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Dual Language Learners

  • 1.  Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-10-2019 08:16 AM
    Hello I would like to know what are your strategies working with DLL. Thank you for sharing.

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    Susana (Sussy) Borrego
    Spanish Early Childhood Educator
    Charlotte Bilingual Preschool
    Charlotte NC
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  • 2.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-11-2019 12:13 PM
    Hello, Sussy!

    This is a wonderful opportunity for you to encourage the development of multiple languages within your classroom.  But of course you know that, working with children in a bilingual preschool.  In addition to receiving ideas from colleagues, though, teachers are always looking for additional strategies and resources.  I am a speech-language pathologist who has worked with dual language learners and their parents for many years.  It is certainly challenging, but it is so exciting when all your students become aware of the differences among languages and begin to communicate so well with each other.  It is also thrilling for the parents to see how adept their children are with languages.

    Here are some tips I've shared with both parents and teachers.  I hope they help!

    • Suggest this to parents:  Have one parent usually speak in one language and the other parent in the second language, if possible. (Re- search has shown that this strategy works well.)
    • After asking a question, leave enough response time for the child to formulate the answer in the same language.
    • Use a lot of prosody (stresses, pauses, intonation), gestures, body language and good facial expression in both (or all) languages.
    • Encourage and be enthusiastic about attempts at speaking the new language.  Give lots of specific positive feedback for what the child is doing to learn the language.
    • Facilitate play among children who speak different languages by repeating some words and phrases that each child uses so the others will attend closely to the language.
    • Be consistent, expecting that each child will use and become fluent in both languages.  Children will rise to your expectations very quickly.
    • Provide books, videos and music in each language.
    • Point out cognates – words that are similar in both languages. (insect/insecto, circle/círculo, dinosaur/dinosaurio)
    • For older preschoolers, label items in the room in both languages, and refer to them often.
    • Use the TPR (Total Physical Response) strategy for the new language.  This means knowing some of the new language yourself, but you can learn the words and phrases most important to preschoolers.  Since children love "acting out" scenes, they can participate in this while having a lot of fun.  There are some great videos online, google Nancy Taylor and Herbert Puchta).
    And most of all -- have fun!!

    Best,
    Tara
    Author: The Joy of Language: The Guide to Language and Learning for Parents and Caregivers

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    Tara Tuck
    Owner/Author
    The Joy of Language
    Marco Island FL
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  • 3.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-11-2019 08:24 PM
    Dear Tara thank you so much for your response and for your time   Without a  doubt I will apply your strategies.

    SussyB

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    Susana (Sussy) Borrego
    Spanish Early Childhood Educator
    Charlotte Bilingual Preschool
    Charlotte NC
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  • 4.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-12-2019 09:22 AM
    ​Tara,
    GREAT tips and thank you for sharing. We strongly defend our parents right to continue and not lose their home language with their children. Yet we are trying to teach their children our language and it does become confusing and frustrating for the child. The child doesn't want to make 'mistakes' or risk saying the wrong thing so many will just not speak at all. We older educators who don't know the language feel the frustration as well and feel we are failing in communication with them. But these tips could make it much easier for the parent and the child as well as educators. Thank you so much for sharing them.

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    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA
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  • 5.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-12-2019 10:05 AM
    Thanks so much, Sue!  Parents often feel like outsiders more than their children do when they are not fluent in a new language.  One of the best things we can do is to let them know how important they are as partners with teachers and how they can develop cognitive and linguistic skills in their children that will serve them well throughout life.

    All the best,
    Tara

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    Tara Tuck
    Owner/Author
    The Joy of Language
    Marco Island FL
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  • 6.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-12-2019 09:39 AM
    You are most welcome, Sussy!

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    Tara Tuck
    Owner/Author
    The Joy of Language
    Marco Island FL
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  • 7.  RE: Dual Language Learners

    Posted 02-13-2019 12:21 AM
    Hi, Sussy
    This is a great question! If you go to the NAEYC website and just do a search for "dual language learners" you will find a LOT of information, resources, and strategies you can use. One of my favorite strategies is to treat each child as an individual and:
    * observe that child to determine their interests and strengths, then use that information to plan lessons and learning for that child.
    * learn words in the child's home language related to those interests because those are words that child is most likely to use often, then
    * connect new English words to the familiar words that mean the most to that child - connecting to prior knowledge and ensure success in learning English!

    The more you do to help each child understand what's going on in the classroom, the more you can support their learning. Rather than big, overarching strategies, I suggest starting with each child and supporting their learning experience. One thing we know about all DLLs is.... DLLs are not all the same! Teachers often ask me broad questions about working with DLLs, like what songs to sing or how many minutes per day should be spent on the home language. The best answer is none of that is going to help if you don't get to know how to communicate with each child first. And that's what teachers are really good at!

    And - just in time for your question, next week is National Dual Language Learner Celebration Week! you will find people sharing all kinds of resources, stories, and strategies on social media and webinars. Look for #BrilliantDualLanguageLearners

    Wishing you the best!





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    Karen Nemeth
    Author/consultant/keynotes
    Language Castle LLC
    Newtown PA
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