Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Head Start classroom features and language and literacy growth among children with diverse language backgrounds

Using a nationally representative sample of Head Start recipients, this study compared Head Start classroom contexts and English language and literacy skill trajectories for Spanish-speaking dual-language learners (DLLs) and English speakers from preschool through kindergarten. It also examined whether Head Start classroom characteristics were differentially associated with skill development across groups, both concurrently in Head Start and longitudinally in kindergarten. Results indicated that classroom characteristics tended to be similarly associated with skills across language subgroups. Regardless of language status, children whose classrooms were instructionally supportive and not overly managed tended to have higher language and/or literacy skills in Head Start. Children whose Head Start classrooms had higher Emotional Support and were not overly managed had higher kindergarten language skills. Child-initiated activities were associated with higher language skills, whereas teacher-directed activities were related to higher literacy skills. DLLs benefited more from Emotional Support and child-initiated activities in some skills. Practice or Policy: If replicated, findings have practical implications for Head Start professional development and classroom practices. Specifically, teacher professional development might focus more intensively on improving Emotional and Instructional Support, and teachers and program administrators might consider allocating more time to child-initiated and teacher-directed activities to build specific skills. (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.

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

Office of Head Start tribal language report 2012


Dual language learners in Head Start

Fact Sheets & Briefs

Dual language learning: What does it take?: Head Start dual language report

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.40.0' | Built: 2023-11-07 08:40:06 EST