Head Start programs are effective when their systems and services support the cultural diversity of enrolled families. Furthermore, individual staff members must be able to demonstrate their respect for and respond to the different cultures in their community and among their co-workers. The following resource provides recent research and perspectives on key multicultural principles and offers guidance to staff on how to implement these principles in their programs.
Young children who are dual language learners (DLLs) and those who speak English all require high-quality experiences in Background Knowledge; Oral Language and Vocabulary; Book Knowledge and Print Concepts; Alphabet Knowledge and Early Writing; and Phonological Awareness.
Read this guide that includes a worksheet designed for Early Head Start and Head Start teams to use. It helps ensure that their screening process provides the best possible results for all children, including DLLs.
Advancing School Readiness with the Office of Head Start's Multicultural Principles is a professional development tool designed to support programs in establishing culturally and linguistically competent systems and services. These resources guide staff in using culturally responsive practices when supporting children's progress toward school readiness.
Young dual language learners (DLLs) are a very diverse group with different languages, experiences, strengths, and gifts. This resource outlines the language similarities among all children. It also highlights the differences between children learning two or more languages and those learning one.
Children make great gains in literacy when they are engaged in conversation before, during, and after storytelling. This dialogic reading strategy is used to increase vocabulary and language development in young children. Teaching teams may use the Tough Boris example as a way to introduce dialogic reading.
Dialogic reading is an interactive way to talk with young children. It is a proven approach to increase vocabulary and language development for children learning to speak more than one language. Teaching teams can learn the strategy through this example of its use with "Splat the Cat" by Rob Scotton.
Language & Literacy
Administrators, practitioners, and families, who support young children learning their home languages and English, find helpful resources. These can help programs implement an intentional approach to language use.
School readiness and school success for children who are dual language learners are tied directly to mastery of their home language. This series of handouts is designed to provide staff and families with basic information on topics related to children learning two or more languages. They emphasize the benefits of being bilingual, the importance of maintaining home language, and the value of becoming fully bilingual. These easy-to-read resources highlight important information that every adult living or working with young dual language learners should know.