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Evidence-based Practices for Young English Language Learners

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  1. Evidence-based Practices for Young English Language Learners Language, Culture, and Practice Lillian Durán, Ph.D. Minnesota State University, Mankato lillian.duran@mnsu.edu

  2. Who am I? Worked for 9 years as an ECSE teacher • 4 years in a self-contained preschool classroom in P.G. County, MD • 5 years as an ECSE 0-3 Home visitor in rural, MN out of New Ulm and Mankato • Some small agricultural towns in MN such as Sleepy Eye and Faribault have school-age Latino populations ranging from 30-40%

  3. Who am I ? • An Assistant Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato in Elementary and Early Childhood Studies • My dissertation study compared the verbal interactions during dialogic reading during a Spanish and English condition with young Spanish-speaking children enrolled in Head Start home visiting in rural south central Minnesota

  4. Current Research • Helped to start a transitional bilingual education Head Start preschool program in Faribault, MN • This is a rural town where the Elementary school population is about 30% Latino • I will be collecting language, literacy, and concept development data for three years on the same cohort of children through Kindergarten

  5. Literacy groups

  6. Why am I here? • To provide evidence-based answers to many of the pressing questions about working with young English Language Learners in the field of ECSE and EC • (I wish I had this information when I was teaching!) and, • Because I care about the academic and social outcomes of this population of students. I am the first generation born in the U.S. on both sides of my family and I grew up speaking Spanish, German, and English in my home

  7. Only Rule for Today:Be open to new possibilities! • You may learn many new ideas today that cause you to question your current practice. That's okay! We are here to learn together.

  8. Why are you here? • Write three pressing questions you have about providing services for CLD populations. List the languages the children speak in your settings. Take a minute to share with a neighbor.

  9. Today's Schedule • Evidence-based practice • Bilingual development • Research on ELLs and academic outcomes • Intervention strategies • Working with culturally and linguistically diverse families

  10. What do I mean by “evidence-based” practice?

  11. “Evidence-based practice” • Clinical section of APA guidelines states that in order for an intervention to be “well established” – you need 2 experimental group studies by different researchers or 9 single subject studies by three different researchers (Odom et al., 2005) • Recent work out of Frank Porter Graham defines evidence-based practice as combining research evidence, with practitioner experience and knowledge, and family priorities and insights. • Buysse, V. (2006). Evidence-based practice: What does it really mean for the early childhood field? Young Exceptional Children, 4 (1), 2-

  12. Throughout this presentation we will be investigating a “convergence of evidence” (Stanovich, 2004) • We will use research investigating primarily typically developing children in the areas of dual language acquisition and bilingual education to better understand what is known and how it can apply to Early Childhood Special Education and General Education practice

  13. Key components of bilingualism Does being bilingual cause language delay?

  14. Definition of key terms Simultaneous: Two languages acquired from birth Sequential: No consensus in the field, ideas range from the introduction of the second language at the age of one month to 3 years. (deHouwer, 1990; Genesee, Paradis, Crago, 2004; MacLaughlin, 1984)

  15. Additive bilingualism: “Situations where both languages are supported and languages develop in parallel.” • Subtractive bilingualism: “Situations characterized by a gradual loss of the first language as a result of increasing mastery and use of the second language.” (Diaz & Klingler, 1999; Genesee, Paradis, & Crago, 2004)

  16. Research evidence provided by samples of young simultaneous bilinguals • Young (middle class) bilingual children who acquire two languages from birth reach linguistic milestones at the same age as their monolingual peers. We need to look at BOTH of their languages using Conceptual Scoring. (Bedore, Peña, Garcia, Cortez, 2005; Genesee, 2001; Holowka et al., 2002; Petitto, 2001) • Young bilinguals demonstrate interlocutor sensitivity indicating that they are aware of which language to use with different people (Maneva & Genesee, 2002; Petitto et al., 2001)

  17. An abundance of translation equivalents have been documented in young bilingual children demonstrating that young children recognize that they need different words for the same concept in different contexts. (Genesee, 2001; Holowka et al., 2002; Pearson, Fernández, & Oller, 1995; Petitto, 2001)

  18. An abundance of translation equivalents have been documented in young bilingual children demonstrating that young children recognize that they need different words for the same concept in different contexts. (Genesee, 2001; Holowka et al., 2002; Pearson, Fernández, & Oller, 1995; Petitto, 2001)

  19. Code-mixing that follows grammatical rules is not evidence of language confusion, but has been found to be directly proportional to the rate of language mixing in the child’s environment. e.g. “Spanglish” (Lanza, 1992; Petitto et al., 2001)

  20. Activity-Applying Bilingual Language Terms • Write an example of each of these terms thinking about bilingual children you have worked with. Describe how you can apply these concepts in the screening and evaluation of ELLs. 1. Interlocutor sensitivity 2. Translation equivalents 3. Code-switching

  21. First things first... Doesn’t every child need to learn English?

  22. Reframing the Question The Question is not whether or not all children in the United States need to learn English… Of course they do! The Question is how do we best teach young English language learners English, help them to maintain their native language, and produce the best long term academic outcomes?

  23. Research evidence to answer the question “English-only or native language support”? Based on a convergence of evidence it is recognized that supporting a child’s native language early on and specifically developing early literacy skills in a child’s native language better supports later academic outcomes in English (August & Shanahan, 2006; Christian, 1996; Cummins, 1979; Oller & Eilers, 2002; Espinosa, 2008; Rolstad, Mahoney, & Glass, 2005; Thomas & Collier, 2002; + many more)

  24. Diversity in Learners A child’s ability to learn any language is constrained by their cognitive level and/or level of language impairment. However, research (and practical evidence) has shown that humans can learn more than one language and that learning two languages is not inherently more difficult than learning one language.

  25. Practical Evidence • Over ½ of the world’s population is bilingual (deHouwer, 1995) • Many other countries have instituted and researched bilingual education including: Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Mexico and China (Krashen, 1999)

  26. Preschool studies50/50 dual immersion program • Rodríguez, Díaz, Duran and Espinosa (1995) and Winsler, Díaz, Espinosa and Rodríguez (1999) investigated the language development of Spanish-speaking preschoolers from low-income families in CA. • They compared a group of students attending a high quality 50/50 bilingual preschool classroom with a control group who stayed home with Spanish-speaking care providers.

  27. Preschool studies50/50 dual immersion program Rodríguez et al. (1995) and Winsler et al. (1999) found that Spanish language development was similar in the two groups, but that the group that attended the bilingual preschool had the advantage of significant English language development.

  28. Carpentería Preschool StudySpanish One-Way Immersion(Campos, 1991) • Spanish-speaking children who attended English-focused community preschool programs • English-speaking children who attended Head Start and • English-speaking children who were primarily middle class • Spanish-speaking children in the Carpentería Spanish Immersion program.

  29. Carpentería Preschool Study Spanish One-Way immersion Children were followed from Kindergarten to Junior High school and three sources of data were analyzed to quantify progress and achievement • school report cards, • school competency assessment data including referrals to special education, attendance, grade retention and suspensions, and • standardized assessment data.

  30. Carpentería preschool study Findings • English-only middle class group outperformed all other groups significantly • Carpentería Spanish-only preschool students compared to the other two groups showed significantly higher scores on achievement tests at Kindergarten entrance than both the English-speaking children who attended the Head Start programs or the Spanish-speaking preschoolers who attended English-focused community programs.

  31. In fifth grade on the District Proficiency Test, 80% of the Carpentería Preschool group passed compared to 30% of the Spanish-speaking comparison preschool group who attended other English-focused community preschool programs (Campos, 1995).

  32. Two-Way and Monolingual English Immersion in Preschool Education: An Experimental Comparison(Barnett et al., 2005)National Institute for Early Education ResearchRutgers, The State University of New Jersey • First truly large scale experimental design I’ve found in early childhood education comparing two-way and English-only on the language, literacy, and mathematics outcomes in Kindergarten for SS children • General Finding “It is clear that the TWI preschool program supported stronger Spanish language gains at no expense to English language development in both native English and native Spanish speakers” • “TWI demonstrates the ability to improve the education of ELL children”

  33. Durán, Roseth, & HoffmanManuscript submitted to ECRQ • 32 Spanish-speaking preschoolers (ages 38 – 48 months) were randomly assigned to the EO and TBE classrooms in a Head Start program in Faribault • 3-year longitudinal design-data will be collected through Kindergarten • Except for the language of instruction, all instructional objectives and materials were kept consistent between the two programs.

  34. Research Groups • Treatment – Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), all classroom instruction, communication, and materials were presented in Spanish during the first year of the two year program. During the second year of the study English will gradually be introduced in the TBE classroom to reach a distribution of 30/70 between English and Spanish • Control- English-only (EO) instruction for two years, however during the second year some Spanish-language materials will be embedded in the classroom

  35. Research Design A repeated measures experimental-control design was used to test the hypothesis that Spanish language instruction enhances the language and literacy development of Spanish-speaking preschoolers without significant cost to English development.

  36. Results • All five variables showed a significant positive linear trend, supporting the prediction that average scores would increase with time. • Results revealed significant classroom interactions for three of the four Spanish language assessments: WMLS-R Picture, WMLS-R Letter, and IGDI Picture Naming. For these measures, the interaction term, was negative, indicating higher scores for TBE. • There were no significant interactions for any English language assessments.

  37. Research ResultsRed line English classroom Blue dotted line Spanish classroom

  38. Research ResultsRed line English classroom Blue dotted line Spanish classroom

  39. Research ResultsRed line English classroom Blue dotted line Spanish classroom

  40. Research ResultsRed line English classroom Blue dotted line Spanish classroom

  41. Other reasons to support a child’s native language In early childhood a child’s native language is still in the process of development. In ECSE and in general EC we are often working on basic communication in the family context and it only makes sense to provide support in the language the child will need in their natural setting.

  42. Other reasons to support a child’s native language The child will be surrounded with English speakers and will quickly recognize English as the language with higher status and power in this society. The greatest likelihood is actually that immigrant children will discontinue using their native language (Portes & Hao, 1998).

  43. Language Rights as Civil Rights • Lau v. Nichols (1974) “recognized language rights as civil rights and the relationship of equal educational opportunities to the language of education” • Dyrcia S. et al. v. Board of Education of N.Y. (1979) judgment issued calling for the provision of appropriate bilingual programs for all children with both high and low incidence disabilities. • Ray M. v. NYC Board of Education (1994) ELL Pre-K children referred for ECSE were found to be denied timely special education evaluations in the appropriate language and were being placed inappropriately in the most restrictive classrooms. This case was successful in creating new inclusive environments for ELL children in ECSE and for having these students tested in their native language

  44. Other reasons to support a child’s native language Given the global economy and increasing diversity in our country there is actually a great demand for fully proficient bilinguals. Why should we not support this capacity in native speakers? (Portes & Hao, 1998; Valdes, 1997)

  45. Social-Emotional Study (Chang et al, 2007)Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute • Study examined the social and language development of 345 Spanish-speaking pre-kindergarteners in programs that varied in how much Spanish was used during the day. • Researchers found better social skills and closer teacher-child relationships in classrooms where some Spanish was spoken. • Robert Pianta has found that the relationship between the children and the teacher as measured by the CLASS is the strongest predictor of improved academic outcomes, especially for children living in poverty

  46. Other reasons to support a child’s native language The child must be able to communicate with his/her family and community so that he/she does not become socially isolated. Maintaining strong native language skills will allow parents to communicate affection, discipline and teach cultural values (Wong-Fillmore, 1991).

  47. Cautious applications to EC and ECSE given the current state of the research Based on a convergence of evidence, in EC/ECSE we should move toward bilingual practice versus an English-only approach with young ELLs • Research on young simultaneous bilinguals indicates that being bilingual does not inherently cause language delay, • There is evidence that supports bilingual preschool practice, and • There is significant evidence that suggests that supporting native language development early on enhances long term academic outcomes in English

  48. If an ELL child is in my classroom or on my caseload what language should I use for intervention? If I speak only English how can I support native language development?

  49. Whole Group video • Colors

  50. Language of Intervention • Take a minute to answer this question. How do you currently decide what language to use for intervention? • List all of the bilingual resources that you have for intervention including materials and personnel. • Share with a partner. Keep this in mind for the next section.