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No Limits to Literacy for Preschool English Learners
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No Limits to Literacy for Preschool English Learners

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January 2009 | 264 pages | Corwin
'This book offers a foundation in language and literacy that greatly benefits dual language learners.'ùPamela S. Allen, Lead Teacher/Gifted FacilitatorBallantyne Elementary School, Charlotte, NCProduce strong language and literacy outcomes for the youngest English learners!Research and practice have established that early oral language and literacy skills development can predict later academic success. But how do young children whose first language is not English become proficient learners, and which classroom strategies have the most impact on literacy learning? This valuable resource helps teachers understand how English learners (ELs) ages 3 to 5 acquire the foundations for literacy and offers practical, research-based strategies for teaching language and literacy skills. Theresa A. Roberts, an expert literacy practitioner and researcher for preschool ELs, offers strategies that have been field-tested and proven effective by more than 1,000 early childhood educators. One of the few literacy resources available that focuses exclusively on preschool ELs, this book helps teachers of young children: Understand the essential elements for building early literacy skills, including teaching the alphabetic principle, phonological awareness, and vocabularyEncourage family involvement and nurture the home-school allianceBuild on children's primary languageStrengthen preschool programs serving young ELs No Limits to Literacy for Preschool English Learners shows teachers how to lead children to high levels of literacy competence, engagement, and enjoyment!
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
1. Resources English Language Learners Bring to Literacy Learning
The Language and Literacy Wellspring

 
The Emotional Wellspring

 
The Motivational Wellspring

 
The Family Wellspring

 
The Cultural Wellspring

 
Conclusion

 
 
2. Building On and Scaffolding With Primary Language
Why Support Children's Primary Language?

 
Primary Language and Literacy Achievement

 
Adding Some Magic: Metacognitive Benefits

 
Beyond the Words: Social-Emotional Aspects of Primary Language

 
What Happens to the Primary Language When Children Enter Preschool?

 
Using Primary Language for Social Communication and Social-Emotional Purposes

 
Benefits of Using Primary Language for Literacy Learning

 
Primary Language Resources

 
Practices for Supporting Primary Language at Home

 
Different Primary Language Programs

 
Spending "Time on Task" in English

 
Patience in Achieving Bilingualism

 
Conclusion

 
 
3. Oral Language Development in a Second Language
Second Language Learning in Naturalistic Settings

 
Second Language Learning in Preschool Settings

 
Examining the Silent or Receptive Stage in Second Language Acquisition

 
Learning About Language Acquisition From Caregivers

 
Cultural Variations in Caregiver Speech and a Challenge for Educators

 
Language for Basic Communication and Academic Learning

 
How Children Learn the Meaning of Words

 
Learning Words From Instruction

 
The Relationship Between Oral Language and Second Language Literacy

 
Classroom Contexts for Language Development

 
The Wonder and Limits of Storybook Reading

 
Conversations With Children

 
Language Development During Center Time

 
Talking-Up Routines and Transitions

 
Mealtime Opportunities for Talking

 
Language and Literacy Enhanced Play

 
Teacher Oral Language: An Elephant in the Room

 
Home Influences on Second Language Learning

 
Conclusion

 
 
4. Befriending the Alphabet: Why and How
Can Children With Limited Knowledge of English Learn the English Alphabet?

 
Why Explicit Instruction Is Beneficial

 
Going Deeper Into the Alphabet

 
Should Letter Names or Letter Sounds be Taught First?

 
How Should the Uppercase and Lowercase Letters be Taught?

 
Learning Personal Names

 
Making the Connection Between Letters and Meaningful Printed Words

 
Writing Helps Children Learn the Alphabet

 
Teaching the Alphabet in a Language Other Than English

 
How Much Letter Instruction Is Needed?

 
Conclusion

 
 
5. Sounds in Words: Phonological Awareness
What is Phonological Awareness?

 
Words: The Foundation of Phonological Awareness

 
Unnatural Aspects of Phonological Awareness

 
Preschool Phonological Awareness and Later Reading

 
Can Preschool Children Learn Phonological Awareness?

 
Connections Between L1 and L2 Phonological Awareness

 
Learning Phonological Awareness in a Second Language

 
The Joined Hands of Vocabulary and the Alphabet

 
Does Second Language Pronunciation Matter?

 
How Much Phonological Awareness Do Preschool English Learners Need?

 
What's Up With Rhyming?

 
Making Sounds Stand Still and Be Concrete

 
The Language Used in Phonological Awareness Instruction

 
Conclusion

 
 
6. Curriculum, Instruction, and Literacy Activity
Essential Elements of an Effective Curriculum

 
An Articulated Curriculum

 
Matching Goals With Teaching Strategies/Activities

 
The Language of Instruction

 
Building Relationships While Fostering Literacy

 
Teachers' Support and Instructional Roles

 
The Value of Small Groups and One-one-One Teaching

 
Increasing Opportunities for Teachers' Support Role

 
The Language of Relationship Building

 
The Benefits of Explicit Instruction

 
High-Quality Teaching and Learning

 
Child Choice and Literacy Instruction

 
Using Assessment to Benefit Children

 
Teachers: The Critical Ingredient

 
Program and Instruction Evaluations

 
Challenges for Moving Forward

 
Conclusion

 
 
7. Engaging Family Caregivers
Create an Alliance

 
Focus on Language and Literacy

 
Thinking Processes and Positive Relationships Working Together

 
Home Emotional Support for Literacy

 
Home Cognitive Support for Literacy

 
Family Responsive and Family Tailored Approaches

 
Teacher Influences on Family Engagement

 
Family Caregivers and Children Reading Together

 
Family Caregivers and Children Playfully Solving Problems Together

 
Engaging Family Caregivers in the Classroom

 
One Model for Engaging Families

 
High-Quality Family Engagement Practices

 
Conclusion

 
 
8. Motivation for Literacy
Characteristics of Motivated Children

 
Are All Preschool Children Highly Motivated for Literacy?

 
Linkages Between Preschool Motivation and Later Reading

 
The Need for Competence and Mastery-Inside Every Child

 
Effectance Motivation Theory Moves Forward

 
The Motivational Link Between Thinking and Emotion

 
Mastery and Performance Orientations

 
Three Motivational Needs (Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness)

 
The Compatibility of Autonomy and Structure

 
The Special Worry of Failure

 
Does Explicit Instruction Undermine Motivation?

 
Culture, Language and Motivation for Literacy

 
The Language of Motivation

 
Home Influences on Language and Literacy Motivation

 
Conclusion

 
 
References
 
Index

"A well-organized text offering theory and application related to second language instruction. This is a useful tool for any educator to have in his or her resource library."

Susan B. Neuman, Professor
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

“This book offers a foundation in language and literacy that greatly benefits dual language learners."

Pamela S. Allen, Lead Teacher/Gifted Facilitator
Ballantyne Elementary School, Charlotte, NC

"This welcome and much needed resource for early education professionals is solidly based on the research on early literacy and language development and on Roberts’ extensive and thoughtful experience in effective instructional applications for English learners. The book is written with the clarity to inspire confidence in teachers to translate research evidence and theory into effective and engaging learning activities."

Patricia Vadasy, Senior Researcher
Washington Research Institute

"A powerful contribution to the field of early literacy. Highlighting the quality of the language model as one of the most important resources for language development, Roberts weaves a rich tapestry of research and practical application and helps us understand what this means for embracing our work with ELLs."

Molly F. Collins, Assistant Professor
Erikson Institute

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