Series First Five Early Childhood Education: Dual Language Learners: Developing Literacy

Dual Language Learners: Developing Literacy

Lesson Objective: Develop expressive and receptive language skills
Pre-K / ELA / Questioning

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Ngan help her students develop language and literacy skills?
  2. Why is it important to connect to students' home languages and cultures?
  3. What are the benefits of asking open-ended questions?

45 Comments

  • Private message to Gladys Akiri

1. How does Ms. Ngan help her students develop language and literacy skills? Ms. Ngan first helps her students develop language and literacy skills by first making the children feel welcome and comfortable in their learning environment. She makes use of repitition, focuses on vocabulary, and open-ended questions to enhance learning. She also supports students with developing language and literacy by bulding vocabulary representing new words in both English and Chinese language. She writes down all they say and help the students make connection between written and spoken language.

2 Why is it important to connect to students' home languages and cultures? Like Ms. Ngan rightly said, although the students are being taught English as a second language, It is impotant to connect to a student's L1 and culture so the student don't get disconnected, In addition, they also get support from their home language in learning the second language.

3. What are the benefits of asking open-ended questions? As observed by Ms. Ngan, the benefits of asking open-ended questions  is to "enhance thinking and language skills and in the process the students will develop receptive and expressive language skills". Asking open-ended questions helps to scaffold the  children's language and learning experience.

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  • Private message to Blythe Kleinschmidt

Connecting to students' home language helps the children, first and foremost, begin the task in familiar territory, that being their native language.  Ms. Ngan simultaniously expressed the unfamiliar vocabulary in both Chinese and English, which benefits all children.  She is creating an environment where respect for differences is nurtured. This is why cognates is so important when teaching vocabulary.  In the same way, expressing ideas in both languages helps children make connections.  We want to give them every tool possible to find success.  Why not start with something familiar!

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  • Private message to Blythe Kleinschmidt

Ms. Ngan is giving the children something that they can (take with them); an experience that connects creativity, and something the children can physically do to help remember the story and words conected with it.  The connection of movement with sharing ideas with one another, being able to see that their ideas are important by the teacher writing them down, and the open ended questions help the children understand patterns in reading.

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  • Private message to Saidee Haddad
  1. How does Ms. Ngan help her students develop language and literacy skills?
    1. Ms. Ngan uses multiple exposures of the content to develop language and literacy skills. She uses the book to introduce the activity through pictures/story in order to activate prior knowledge through real experiences. She uses repetition of vocbulary words and prompts students with open-ended questions to develop expressive and receptive language skills.
  2. Why is it important to connect to students' home languages and cultures?
    1. While the focus is developing English language, it is important to not disconnect from the native language and culture. Use of native language (L1) during instruction build associations between L1 and English, particularly regarding vocabulary. Use of native language can be a scaffolding strategy.
Dual Language Learners: Developing Literacy
Dual Language Learners: Developing Literacy
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  • Private message to Esther Nelson

She had the students read aloud and student use the illustration on the page to chime in to complete the sentence. She actively engaged them in the reading with open-ended questions to makes connection of the different images that can be created with spilled milk. She connected it with the home language to familiarize them with the materials she brought and allowed them to develop, boost their vocabulary with the use of dual languages. She also let them explore and bring the story to life as they participate in storytelling. The students wrote their own story after creating different images with milk.

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External Resource Materials

Transcripts

  • Developing Literacy Skills with Dual Language Learners
    Program Transcript

    Ngan: Anything you want to share today? Emily, how you feel today?

    Ngan

    Developing Literacy Skills with Dual Language Learners
    Program Transcript

    Ngan: Anything you want to share today? Emily, how you feel today?

    Ngan (Interview): My name is Carmen Ngan. I'm the preschool teacher at Kai Ming Head Start Sunset Center. We have eighty-five percent of children come from Asian family. Most of the family don't speak English at home, so the children come here to learn English. We create an atmosphere here to make children feel more comfortable. They get support from their home language.

    Ngan: They only walk.

    Student: Yeah.

    Ngan: Okay.

    Ngan (Interview): We would like the children to learn English. At the same time, they do not disconnect from the home language, so they can keep connection with their family, with their culture.

    Ngan: What do you think would happen if you spilled milk?

    Student: It would go everywhere.

    Ngan: It would go everywhere. And it might look like something. Okay. Are you ready? Let's look at this. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. That's the name of the book. Can you help me to read it? Sometime it looked like spilt milk, but it wasn't spilt milk. Sometime it look like a…

    Student: Rabbit.

    Ngan: Rabbit. But it wasn't a rabbit. What is that?

    Student: Sometimes…

    Ngan and Students: Sometime it look like a tree, but it wasn't a tree.

    Ngan (Interview): We will focus on the vocabulary we want the children to learn, so we will repeat it, and emphasize that.

    Ngan: Sometime it look like spilt milk, but it wasn't spilt milk. What is that?

    Students: A cloud!

    Ngan (Interview): So first we use the book to introduce the activity.

    Ngan: Have you ever seen this?

    Ngan (Interview): I want to pick something that related to their real life, so they have a real life experience.

    Ngan: This one is regular milk. Milk. [Chinese].

    Student: How about this one?

    Ngan: Yeah. How about this one? [Chinese]. Evaporated milk. [Chinese].

    Student: How about this one?

    Ngan: This is condensed milk. [Chinese].

    Student: [Chinese].

    Ngan (Interview): During the activity, they use the eyedropper or the straw to make artwork.

    Ngan: So sometime it look like…

    Student: Monster!

    Ngan: A monster? But, it's not a monster.

    Student: Sometimes it looks like an alien planet.

    Student: [gibberish].

    Ngan: You can see the different color. Different, huh? You can see-- Oh, tell me what you just did.

    Student: I blow…

    Ngan: You blow it.

    Student: …and I got bubbles.

    Ngan (Interview): We use open-ended question throughout the day. The goal is to enhance their thinking skill and their language skills. They develop receptive and expressive language skills.

    Ngan: What is that? Sometime it look like…

    Student: Monster.

    Ngan: A monster. Is that a monster?

    Student: Yeah.

    Ngan (Interview): When they're describing the artwork, I write it down in front of them about all the things they tell me. This is very important, when they can see the meaning being recorded. This strategy help children make connection between reading and spoken language.

    Ngan: So, sometime it look like…

    Student: Elephant.

    Ngan: Elephant. You just mentioned how many elephant?

    Student: Two.

    Ngan: Two elephant. Sometime it look like two elephants.

    Ngan (Interview): When they first start school they may not understand what we saying, however at the end of school, they fluent in English.

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