricated
chunks before they have any idea of what they
Productive Language Use:
Child begins to demonstrate an
understanding of the syntactic system of the
language. They go beyond short phrases
and formulas to create their own sentences
conveying their own precise meaning.
The period in second language development
between when the child starts to use the
language productively until when he/she
achieves competence similar to a native
This takes time!!!
We should expect that sequential bilinguals
will have errors in pronunciation, vocabulary
choice, morphology, and grammar as they
gradually become more proficient in their L2
It is critical to look at all English language
learning students individually
There are generally no big categories to
capture all students’ language abilities
Research indicates these are some of the
critical factors in acquiring a second
SES, maternal education, cognitive ability,
level of mastery in native language,
motivation, older siblings, age of
introduction to L2
What does all of this
mean when working
with young Dual
language learners?
How does this effect
instruction and
teaching practices?
It is critical to understand a child’s level of
proficiency in their home language and English
to better meet their instructional needs.
If your program is predominantly in English the
child’s team needs to know where to start with
the child in English to provide more
“comprehensible input” throughout the school
day. (What stage of bilingual language
development is the child in?
If you have bilingual staff the team needs to
use native language strategically and
intentionally for instruction.
Why is it
important for the
child to maintain
their home
language when
they will most
likely only teach in
English in school?
Why teach in the
child’s home
The child will be surrounded with English speakers and
will quickly recognize English as the language with
higher status and power in this society. The greatest
likelihood is actually that immigrant children will
discontinue using their native language (Portes & Hao,
The global economy and increasing diversity
Communication with child and family and community so
that he/she does not become socially isolated.
Maintaining strong native language skills will allow
parents to communicate affection, discipline and teach
cultural values (Wong-Fillmore, 1991).
The Question is not whether or not all
children in the United States need to learn
Of course they do!
The Question is how do we best teach young
English language learners English, help
them to maintain their native language, and
produce the best long term academic
Tier 1 Instruction includes:
Adult-child shared storybook reading
Literacy-enriched play settings
Theme-based curriculum
Teacher-directed structured literacy
curricula like Read It Again – Pre-K!
Progress Monitoring
How you read books
with children is just as
important as whether
or not you read to to
Engage children in
dialogue while reading
Ask questions
Literacy materials should be available in all
areas of the classroom. In addition, every
classroom should have a cozy library area
where books on multiple topics including
fiction and non-fiction are available to children
Some examples of embedding books in play
 Magazines in the housekeeping area, books
about building in the block area, science books
in a discovery area, etc.
 Writing opportunities in all areas
Books should be chosen that match
curriculum themes. Play areas should have
materials and activities available based on the
theme to provide multiple opportunities for
children to interact with and use key
vocabulary in both languages
Be intentional about how you support
vocabulary development in your classroom
 Talk, talk, talk—use many words and rare
 Remember, conversation is two-way!
(listening, wait time) (Give me 5 – back and
 How can we integrate vocabulary
development throughout classroom activities
Provide a visual for
each vocabulary word
Use as an instructional
Words should be
changed based on
your theme
Should be posted and
used by students for
writing practice or
during instruction
When schools provide children with quality
education in their primary language, they give
them two things: knowledge and literacy. The
knowledge that children get through their first
language helps make the English they hear and
read more comprehensible. Literacy developed in
the primary language transfers to the second
language. The reason literacy transfers is simple:
Because we learn to read by reading, by making
sense of what is on the page it is easier to learn to
read in a language we understand. Once we can
read in one language, we can read in general
(Krashen, 1999).
Support the acquisition of the child’s native
language. Strong native language skills will
better support English Language and Literacy
Spanish oral vocabulary and early literacy
skills are emerging as a key areas to target in
early intervention programs for Spanishspeaking children to support improved long
term academic and reading outcomes (Lindsey, et
al. 2003; Manis, et al., 2004; Oller & Eilers, 2002; Ordoñez, et al.,
2002; Proctor, et al., 2006).
A language and literacy curriculum
Teacher friendly
Materials, books, notes and lesson plans in
Systematic and specific approach to building
children’s language and literacy skills in 4 key
Phonological Awareness
Print knowledge
Alliteration (Beginning Sounds)
Blending (sounds and segments)
Print awareness/environmental print
Letter names and sounds
Book and print rules i.e. front and back of
book, reading progression from left to right,
where to start reading
Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary
Each lesson is organized around a storybook
- This adds to the importance of reading
Each lesson has two literacy activities that are
designed to address key literacy skills, such
as: vocabulary and narrative, or print and
Each lesson has objectives (what do we want
the child to learn) and activities for the child
to do and a script. (What does the teacher say
to the group of children?)
Lessons in Spanish = Lessons in English
All or some of these strategies can be
included to support the dual language
Previewing vocabulary – Reviewing vocabulary
Using Visuals and Manipulatives
Total Physical Response
Book Walk-throughs
Word wall
Embedded Activities in the learning centers
Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Students takes:
 A commitment to helping the child continue
development in their native language
 A systemic belief that bilingualism is valuable
and an asset, not a deficit
 Collaboration between home and school with
a focus on the family as native language
 Instructional practices that support the home
language and teach English
August, D., Carlo, M., Dressler, C., & Snow, C. (2005). The
critical role of vocabulary development for English
language learners. Learning Disabilities Research and
Practice, 20(1), 50–57. doi: 10.1111/j.15405826.2005.00120.x
August, D., & Shanahan, T. (Eds.). (2006). Developing
literacy in second-language
learners: Report of the
National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children
and Youth.
Colorin Colorado. (2007). How to create a welcoming
classroom environment. Retrieved from
Paradis, J., Genesee, F., & Crago, M. (2011).
Dual Language Development and Disorders: A
Handbook on Bilingualism and Second
Language Learning. (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD:
Brookes Publishing.
Tabors, P. O. (2008). One child, two
languages: A guide for early childhood
educators of children learning English as a
second language (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Paul H.
Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.

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