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Resources | | Early Edge California

Improving Teacher Preparation to Support California’s Dual Language Learners

A Policy Report from Early Edge California and Dr. Giselle Navarro-Cruz

Young children exposed to two or more languages simultaneously or young children who learn a second language while continuing to develop their first are known as Dual Language Learners (DLLs). DLLs, who make up sixty percent of children ages birth to five in California, possess the natural advantage of being able to acquire native-level fluency in both English and another language, if they are provided with the right support. However, Early Learning teachers in California are not currently required to receive preparation to help support DLLs. As a result, these children may enter kindergarten without the skills needed to succeed and lose the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in their home language. This report addresses the state of teacher training and preparation for Early Learning teachers serving DLLs.

Early Edge California, with support from Dr. Giselle Navarro-Cruz, conducted a comprehensive review of the status of Early Learning teacher preparation through a survey, website analysis, interviews, and advisory groups meeting. The research revealed that many colleges and universities offer limited or no coursework regarding best practices in dual language development, and consequently, that many Early Learning teachers receive little to no training in supporting DLLs. In order to create an Early Learning system in which every DLL child has the opportunity to develop and sustain their bilingualism, Early Learning teachers will need specialized preparation and ongoing training and coaching. In order to accomplish this, California must develop a system for Institutes of Higher Education that prepares all Early Learning teachers to support and nurture DLLs. Read the full report to learn more about our findings and our recommendations to support Early Learning teachers working with DLL students.

Download the Full Report

Download the Report’s Executive Summary

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