Literacy activities for preschool students are a wonderful way for teachers to create more open classrooms and help their dual language learners grow! Dr. Mary Renck Jalongo’s book, Literacy for All Young Learners, is one of many literacy resources for teachers who want to know more about language development in early children.
In her book, Jalongo shares a few ways teachers can make learning English easier for their DLL students. Many students face difficulties in the classroom because of misconceptions teachers have about dual language learners. For example: not all DLL students are from urban settings, young children cannot simply “pick up” a language, the language the student speaks at home is “not an impediment to acquiring English,” and learning a language is not limited to one specific area of the brain. Recognizing and addressing the challenges DLL students face, is key in making learning English easier.
Overall, it is important to remember, “most of the time, the amount and kind of support offered to DLLs are entirely up to the teacher.” Keeping this in mind, teachers must realize that they play an important role in helping DLLs become proficient in English before they can effectively foster language development in their students. If teachers are patient and understanding with their DLL students and use a variety of teaching strategies to get in touch with their English language learners, then they will help their students eventually “become valued members of the classroom community.”