New Report Looks Into Educational Needs of Dual Language Learner PreschoolersDecember 17, 2012
| A First 5 LA-funded report has identified ways by which preschool teachers can better meet the unique educational needs of a growing population of preschoolers learning two or more languages.
The Dual Language Learner Teacher Competencies (DLLTC) Report identifies the teacher competencies early educators need in order to more effectively help preschoolers learning two or more languages receive the quality education that best prepares them for kindergarten and beyond.
Quality early childhood education is a primary objective of First 5 LA. The organization has invested millions of dollars into Los Angeles County, making it possible for thousands of 4 year olds to receive a high-quality preschool education at little or no charge each year.
The DLLTC report was developed by the nonprofit organization Alliance for a Better Community (ABC), along with some of the nation's experts in early education and dual language learning, and spells out key socio-emotional, language and literacy teaching aspects needed for effective dual language learner instruction. It is in direct response to the large population of dual language learners which, according to the California Department of Education, accounted for 1.4 million such students in the 2010-11 school year.
Preschool teachers, whether monolingual, bilingual, monocultural and/or bicultural, can use the information in the DLLTC report to determine the ideal skills and knowledge needed to work successfully with their dual language students in the classroom.
Other portions of the report include information on necessary dispositions for teachers working with young dual language learners, and a policy brief outlining recommendations that aim to advance professional development opportunities.
"The task of educating the young dual language learner student population, and ensuring its success, is critical to California's future, but one that can only be achieved through proper teacher training and instruction and supportive policies," said ABC's Policy Director Ofelia Medina. "This report aims to encourage culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate practices to ensure that dual language learners are supported from the very start of their academic career, which begins in preschool."
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