This guide is designed to help the reader understand the preschool English learner more fully. Each chapter provides important information about the development, abilities, and everyday experiences of the preschool English learner that is based on current and rigorously conducted research. The preschool English learner is (1) a child whose first language is other than English and as a result is learning English as a second language; or (2) a child who is developing two or more languages, one of which may be English. During the preschool years from birth through five years of age, most children are still acquiring the basic knowledge of their home language, even when that language is English. The purpose of this guide is to enrich the reader’s understanding of the language and literacy development of young English learners.
The primary audience for this guide is preschool teachers. The term teacher includes preschool classroom teachers, child development center
teachers, and child care providers. Most of the information applies to family child care providers working with preschool English learners.
This guide should be a starting point for you, the reader, to expand on what you already know about preschool children and gain insights into the unique strengths and needs of preschool English learners.