This qualitative study was exploratory in nature. The goals were to examine: (a) if and how bilingual early care and education (ECE) teachers perceived their personal second- language learning experiences to have informed their practices in the classroom, and (b) to explore the teachers' experiences working in classrooms with children who spoke multiple home languages. The following research questions were addressed: (1) What are bilingual ECE teachers' teaching practices with children who are dual language learners (DLL)? (2) In what ways do bilingual ECE teachers' second language learning experiences influence their teaching practices with DLL children? The nine female ECE teachers participating in this study were bi- or multilingual, had completed a college-level degree, and had at least 3 years of experience working in ECE. Data sources included a Participant Demographic Questionnaire, two observations, an interview, a reflection activity, and follow-up letters. Results identified the use of several best practices for working with DLLs, and classroom practice was found to be empathetic, inclusive, and encouraging of children to maintain their home language. Overarching findings showed the importance teachers placed on providing a seamless experience for DLL children, the need for additional training specific to teaching DLL children, and the importance of preparing DLL children for future success. Research, practice, and policy implications are: (a) draw on bilingual teachers and their personal experiences and practical knowledge, (b) implement policy changes at the state level that would create a new certification, and (c) address the content of higher education degrees and ECE training.
|Commitee:||Donahue, David, Shimpi, Priya|
|Department:||Education - Educational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Bilingual education, Educational leadership, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Bilingual teacher, Classroom practice, Dual language learner, Early care and education, Personal experience|
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