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Innovating for Inclusion Newsletter

Dual Language Learners II

We should strive to make our classroom spaces that foster a sense of belonging and community for all children, including Dual Language Learners (DLLs). The last newsletter explored creating a welcoming environment for DLLs and their families, with a special emphasis on supporting children who are DLLs with disabilities. This month’s newsletter focuses on the importance of relationship-building with DLLs. 

Relationship Building with DLLs

This article from Colorín Colorado outlines how educators can build authentic relationships with DLLs, as well as how they can connect childrens' experiences to meaningful instruction. Some strategies include: getting to know childrens’ interests, welcoming childrens’ languages and cultures, and welcoming childrens’ celebrations and family traditions. Each strategy is accompanied with ideas for implementation as well as helpful resources.  

Consider having your students answer the following: In what ways can I build strong relationships with multilingual children in a virtual, hybrid, or face-to-face setting this year?

Building Partnerships with DLL Families

Getting to know DLL families is critical in building strong partnerships and setting up DLL children for success. This article explores how to build effective partnerships with DLL families through communication, parent leadership, and culturally responsive outreach. Establishing trust and rapport with families can go a long way in further strengthening relationships with children.   

Consider posing the following questions to your students: What do you know about your DLL children and families? What do you want to learn? How will this knowledge better help you support your DLL children?

Forming Connections with Peers

Forming connections with classmates is a significant part of feeling welcome in the classroom. This article from NAEYC details how a preschool teacher helped a dual language learner form meaningful connections with his peers. The preschool teacher helped him create a digital story that would allow him to share details about his home life with other children. The digital story helped the child integrate into the classroom community by increasing communication with other children about shared interests.

Relevant NAEYC Standards

This newsletter covered DLL concepts which has relevance to the following NAEYC standards:
  • Standard 1 (Relationships): The program promotes positive relationships among all children and adults. It encourages each child’s sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community. 
  • Standard 3 (Teaching): The program uses developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the curriculum goals.
  • Standard 7 (Families): The program establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with each child’s family to foster children’s development in all settings.

DEC Recommended Practices

The DEC Recommended Practices includes a domain on instruction, assessment, and family.

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