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Connecting Right from the Start
Fostering Effective Communication with Dual Language Learners

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Connecting Right from the Start
Fostering Effective Communication with Dual Language Learners



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Connecting with dual language learners (DLLs) is a growing reality among early childhood educators, who need to learn practical, proven strategies to reach these students. Grounded in research and strengthened by the author’s personal experience as a student learning English, Connecting Right from the Start helps teachers understand the culturally and linguistically diverse children in their classroom, as well as those with disabilities.

Some of the skills teachers will learn:

  • Ways to make DLLs feel more comfortable in the classroom
  • The stages of second-language acquisition
  • Ways to challenge DLLs without overwhelming them
  • Ways to involve families in school activities
Jennifer J. Chen, EdD

Jennifer J. Chen, EdD, brings her personal insight into the challenges that diverse students face in the classroom: When she immigrated to the United States from China as a teenager,...

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Connecting Right from the Start has won the Academic's Choice Smart Book Award .

“Dr. Chen's book on Fostering Effective Communication with Dual Language learners provides educators with ideas, insight, and practical tools that are useful in promoting positive learning environments for students of all intelligence and various backgrounds. This book provides an overview of the different stages in which students learn second language .It also discusses the research behind the strategies which promote differentiated learning in the class. In addition, this book highlights issues that many educators and students face today in diverse classrooms. It provides readers with ways to work with DLLs and not make them feel overwhelmed. This book is a great addition to my professional library. . Whether you're a new educator or have been in the field for years, this book will provide you with insight and ideas on enhancing teaching skills that will benefit today's classrooms.I highly recommend this book.”

Angela C.
3rd Grade Teacher, New Jersey

“The book is very informative! I liked that it is written in a style that is clear, concise and helps teachers. It will be a very valuable tool for those teaching DLLs in their classrooms. I like the aspect that Dr. Chen reiterates over and over the methods, content, examples, theories that are necessary for those who will enhance the lessons for all their dual language learners! Congratulations on a great book!”

Colleen Lazar
Teacher, preschool, inclusion, DLLs

“The contents are very brief and well organized. The author provides a brief definition of diversity which is matching the dual language setting. And related researchers and theories are introduced to support the author's opinions in order. Theories the author selected are likely to find an echo with me. Take the sequential second-language acquisition theory developed by Patton Tabors as an example. It describes how dual language learners perform at each learning stage. It seems it is talking about students at my Cantonese as second language class. Abundant examples in real classroom are provided, which are very helpful in interpreting terms and strategies. And examples also enable readers to have a vision of efficient communication with dual language learners and to improve their own teaching situation. The last but not the least, it also makes me think and associate with my own circumstance as a bilingual-family parent. It enriches my understanding of challenges my child will face when she enters English school system. At the same time, this book also provide advices and strategies to support dual language speakers. As a parent, I can use what I have learned from this book to assist my child at home and cooperate with school teacher. In conclusion, it is not only a helpful textbook for educators/future educators who are working with dual language students, but also a guidance for bilingual parents.”

Xiaoting Liang

“I found Dr. Chen's book on Dual language learners engaging and supportive of educators who face the large responsibility of motivating students effectively through respect and understanding of each child's diverse background and communication abilities. Dr. Chen's book is a great guide to expanding teachers' knowledge of the "how's" of acquiring a second language through the acceptance first of the home language. The chapters dedicated to the theories behind cognitive and language development are to me of particular importance as they connect what the experts suggest with the appropriate intentional teaching needed in the classrooms. This is a book every early childhood teacher should have in their classroom.”

Josephine Ahmadein
Infant Program Team Coordinator at Mercks Rahway Child Care Center

“Dr. Chen does a fantastic job in that she engages the reader with her clear and accurate language and theory while at the same time offers information that will build on any teachers prior knowledge of communication. In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the adaptation of Howard Gardner's theory. She even offers ample teaching strategies that underline her ideas of communicating with Dual Language Learners.”

Academic's Choice Awards

“"Connecting Right from the Start: Fostering Effective Communication with Dual Language Learners" by Dr. Jennifer Chen addresses a common problem in many classrooms today: communication. Particularly in the younger years, children need to communicate their feelings, or they can become isolated, scared and overwhelmed in the classroom. Our country has become so beautifully diverse, but many teachers have not been given the tools to interact with children that do not speak their native language. This book is readily available to educators and offers precise advice to deal with communication issues in the classroom.”

Academic's Choice Awards

“This is a great read. I highly recommend this book if you are teaching in an ethnically diverse classroom or are just curious about how you can sharpen your communication skills with young Dual Language Learners.”

Academic's Choice Awards