Ten Principles for Preschool English Learners
The ten principles that appear below are included in the publication, Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning (California Department of Education, 2007). Taken together, the ten principles foster an environment that respects and values linguistic and cultural diversity toward the eventual mastery of English.
- The education of English learners is enhanced when preschool programs and families form meaningful partnerships.
- Children benefit when their teachers understand cultural differences in language use and incorporate those differences into the daily routine.
- Successful teaching practices promote shared experiences in which language is used as a meaningful tool to communicate interests, ideas, and emotions.
- Language development and learning are promoted when preschool teachers and children creatively and interactively use language.
- Experimenting with the use, form, purpose, and intent of the first and second languages leads to growth in acquiring the second language.
- Continued use and development of the child’s home language will benefit the child as he or she acquires English.
- Code switching (the practice of using more than one language to express a thought or idea) is a normal part of language development for many bilingual children.
- Coordination and collaboration among families, teachers, and specialists become crucial in supporting the language and literacy development of children with disabilities and other special needs.
- Engaging in multiple literacy practices, such as reading books, singing songs, and reciting poetry, is part of the daily life of many families.
- Offering a variety of opportunities for children to explore written materials and their meanings as well as the sounds of spoken language through rhyme and alliteration builds the language and literacy skills of preschool English learners.