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Talking the talk: Translating research to practice

Decades of research have identified features of classrooms and teachers' talk that are associated with children's language growth. Unfortunately, much of this work has not yet translated to widespread practice in early childhood classrooms. Given the important contributions that early language development makes to later academic achievement, enacting the findings of research is of paramount importance. Here, we review current research, identifying factors that support early language development and practices, settings, and materials in early childhood classrooms that are associated with language development. We present findings from our studies and those of others that indicate the pitfalls and promises of past and current instructional practices. Finally, we pose a call to action for researchers and practitioners to improve the quality of children's language experiences in early childhood classrooms. (author abstract)
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