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High-quality early education: Age of entry and time in care differences in student outcomes for English-only and dual language learners
Yazejian, Noreen, Q3 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32(3), 23-39

Research on early education and care (EEC) dosage, defined as the amount or timing of either current or cumulative participation in EEC programming, generally suggests that more time in high-quality EEC programs is beneficial for children's developmental outcomes. Many of the studies on time in high quality EEC programs are with black and white children and less is known about the effects of dosage with dual language learner (DLL) children. This study used data from an implementation evaluation of Educare -- a high-quality early education program serving children from birth to 5 -- to examine the extent to which age of entry and time in care relate to language and social-emotional skills for DLL and English-only (EO) children from low-income families. Participants were 5037 children who were enrolled in one of 12 Educare schools as infants, toddlers, or preschoolers between 2003 and 2013 and were followed for their duration in Educare. Longitudinal assessments of children's receptive language and social-emotional skills were analyzed with hierarchical linear modeling, controlling for demographic characteristics and classroom quality. Both age of entry and duration were positively associated with receptive language outcomes, with stronger effect sizes for DLL than EO children. DLL children who entered early consistently scored well across the assessment ages, and late enterers made significant gains during their 1 or 2 years of EEC but lagged considerably behind early entering DLL children when they left for kindergarten. Spanish-speaking DLLs did not lose their proficiency in Spanish as they learned English. Teacher ratings of children's social-emotional skills were lower if children entered at a younger age, but still within normal ranges, and the ratings improved with longer attendance. Results suggest that renewed focus is needed on ensuring that children at-risk for poor school outcomes have access to high-quality EEC early in life and for sustained periods of time to reduce later achievement gaps. (author abstract)

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Instruction in Spanish in pre-kindergarten classrooms and child outcomes for English language learners
Burchinal, Margaret, Q2 2012
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(2), 188-197

An examination of the relationship between the language, reading, and math skills of English language learners and both the proportion of instruction in Spanish and observed quality of teacher-child interactions, based on data from 357 Spanish-speaking 4-year-old children who attended state-funded pre-kindergarten programs in 11 states

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Observations of teacher-child interactions in classrooms serving Latinos and dual language learners: Applicability of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System in diverse settings
Downer, Jason T., Q1 2012
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(1), 21-32

A test of the validity of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) for the prediction of academic outcomes and the measurement of social interactions in classrooms with varying compositions of English only and dual language learners, based on a secondary analysis of data collected in 721 prekindergarten classrooms in 11 states

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Spanish-speaking children's social and language development in pre-kindergarten classrooms
Chang, Florence, 2007
Early Education and Development, 18(2), 243-269

A discussion of the Spanish and English language interactions that Spanish-speaking children experience in the pre-K classroom in relation to their social and cognitive outcomes, based on data from 345 Spanish-speaking students in pre-K programs

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State early learning and development standards/guidelines, policies & related practices: How responsive are they to the needs of young dual language learners?
Espinosa, Linda M., October, 2015
Boston: Build Initiative.

The purpose of this report and accompanying state ELDS analysis is to review a subset of states' ELDS standards for pre-k-aged children (three to five years of age) to identify the most common approaches to meeting the needs of young DLLs, to determine the extent to which these standards reflect the current scientific research on the development and learning of preschool-aged DLLs, and the extent to which states provide adequate guidance for supporting early childhood programs and professionals in implementing effective programs for young DLLs. As a group, DLLs and ELLs have shown an achievement gap beginning during the preschool years that continues into kindergarten and throughout their schooling. This group of students has struggled to become fully proficient in English, lagged behind their peers on all measures of school achievement, and had school drop out rates almost double those of their native English speakers. In addition, we offer recommendations for strengthening states' ELDS to reflect current research and to fully support the learning needs of DLLs across multiple domains of development. Whenever possible, we provide exemplary standards from states' existing ELDS or accompanying documents that fully articulate a vision with consistent expectations and recommendations for practice. This is provided in order to assist states to further enhance their ELDS for DLLs and to facilitate cross-state collaboration. (author abstract)

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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