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Language and literacy instruction in preschool classes that serve Latino dual language learners

The present investigation builds off prior empirical work to describe the quality of the language and literacy instruction Latino dual language learning (DLL) children receive in Head Start. Specifically, we measured the frequency and duration of language and literacy lessons in classes that enrolled large numbers of Latino DLLs. We also investigated children's opportunities to participate in high-quality language and literacy experiences as a part of their everyday instructional experience. In total we observed 398 lessons in 20 classes. Results revealed (a) that the frequency and duration of instruction was variable, with some children enrolled in classes that implemented language- and literacy-based lessons for 23 min (10%) of the 4-h day and others in classes that fit in up to 82 min (34%) of instruction per day; (b) when language and literacy instruction occurred in these classes, it was most frequently delivered in a whole group and featured an instructional style that was characterized by the teacher directing the children to answer basic questions with a one- or two-word response; and (c) that high-quality instruction, which we operationalized as instruction that promoted language development, was predicted by characteristic features of the lessons--not features of the classroom. These results provide information that is useful to inform the design of policy- and practice-based interventions that might improve the characteristics of the language and literacy environments that serve Latino DLL children. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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