There are a number of things directors can do to prepare to support DLLs and their families. Be sure to gather as much information about the child and share it with staff prior to the child’s first day so that everyone is ready to meet the child’s needs on day one.
- Create a written policy describing the specific steps the program will take to support DLLs. Work with staff and other resources in the community to ensure that the policy aligns with best practices.
- Budget for toys, materials, and books that represent cultural diversity.
- During enrollment, find out what language is primarily spoken at home. Share the program’s policy for supporting DLLs and talk with families about what they can do to support your efforts when the child is at home.
- Find out which English words or phrases the child knows and create a plan to use them in daily interactions.
- Ask families to share key words and phrases that they use at home – especially words related to self-care and soothing. Families can also share their child’s favorite songs, poems, and books.
- Invite families to spend some time either meeting with teachers or visiting in the classroom to share language experiences together.
- As much as possible, and especially during important meetings, communicate with families in their home language. Reach out to community resources to discover the availability of translators or translation services.
- Encourage staff to share resources and knowledge with one another. Staff should be encouraged to seek one another out for answers to questions they may have about supporting children in their classrooms.
- Encourage staff to take advantage of different language learning apps and resources, such as Google Translate, Duolingo, or Busuu.com.
- If several staff need support, schedule a professional development session.
- If working with DLLs is something your program does well, consider highlighting that in your marketing materials and efforts.
For the main article, Supporting Dual Language Learners in Early Learning Environments, CLICK HERE
For the article, General Strategies for Supporting Dual Language Learners, CLICK HERE
For the article, Supporting Dual Language Learners During Daily Routines, CLICK HERE
For the article, Supporting Dual Language Learners Through Curriculum Planning, CLICK HERE