How Head Start Supports Dual Language Learners

posted 10/20/21 -- Several LCCAA Head Start students are considered Dual Language Learners - children who are learning English while also developing their home language. One in four children under the age of six lives in a home where a parent speaks a language other than English, estimates show.

All day long LCCAA Head Start teachers strive to build language and vocabulary for all students, with some techniques used primarily for Dual Language Learners.

Visuals- Pictures help all students navigate the classroom. They may show where materials go or help the children with multi-step directions, such as how to wash hands properly.

Cultural items from home- Books, menus, empty food boxes, photos and more can be used as conversation starters that will help children feel included as they learn new vocabulary words.

Labels- Items and pictures are labeled using all of the languages represented in the classroom. This will help the teachers to use words in a child’s home language and also allows the student to see his or her home language in print.

LCCAA offers bilingual classrooms at both Hopkins-Locke and Griswold, with Spanish-speaking teachers and family service workers. Additionally, to better serve our families, newsletters and other documents are being translated into Spanish.

“We want all students and their families to feel part of our Head Start family, so we will continue to find ways to improve processes and accommodate them,” said Jennifer Bartlebaugh, Education and Disabilities Specialist.