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A Brief Thought on Linguistic Competency in the Early Childhood Setting

In several years working with children aged 0-72 months, just recently has there been an experience in which English was the only language spoken.  The fact that one-third of all Head Start children are either simultaneous or sequential multi-language sponges (Heroman, Burts, Berke, & Bickart, 2010), has called for the implementation of tools such as Dual Language Learners Program Assessment (DLLPA) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, N. D.).  This diversity compliance review was utilized in cooperation with the Teaching Strategies GOLD Home Language Survey (Teaching Strategies, 2015) within our Head Start Community. By evaluating our program overall and zeroing in on the unique individualized needs of clients, we were able to establish and maintain appropriate supports for families with bilingual opportunities for their children.  While there are some characteristics of DLL's that can be perceived as disadvantages (Gonzalez-Mena, Eyer, 2015), research is clamoring for the inclusion of linguistically diverse classrooms due to the benefits they provide for all participants (Heroman, Burts, Berke, & Bickart).  The ways in which parents are empowered to accept their role in linguistic education are similar to family-caregiver relationship strategies implemented for the development of what Gonzalez-Mena and Eyer refer to as the teacher-family partnership.  This highest form of attachment figure bond is not only necessary for DLL students but those of all varied abilities in each learning domain (Heroman, Burts, Berke, & Bickart). 

Obstacles blocking the pathway to school-readiness in regard to developmental challenges are solved through parent/family partnership and education (Gonzalez-Mena & Eyer 2015).  In each of the classroom experiences of which I have been gifted with the opportunity to participate, every family has contributed significantly to personal, classroom and program growth.  By taking a cue from Conscious Discipline, our teams were able to see children and families "differently in order for them to behave differently" (Bailey, 2015, p. 254)

References Bailey, B. A. (2015). Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms. Oviedo, Fl: Loving Guidance Inc.  

Gonzalez-Mena, J. & Eyer, D. W. (2015). Infants, Toddlers, and Caregivers. A Curriculum of Respectful, Responsive, Relationship-Based Care and Education. (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishing

Heroman, C. Burts, D. C. Burke, Kai-lee,  & Bickart, T. S. (2010).  The Creative Curriculum for Preschool: Objectives for Development and Learning. Birth Through Kindergarten. Bethesda, MD: Teaching Strategies.

Teaching Strategies. (2015). Home Language Survey. Retrieved from https://teachingstrategies.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Home-Language-Survey/pdf. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n. d.). Strategies for Supporting All Dual Language Learners. Retrieved from https://ecilc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/dll-strategies.pdf

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