Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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.

  1. The education of English learners is enhanced when preschool programs and families form meaningful partnerships.
  2. Children benefit when their teachers understand cultural differences in language use and incorporate those differences into the daily routine.
  3. Successful teaching practices promote shared experiences in which language is used as a meaningful tool to communicate interests, ideas, and emotions.
  4. Language development and learning are promoted when preschool teachers and children creatively and interactively use language.
  5. Experimenting with the use, form, purpose, and intent of the first and second languages leads to growth in acquiring the second language.
  6. Continued use and development of the child’s home language will benefit the child as he or she acquires English.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Engaging in multiple literacy practices, such as reading books, singing songs, and reciting poetry, is part of the daily life of many families.
  10. 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.
Questions:   Early Education Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Friday, February 17, 2023
Recently Posted in Early Education
  • Early Identification Legislative Report (added 24-Apr-2024)
    Report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Legislature, and the Department of Finance on the Proposed Tools and Process for the Early Identification of Developmental Delays and Learning Disabilities
  • UPK Mixed Delivery Workgroup Agenda January 2024 (added 11-Apr-2024)
    Agenda for the January 11, 2024, meeting of the Universal PreKindergarten Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup.
  • UPK Mixed Delivery Workgroup Agenda February 2024 (added 11-Apr-2024)
    Agenda for the February 2, 2024, meeting of the Universal PreKindergarten Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup.
  • UPK Mixed Delivery Workgroup Agenda April 2024 (added 11-Apr-2024)
    Agenda for the April 22, 2024, meeting of the Universal PreKindergarten Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup.
  • Child Care Annual Aggregate Report SFY 2019-20 (added 26-Mar-2024)
    This page displays a comprehensive breakdown of children served by various subsidized child care and development programs during SFY 2019-20, including program types, counts, and key definitions, highlighting the total impact on community support.

  • CAPSDAC Support (added 26-Mar-2024)
    Technical support for the California Preschool Data Collection (CAPSDAC).