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Assessing classroom quality for Latino dual language learners in Head Start: DLL-specific and general teacher-child interaction perspectives

Research Findings: The increase in young Latino Dual Language Learners (DLLs) attending early care and education (ECE) programs has led to a focus on assessing classroom quality for DLLs, to evaluate the quality and impact of their early educational experiences. Experts have advocated for the use of multiple classroom observation tools (i.e., DLL-specific and general quality) to comprehensively understand ECE contexts for young DLLs. This study used two classroom quality tools to examine 37 Head Start classrooms serving Spanish and English-speaking DLLs, from both a DLL-specific and general teacher-child interaction quality perspective. Children (N = 411) were assessed in the fall and spring on language, cognitive, and academic domains. Classroom observations were conducted in the winter to measure DLL-specific quality and general teacher-child interaction quality, respectively. Results revealed low to moderate correlations between the two observation measures. Additionally, findings from both tools demonstrated a range of associations with children’s outcomes, with the Supports for Home Language domain (measured by the DLL-specific tool) demonstrating the most consistent relationships with child outcomes across domains. Practice or Policy: Findings are discussed in the context of current ECE research to support young DLLs and provide additional evidence to describe the impact of early educational experiences on young Latino DLLs. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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