Dual Language Learners Program Assessment: A Closer Look
Deborah Mazzeo: Hello, and welcome! This is the second webinar in the national webinar series titled, Implementing the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment — or we say the DLLPA for short — and it's, A Closer Look webinar series. Our focus today is on the education and child development services for dual language learners. My name is Deborah Mazzeo, and I am the cultural and linguistic practices coordinator at the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. I'd like to introduce my colleague, Karen Nemeth. Karen, would you like to say hello and share your role?
Karen Nemeth: Hello, everybody. I'm Karen Nemeth, also working for National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, and my position is the senior training and technical assistance specialist for dual language learners, so it's always great to work with Deb and talk about this topic.
Deborah: Thank you, Karen. So, before we begin, I'd like to just go over some information regarding the webinar. We'll be using some of the features of this webinar platform to help us interact. So at the bottom of your screen, you'll notice these widgets. If you have any questions during the webcast, you can submit them through the purple Q&A widget.
We will try to answer these during the webcast, and please know that we do capture all of the questions. If you have any tech questions, please enter them there, as well. A copy of today's slide deck and additional resources are available in the Resource List, which is the green widget. We encourage you to download any resources or links that you may find useful.
Throughout the session, we'll be using the blue Group Chat widget to engage with each other. You can also find additional answers to some common technical issues located in the yellow Help widget at the bottom of your screen. Each of these widgets are re-sizable and movable for a customized experience. You just click on the widget, move it by dragging and dropping, and re-sizing using the arrows at the top corners. And finally, if you have trouble, try refreshing your browser by pressing F5. Be sure to log off your VPN and exit out of any other browsers. So, as we begin, we're interested in knowing your roles. So if you would, please take a few seconds to read through the options and select the one that best fits your role.
Okay. I see some of the responses coming in here. We've got several directors, managers, and administrators; several folks that are Head Start and Early Head Start staff. Those seem to be the majority. And if you've selected "Other," feel free to go ahead and type in your role in the chat. We'd love to hear. And I'll wait another second for some additional responses.
And I will share it with the audience now. So, it does look like the great majority are directors, managers, or administrators of programs or Head Start and Early Head Start staff. So, that is wonderful. Welcome; and following close behind that are a variety of other roles: resource developer, mentor, coach. I see a special services manager. Thank you, guys, for typing in the chat. We appreciate knowing who all is on with us. So, next, we have some remarks from the Administration for Children and Families. I'd like to introduce you to Jennifer Amaya. Jennifer?
Jennifer Amaya: Thank you, Deb. Good afternoon, everyone. I am excited to be with all of you today. I am Jennifer Amaya, the content lead for Culture and Language in the Office of Head Start at the Administration for Children and Families. Welcome to the second in the national webinar series, Implementing the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment: A Closer Look webinar. Today, as Deb mentioned, we will concentrate on the education and child development services of the DLLPA. We have so much to cover today. I'm thrilled to share that, as of yesterday, we have over 1,100 participants registered for today's webinar. This is exciting.
I wanted to thank all of our federal partners — the Office of Head Start National Centers, the regional T/TA staff, and many others — who have been involved in the planning of the DLLPA national webinar series. We are grateful for the time and commitment shown by all of our partners in putting together today's webinar. I especially want to acknowledge the Office of Head Start National Center on Early Childhood, Development, Teaching, and Learning and our colleagues from Region I and Region X Head Start Training and Technical Assistance network for sharing with us their experiences in the implementation of the DLLPA. Deb and Karen have integrated in their presentation key highlights shared by our early childhood specialists. In setting the context for today's webinar, briefly, I wanted to highlight the purpose of the DLLPA, which is to assist the Head Start, child care, and pre-K programs to assess their management systems and services to ensure the full and effective participation of children who are dual language learners and their families. In Head Start, this comprehensive management system is referred to as a coordinated approach for dual language learners. The DLLPA can also help a program to ensure the integration of culturally and linguistically responsive practices for all children, an anchor in the current Head Start Program Performance Standards which retain regulations and include new standards for ensuring culturally and linguistically appropriate services for all children birth to 5.
The DLLPA is also aligned with the 2007 Head Start Act requirements to support children who are dual language learners. This too includes research-based responsive practices for the implementation of the regulations. Also, the OHS Multicultural Principles for Early Childhood Leaders were used as a guide to develop the DLLPA. In the development of the DLLPA, we also included feedback from grantees to ensure that the voices from the field were reflected in the final revision of the tool. This has been truly a comprehensive process that is responsive to supporting the needs of our Head Start programs serving children who are dual language learners and their families. So when we think about the importance of why we need to take a closer look at the implementation of the DLLPA, it is extremely necessary to remind us that just like the United States population at large, Head Start families represent the increasing diversity of our nation.
In Head Start, approximately 30 percent of the Head Start children are dual language learners, and there are more than 140 languages spoken by Head Start families and staff represented in our programs. Given the growing number of young children who are dual language learners and the sizable proportion of the workforce they will make up in the coming years, ensuring that they prepared for school and life is an economic imperative that will directly influence the competitiveness of the U.S. in an evolving global economy. For those of you who are joining for the first time our national webinar series, I wanted to provide you with a background of our initial work to launch the DLLPA and the current status of our efforts to support diverse children and families. So, in August of 2018, we conducted a national webinar to introduce the DLL Program Assessment.
Through the introductory webinar, we show participants how to access the DLLPA online on the ECLKC. We also demonstrated how to use the tool and the results of the ratings to certain management systems and program services areas. Our colleague, Deb from DTL, featured program services areas, and our colleague from the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations, Karen Surprenant, concentrated on the management systems. Then we have over 1,000 participants register for the webinar. The recording, I believe, of the introductory webinar is also available on the ECLKC. So, based on the responses from the audience in a part about action steps, OHS, in partnership with the National Centers, were prompted to create a webinar series from January to April, 2019, to provide you with a deeper approach to implementing the DLLPA and to support your program in assessing program systems and services for children who are dual language learners. So in January 2019, a number of you may have participated in the first of the webinar series led by OHS in partnership with the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations. Our colleagues from PMFO discussed the importance assessments play in implementing quality services, highlighted the role of the DLLPA program assessments in planning, and identified strategies to integrate this tool in program planning.
Also, we had the opportunity to hear from Telamon Corporation of North Carolina Head Start, who shared with us their insights and strategies in enhancing systems and services to support children who are dual language learners. Now that we have provided you with the national landscape and the Head Start data of the growing diverse population served by the early childhood programs, I hope you're ready and excited to learn and take a closer look at exploring the Education and Child Development Services section of the DLLPA. Deb and Karen will share with you special input from two of the OHS regions which have been critically involved in the implementation of the DLLPA. Their experiences will offer you insights and strategies in education and child development services to support dual language learners.
So, before I end my remarks, I also wanted to thank all of you who are participating in today's webinar for your ongoing effort, your daily commitment, and your passion to provide high-quality services to all children. I also encourage you to join on March 7th the third of the national webinar series, hosted by the National Center on Family and Community Engagement, who will concentrate on partnering with families of children who are dual language learners. Also remember, this week, we are celebrating the strength and abilities of children who are dual language learners. Please join our celebration week. I will come here and will provide you with additional details at the end of this presentation. So once again, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our partners for your hard work in putting together today's webinar. Now that you have the context for using the tools, I'm giving the stage back to our colleagues from DTL. Deb?
Deborah: Thank you, Jennifer. I feel like that was a wonderful overview of the history of the development of the tool and where we are now with it. So, thank you so much. And we're going to continue on here with the next slide. I'm going to outline our plan for the little less than 90 minutes now that we have. So today, we're going to provide a brief overview of the DLLPA highlighting — like I said at the very beginning — the Education and Child Development Program Services. And so, that includes three sections, which are: Teaching and the Learning Environment; Curricula; and Child Screenings and Assessments. We're going to make connections to a coordinated approach, the planned language approach, or PLA we say for short. We're going to discuss how to support children who are DLLs through transitions, which is a huge focus for Head Start programs. And lastly, we'll integrate discussion of children who are DLLs with disabilities.
And then by the end of the presentation, we hope that you'll be able to explore the Education and Child Development Services sections on your own, conducting the self-assessments with your team in your program. We hope that you will understand how PLA, that Planned Language Approach, serves as a coordinated approach to integrate culturally and linguistically responsive practices. And we also hope that you'll learn strategies through today's webinar to implement responsive care, effective teaching, and an organized learning environment for children who are DLLs. So now, we'd like to just get a sense from you all if you have ever used the DLLPA to support educational services yet.
And so, if you'll go ahead and read those options. And if you have tried using it or if you use it on a regular basis, please type in the chat how you're using it. I think it'll be really interesting to see how you're using it, and it will give others ideas on how they might utilize the tool, as well. So, as I'm seeing the responses come in, many have not used it yet; so this will be a great introduction for you. And for those who have used it and use it on a regular basis, I think you'll hear some wonderful examples of how some of the regions are using it. I see Brenda is typing in the chat. "We're using it to help plan for professional development." So, that is wonderful; great. I'm going to go ahead and push this out to the audience now so you all can see the results. And I think I will turn it over to Karen now, who will share her work with one Region in particular who developed a comprehensive plan around the use of the tool. So, Karen?
Karen: Well, thank you very much. And I worked this year with the people in Region I, who chose as a professional development focus to create a one-year community of practice where all of the staff from the region — early childhood specialists and training and technical assistance people, grantee specialists, etc. — gathered together, created a plan for the year, and then invited teams from grantees who chose to participate. And then, they arranged a series of opportunities to support that professional development. So... Whoops. Sorry, the screen went white for a minute there. And of the 11 grantee teams that decided to participate, they started with a face-to-face launch event where I went up to the region and did a two-day training; but not all of the two days because also the staff from the region who are working directly with the grantees facilitated the beginnings of a planning process.
And so, you can see here that they learned about the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment and about key research and resources about dual language learners. And then, they used that information in their teams to develop these planning documents to get their work started. Then they identified by using the Dual Language Learner Program Assessment individually with each grantee and then, you know, as a group to identify areas of focus and need, and they came up with topics for a webinar in February centered around family engagement and then another webinar coming up in April, and it's going to focus more on early childhood development, teaching, and learning.
Throughout those months, the region staff, you know, who are assigned to those grantees are going out to visit them and work with them individually, support their use of the Dual Language Learner Program Assessment and to make their — to identify their strengths, identify what they want to work on, and get started. And then we have a wrap-up face-to-face meeting scheduled in May where we will come together, share, you know, what's next, and the grantee participant teams will be able to do presentations. So, we will all know how everyone is doing and be able to share and have a — that community of practice happening together; and they have established a MyPeers work group, which has also been a great way for them to stay together.
Oh, I forgot to say. So, this is the contact. Laurie Conrad is the early childhood specialist who's a contact that is able to answer questions about how Region I set this up, how they're doing, and what they're using. So, you might want to take down that email address, as it was generous of her to share. And we can see here, again, that they — that this work was useful in tying the regional staff and the grantees together in a common focus, but each individual grantee had its own particular experiences. So in this case, this is an example of one grantee who identified through the Dual Language Learner Program Assessment that they really weren't doing as much with the local school district as they could.
So, they started building that relationship, actively reaching out. They started attending the meetings of the district's curriculum and instruction director and meetings with their bilingual liaison for the district to really talk more specifically about supporting transitions for their children who speak languages in addition to English. They joined a district work group on transitions. They shared the Dual Language Learner Program Assessment with the district personnel so they all could sort of have that common ground, and they also developed a parent committee as part of their Policy Council to work on this. So the early childhood specialists and grantee specialists are doing follow-up to continue to support this work, and it helps that particular grantee, but it also helps learning from their work what could be shared with other grantees with similar questions in the future.
And so, that seemed to be a really helpful way that this particular region and this particular grantee used the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment to move their work forward and to identify... Sometimes they said they heard grantees saying they didn't — you know, the Dual Language Learners Program Assessments helped them see things they thought they had covered, and they realized there were gaps that they didn't — they weren't aware of, and they were able to address those things more carefully. So, that is the story from Region I, but we're inviting — I believe Region I is on the webinar so they can answer or respond to chat conversations as we're moving along. And so if you have any questions about that, please type them in the chat. We'll be answering them, and I'll be handing off now to Deborah, who will be talking about one of the particular sections of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessments.
Deborah: Thanks, Karen; and what wonderful work they're doing in Region I. And I appreciate the folks from Region I being on and being available to answer anything that comes up in the chat, So, thank you. All right. So, let's get into the sections of the tool. I will start out with the first one under the Education Services, which is Teaching and the Learning Environment; and you'll be able to find a PDF of this section in the Resources widget, just for your information, if you want to follow along, as well. So on your screen, you see how it would look if you were completing it electronically online, and you can see that the items are rated on a five-point scale.
Now, I won't read each of those items, but just to give you a sense of what some of the culturally and linguistically responsive practices are in this section, it will include things like ensuring learning experiences such as music, math, and science reflect the cultures and languages of the children in the program; incorporating key words and phrases in the home languages of our children in the learning experiences and everyday routines of the environment; promoting children's positive self-concepts by using the correct pronunciation of children's names; using materials, visuals, and other items that reflect the children's culture, and including that as part of the planned teaching strategies; and the list goes on and on. So I encourage you, when you have a moment, to really check out all of those items.
Our National Center had the opportunity to work with multiple regions. Karen just gave you a sense of the work with one of the regions, and here we're going to be sharing some vignettes that are based on what we have heard in the field. And so as a result of using the tool, we have Head Start program A, to remain anonymous, has hired a few bilingual assistant teachers and — and regular lead teachers to speak the languages of the children that they have enrolled. And so, hiring bilingual staff is a great first step, and the questions in the DLLPA help the program to identify steps that they can take to plan for and support these staff members to be successful with children who are DLLs. So, looking at the bullets on the slide: Do your teaching practices and/or home visiting strategies reflect an understanding of the stages of first and second language acquisition? Our program, Head Start A, decided to focus on that through their professional development plan; and so here is where you'll see some of that close coordination with the management systems that were discussed on the first webinar in this series, and you're going to see that throughout several of the items that we talk about.
When we look at the second bullet: Do your teaching practices and/or home visiting strategies provide opportunities for our children to see, use, and discuss the written home language when possible? Well, so through thoughtful planning, they decided that between the coach and the teaching team, that they would intentionally integrate opportunities for modeled writing and would take dictation in children's home languages. So, that is the plan that they've established.
And then third — looking at that last bullet on the slide there: Do your teaching practices and/or home visiting strategies identify which adult will use the home languages of the children at what times and under what circumstances as appropriate? The leadership of this program looked at the demographics of the children and the resources that they have and established a dual language classroom where the home language will be used 50 percent of the time, and then in their other classroom, they'll focus on English with home language support.
So, that was their plan. And each section in the DLLPA has a resource list, and this can be valuable not only during the self-assessments but in the ongoing work. And so, just to give you another example, if you look halfway down the list of those resources there, there's a resource titled, Code Switching: Why It Matters and How to Respond. And so the program, in their self-assessment, they realized they weren't really sure if they fully met one of the items that was about accepting code switching as a natural communication strategy for children who are DLLs. And for those who don't know what code switching is, it's when you alternate between two languages in the same sentence or in a conversation.
And so, the program decided to use that resource, Code Switching: Why It Matters and How to Respond, to help them understand how they might ensure that they fully met this part of the self-assessment and could move toward that goal. And so, that resource focuses on some key features of code switching and provides lots of hands-on examples. It helps teachers to understand that code switching is not a problem, it's not that children are confused, and there is no reason to correct children when they code switch. On the contrary, correcting code switching actually ignores the competence with language that children are demonstrating. And so, the program developed a small group of education staff to explore the resource and talk about how they could use it in an upcoming in-service event. They were going to discuss it during ongoing coaching and use it as part of their reflective supervision.
The team also worked with families to develop a list of key words in children's home languages so that staff could reinforce children's use of both their home language and English. So again, I just want to reiterate that the resources within the DLLPA can be useful both during the self-assessments and in a program's ongoing work to support children and families who are DLLs. So, many of the resources in that resource list come from the Planned Language Approach. In the first webinar of this series, you might have heard the group from North Carolina, Telamon, talk about their use of the PLA. This image on the screen shows several pieces of the pie that together make up a coordinated approach, and those five components are a research base on the children's language development in one or more languages. And that builds on the research on brain development, and it's very much applicable to all children.
The next piece of the pie is that Home Language Support, which serves as a foundation for English language skills, and this really — that section really ties into the Family and Community Engagement section of the DLLPA, which will be a focus of the March webinar. The next piece of the pie are Strategies that Support DLLs so they can thrive in their home language and in English, and that really connects to this section on Teaching and the Learning Environment of the DLLPA. Next is the Policies, Practices, and Systems that sustain language and literacy development throughout all aspects of the program. And that is where the DLLPA is linked, is in that section of the PLA.
And so, that is where you'll find resources on human resources, professional development, and program planning. And then the fifth and final piece of the pie is the Big 5 for All, and that section addresses the five key elements of early language and literacy development that children need to succeed in school. This ties to the Curriculum section of the DLLPA that Karen will get to momentarily. But we are also doing a webinar series on the Big 5, and the Big 5 is being updated. And I encourage you to visit the PLA pages to see the new information that gets posted in the coming weeks. This here is an example of several of the resources that come from that strategy that support DLL piece of the PLA pie, and included there is that code switching guide that I was just referring to a few minutes ago that one program decided to use.
Also, the tip sheets that you see on the screen give strategies for supporting language development, and some of those strategies are, like, noticing what interests or excites the child; engaging in self-talk or parallel talk as you're working with children; using and playing with sounds by rhyming, singing, or chanting; learning from the family members about the child's likes and incorporating that into interactions; celebrating children's attempts to speak, not correcting them but adding a new word or two to extend their sentences or phrases; and then using important words like "milk" or "outside" so they begin to understand the meaning. With that, I am going to hand it over to Karen now to cover the next section.
Karen: Thanks, Deb; but I'm trying to also chat, so I'm multi-tasking here. Elizabeth asked a question. "Does it have to be a team using the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment, or could it just be one person, like the education coordinator?" And I was just in the middle of typing what really I could just tell everyone, because that's a pretty good question. Right?
Deborah: That's an excellent question, Karen.
Karen: Right, so what Deb and I have found as we've been working with the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment, and then as we've been out there, you know, working with regions and grantees at conferences, and talking about it is that there are some people that just find it really useful to open it up by themselves and, you know, sort of, as a learning guide, go through and kind of check, well, like, how — you know, "How do I feel like we're doing? What do I want to know more about? What does — what does this mean to me in my job?" But the grantees that are seeing the strong results are the ones that get together a whole team so that they're — from families, and education staff, and other staff and leadership — all coming together, identifying what they want to work on, then coming together for a plan to work on it. So, it has all of those uses, and it's just a matter of what your goal is for working on it. So I thought that that was a good sort of practical question. But I think for those of you who haven't looked at it, that's what will surprise you. When you open it up, it's not like taking a... You know how when you were, like, in school, and you took those standardized tests, and first you had to open up that test booklet, and it was always so intimidating. And this is sort of the opposite of that. This is like an experience where people open it up and they say, "Oh. Now I see. Everything I need is here in one place. Oh, now I see what I want to do. Oh. I can see how this works together. Oh. Now I see how the parts come together." Those are the kind of comments that we hear when people open that up. and so that's why we really like this idea of having this webinar to just specifically focus on the education and development services component because we get to sort of say more about that stuff even though, all the while, we know that all of the parts of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment are connected and form a whole system.
So — so we want to take a few minutes now to look at the Curriculum section, which is Section 6. And if you have your Dual Language Learners Program Assessment open, you could take a look at it, and you will see, as with all the sections, it starts by stating what is in the Head Start Program Performance Standards. That's a pretty big deal by itself because there is a lot of questions, sometimes maybe misconceptions, about what's actually required in the Head Start Standards. But you don't have to fish around for it; it's right there in the guide whether you look online or you have a printed copy. You can see exactly what the standard says, then you see the questions that are just there to guide you. What would help you to make your program more effective? That's what the questions are about. What would help you make your program more effective, not — no good or bad kind of question or pass or fail, nothing like that. It's about, you know, where are the areas where you could use some help, and then you turn the page and what do you find? A whole list of resources that's going to give you that help.
Right, so — so we're going to... You know, we're going to talk about a couple of the key questions, but I'm interested to know what are your questions. So, you can type in the question and answer or the chat box, when you think about how to make curriculum decisions and implement your curriculum working with children who are dual language learners, what are the kinds of questions and challenges that you come up with in your work? And then, we'll look at how that comes together with what we see in the actual tool itself. Okay, so we see that we have some questions here, that an example... Wait a minute. I'm looking at the chat, and I have got to change the slide to this example. That's it. Head Start B wants to know, "What's the best curriculum for serving children who are dual language learners?" That's an interesting question, but it's not the only question because it's probably not a question about what is the best curriculum but what is the right curriculum for your program, for your context, for your location, for your goals. And then, how does that chosen curriculum address the needs of children who are dual language learners?
So, the DLLPA asks these questions: Does your curriculum include scientifically valid research and have standardized training procedures and curriculum materials that are appropriate for your DLL population, for the things you want to do? Right? Not what is right or wrong, what's right for you. How about, does your curriculum have an organized developmental scope and sequence of learning experiences based on how children who are dual language learners acquire first and second language? So of course, we know many curriculum models have scope and sequence, but we want to know, did they write into that scope and sequence what will be mindful of children who are learning first and second languages and how they learn concepts and skills, as well? And also, does your curriculum provide meaningful opportunities to learn and develop within and across the domains of ELOF using the home language as a support? How is your curriculum identifying specific ways that you can support the home languages of the children in your program? So, the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment helps you to ask those questions and take a look at your curriculum and find out more about what you want to know. And so, I'm taking a look now at some of the questions and I see that Aisha is asking about, "What are some best strategies?"
And we want to make sure that all curriculums have best practices, but there is more than one curriculum that has best practices and we really want to know, do they even offer specific strategies and how are those offered, and what you can look for when you're making those choices. Right? So, thank you for those questions. And then after you ask those sort of general questions to get a sense of, like, how are we feeling about our curriculum, are we able to confidently answer those questions about curriculum on the DLLPA, or does this uncover for us that we maybe need a little bit more? We need to dig a little deeper. We need to learn more about what our curriculum is doing for our children and what we need to know.
And then, the next thing you do is, turn to the page that gives you some resources to help. We want to make sure that the curriculum aligns with the domains and the subdomains in the ELOF, and also supports whatever is required in your state in terms of supporting children who are dual language learners. And so, the DLLPA is very supportive not only of what you have to do in Head Start but what you have to do as a member of the early childhood community in whatever state and location you're in, and how those things can come together. That's why there's not one right answer. That's why they didn't just send out a list of, like, a to-do list. It comes across as questions to help you make your own decisions in your program. And that goes back to what Elizabeth asked earlier, that to make those decisions, one person can really learn a lot from reading the DLLPA but one person can't make all those decisions on their own, and that's when having a team come together really makes a difference.
Okay, so some of the examples of resources you can find in the DLLPA itself, but this one we wanted to highlight in particular and it is called... Well, we call it the Curriculum Quick Guide, but the full name is Exploring Your Curriculum: A Quick Guide for Teachers and Family Child Care Providers. And so, to the extent that the DLLPA gives you the big questions to ask about how are we doing with our curriculum, to answer those questions, the Curriculum Quick Guide will give you some specifics that you can use. Some specific things to look for, such as — are your curriculum's resources, like picture books or notes to families about the curriculum available in the home or tribal languages of your children and families, right? In looking at your curriculum's approach to teaching and learning, does it support individualizing for children who are dual language learners and for children who are tribal language learners? What are the learning goals of the curriculum? How does your curriculum guide you to set those learning goals in each language that the children are learning in, and what is in the curriculum design and organization of the learning environment?
So, you might ask, "What suggestions does our curriculum offer for including familiar materials that reflect children's backgrounds and cultures in the learning environment, like family photos or objects from home?" So, you see how this resource, this Exploring Your Curriculum Quick Guide, gives you that next level of detail once you've identified by the DLLPA that your curriculum is something you want to work on. These resources help you do that work, help you really get into the details about what you have, what you need, and where you're going to go in making your plans. So, that's how these things come together as a sort of unified set. And so, I'm going to ask now if you have any questions about using this Curriculum section of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment that looks like this. If you have any questions or comments, if you've used it and you want to comment about using it, that's great, too.
And I am now going to hand the controls back to Deborah to talk about the next section.
Deborah: All right. Thank you, Karen. So, next, we're going to take a look at Section 7 of the DLLPA, which focuses on screening and assessment; and again, you'll find a PDF of this in the resources section. And there has been some wonderful chat going on around how to assess all of the languages that the children speak, particularly when you don't know — when the, you know, educator does not know the language of the child and their family; and so, I think the resource that we going to share here momentarily will be really, really useful. But to give you a broad overview, the items in this section help determine whether assessment information is used to individualize learning experiences, whether it provides information on the child's progress, whether information is shared with families in culturally and linguistically responsive ways, and that processes that the program engages in do not lead to over- or under-identification of children with disabilities. So, let's look at another example. Here we have Head Start C, which is wondering, "How can we assess all areas of development when the teacher doesn't speak the language of the child?" And that, of course, is such a valid question. It's probably one of the most common questions that we get, and this section addresses gathering input from the families through bilingual staff or interpreters.
And we're going to look at one resource in particular that will help you with those bullets that you see on the screen, which are some of the items that come from this section of the tool. So, this Head Start C selected to use one of the resources listed, Screening DLLs in Early Head Start and Head Start Guide for Program Leaders, and this guide helps address the areas of improvement that they identified with the DLLPA, particularly as it relates to two items. The first being developing the staff's capacity and the capacity of others, including interpreters who assist staff, to use screening and assessment instruments with culturally and linguistically diverse children. And this resource also helped with developing a process so that screening and assessment data on children who are DLLs does not misinterpret and lead to over- or under-identification of disabilities.
So as you can see, there are five parts to this tool, and Part 4 is really valuable in that it includes a Screening Dual Language Learners: Planning and Implementation Worksheet. So, the program brought a team of education staff together to complete that worksheet, the Planning and Implementation Worksheet; it's on pages 12 through 14 of this guide. And using that worksheet, the team discussed the tasks, the people, the timeline, and lessons learned for ongoing screening and assessing by education staff. The completed plan was later shared with the broader team as a follow-up to ensure that the full team could benefit from their work and provide feedback on the plan. So, that was a really good next step that they took. I also want to share this wonderful resource. I don't know that this one is yet listed in the DLLPA, but we absolutely recommend using it and I believe it will be added. I know the link is in the Resources widget. And it's the NASEM — the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine — that produced this report called, Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English. This was produced in 2017, and it is the most recent and, really, the most comprehensive research that we have on dual language learners and English learners to date because not only does it cover early childhood, but it also covers the K to 12 system.
So... The resources here, then, include a three-page fact sheet, which briefly outlines key points for assessing dual language learners. And I'll tell you what their main conclusion was, and that was to conduct an accurate assessment of the instructional needs of DLLs or ELs. It is essential to consider their skills in both English and the home language. And you'll see that there is a short video there that features Linda Espinosa speaking on this topic, and she really focuses on the importance of observation. And so, I encourage all of you to, when you have the time, to look at this toolkit and that fact sheet and the video. It provides wonderful, wonderful information. So, we want to hear from you and ask what resources do you find useful.
So we've shared several here on the call today, and we ask you to please type into the chat and share some of your favorite or most used resources for supporting the full and effective participation of children who are DLLs in education services. I think it will be a great opportunity for us to be able to learn from each other. And so, I see in the chat there is a question: "What about assessing in Early Head Start?" I think that guide will certainly be valuable in your program, Cecilia, for thinking through how assessment will work, you know, based on that team approach if you are able to discuss with others and come up with a plan that your entire program will use. Assessing in Early Head Start is just like assessing in Head Start. You would try to get as much information from the families as you can around children's development and really trying to observe the child in a variety of different activities and settings to be able to get a sense of their development.
And so, I see Daria is sharing some of the resources that they use, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire Screening, the DRDP. And so, I see some people chiming in about some of the resources that they find useful. "Music is a universal language," Gwendolyn is sharing. Danielle uses finger plays and puppets to engage folks; so that is wonderful. Thank you, all, for sharing. All right. I am going to turn it over to Karen again, who will share more of her work with another region. Karen?
Karen: Yes. I am ready to go. And this is another exciting story about work within a region to spend an entire year focusing on updating and enhancing the support for our children who are dual language learners and their families. And this is the other side of the country in Region X. And we learned in region X that they identified a sort of broad need for understanding more about supporting children who are dual language learners and their families, and they created their own community of practice also to last a year, but taking on a, you know, different sort of format and different focus areas that work for the people they were working with. So they — you can see on this screen that they had three sort of main focus areas.
One was building the capacity of the T/TA team itself so that everyone felt more informed and more confident about answering those tricky questions about all the different kinds of languages and situations that we encounter. They also wanted to gain insights from participating grantees about what supports they needed and what were the benefits of the training and technical assistance content that they provided.
So, they were really doing that sort of continuous cycle of improvement. They were listening. They were considering They were adapting and making changes, and then checking how those things work, etc. And then, the third focus, supporting programs to progress in their development of coordinated approach for dual language learners and their families. And of course, that is the core of the dual language learner program assessment, is to help anyone using it to see how these components come together to create that coordinated system. It takes the guesswork out of it and makes it easy for anyone to say, "When Head Start asks me to do coordinated approaches, I know exactly what that means and how to do it."
So, you can see that they used a combination of virtual supports, webinars that they conducted, as well as webinars where I participated and our representative from the Center for Program Finance — Finance Management and Operations — I'm going to say that wrong... PMFO — Management and Fiscal Operations. How is that? Okay, so we also put together, how do these different components come together in our work across the National Centers? We coordinate to present information to the regions in a coordinated way so they can support their grantees, so everything really fits together. I guess that is what I want to say. They conducted — in the region, they conducted their own face-to-face training. They had a similar system where they invited teams from certain grantees to participate, they all came together for in-person learning experience, and then they have their early childhood specialist working with those individual grantees. But some of the unique things about the Region X process were that they had created road maps that they talk about as focusing on building a sustainable capacity so that the work they do this year will be — lay the groundwork for continuing implementation and improvement.
Over time, people were not where they thought they were. You know, people that thought they were at a certain level of confidence about their work with dual language learners, Once they started really investigating and going through the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment and the in-person training meeting, they started to identify areas where they thought they had it covered but they, once again, found things that they really needed to work on. But the Region X focused a lot on really adjusting mind-set. So, really talking together about what these things mean, what is important, why is this work important, getting the buy-in established before they started identifying strategies.
So, their approach was to really provide discussion activities and developing an open mind. They focused a lot on this, the concept of developing cultural humility and openness to learning about culture. Rather than developing a checklist of cultural competence, they wanted to develop that openness of mind and a clear understanding of how culture is so important in the supports we give to children who are dual language learners and their families, and then building on that shared mind-set to grow further in terms of their actual strategies, such as selecting classroom language models and understanding how these factors can be implemented in terms of classroom practice. And then what the Region X did was, as soon as their in-person training was finished, they created a portfolio that — and that's what you see on your screen, capturing the work that was done so that people who attended the training immediately after received a packet that showed the pictures of all of the posters that they worked on and their — the content, the discussions they had, the topics that were covered, the resources that were covered.
So, that was a really great way to reinforce and to give, you know, people a thing. They came to the training and then they received the thing that captured the training so they could keep using it and thinking about it after the day. So, I thought that was really great. And then they created the summary, which you can see a picture of the summary on the screen there. Not that you're supposed to read it in that tiny print, but just to understand that they captured what they did in one page so that they could tell the story, so that they could do it again, other people could replicate, etc. And the people who worked on this that are available to answer your questions are Lilli Carrillo and Melanie Krevitz, and you can see their email addresses in case you want to ask them, you know, "Hey, Region X, how did you do it? How did you engender that enthusiastic engagement, and what would you do differently if you had to do it over again?" I guess that's another question.
So, I think that was really a helpful thing, and I'm encouraging you to, if you have questions about Region X, if you ask them in the — in the chat, or the question area, so that — so that hopefully our people from Region X are on the call and could be able to answer some of the questions about their experiences. And we thank Region I and Region X for sharing their stories with us today because it was, in both cases, extraordinary work that they each individually planned out and used a variety of resources and experiences and put things together in a way that we can all learn from. So, that was a big achievement.
And now, I'm moving to the next section. We wanted to cover Section 10: Transition Services, because — my goodness — if we're going to work on Sections 5, 6 and 7, and talk about Teaching and the Learning Environment and Curriculum and Screening and Assessment, then we sure do want to know what's going to happen as we support those transitions. So, we added that to our list today, and have a chance to talk with you about what's in the Transition section of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment.
And so, you can see from this section that it covers the things we need to think about transitioning children into our program, and the things we need to think about as we help children transition within our program and beyond. And I think this is so important, because I think all of the time about what is right for those little ones. When they are dropped off someplace, it may be the first time they've even been away from their family, and they don't even speak the language that's happening in that group or that family child care home, or that classroom. And that transitioning in for dual language learners is so — such a huge undertaking for such a small child. So many things that challenge that child, and so many things that we need to understand in order to help that child make a good transition, comfortable transition, learning transition into our program.
And then also, what are we doing as they transition within and then beyond our program? So, the questions that you'll see in this section ask: Do we engage our families of our children who are dual language learners in conversations about school readiness and discuss with them about specific strategies? Do we develop individual plans with each family for their child's transition from Early Head Start to Head Start, or from Head Start to the next program, to take into account the language and culture? Do we ensure that our transition plans include strategies, specifically, that support children who are dual language learners? And I would like to ask you now, if you do have that in your program, that would be a great thing to put in — in the chat right now.
So, if you can suggest anything specific that you write into your plan about supporting children who are dual language learners either to come into your program or to move from your program to kindergarten or wherever they go next, any specific move that you make, group that you belong to, resource that you use, now is the time to share because everyone could use some more information about supporting transitions. And you know, in the book, in the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment book, there are some resources available there. But it's such an important topic, we want to make sure that we — that we share every hint that we can follow. So, I'm going to just give you a second to put those questions in, if you could, and I'll see if there are any other questions that need to be answered.
And then, I have a poll for you, coming up. Okay. Okay. Now, coming up next is poll number two. Which of the following strategies have you tried to ensure that families of children who are dual language learners develop a positive relationship with their child's succeeding school or kindergarten?
So, now this is asking you specifically to click on a strategy that you may have tried, and we're going to see how that looks. So if you can see the poll, go ahead and answer it. I see some people are answering. Now we're getting more answers. So it's asking — for those of you who can't see the poll, it's asking things like, "Do you host a parents night and invite your receiving school to talk with the families? Do you ensure the family support staff are available to visit receiving schools with the children? Do you work with local receiving schools to have materials translated for families of dual language learners?"
Okay, I'll just give it about another minute and then we'll — we’ll show you what the results look like. Okay. You ready? Here we go. Oh. Now my friends in the background are going to tell me if I did that wrong. Oh, so now you can see. I believe you can see. Thirty-eight percent said that they hosted a parent night and invited the school; 39 percent said they ensure family support staff are available to visit with the families; 18 percent work with local receiving schools; and then, 4 percent said they do something else. So, that means that the top three items cover a lot of what you all are doing. And if you... Now I see. Here's what's happening in the chat; people are starting to share their examples, so that is a great idea.
And now, we... This is an example of some of the resources that we can use to — to answer some of those questions. We have on the screen some examples here, and they are linked in the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment. We have a document called Supporting Transitions: Using Child Development as a Guide; SupportingTransitions: Early Educators Partnering with Families; Supporting
Transitions: Program, Policies, and Practices; and Supporting Transitions: Working with Early Education Partners. So, these are just some examples of the resources you'll find in the DLLPA. And I see... So, for example, Hannah is saying that in New York City, parents are invited to meetings at the — the local early childhood development centers, and other people are talking about things that parents are invited to. And of course, those are great ideas, but we want to always keep in mind the families who can't make it to meetings and how are we supporting them, too. And so — so I think that there are a lot of additional ideas rolling through the chat that I haven't even seen yet. So, I know there's a lot going on there. I hope you're all watching because that's where the good stuff happens, when you see those examples in the chat box. Okay. So, now, we wanted to... Wait a minute. Just want to make sure I capture —
Deborah: Oh, I'll take over from here, Karen.
Karen: Oh! It says Deb right on the slide, Deb, so that's a good idea.
Deborah: I know. Well, I've been really busy with the chat, too, just answering questions and — and looking at the chat comments, which have been really, really amazing, and I'm hoping everyone is getting ideas from each other. So, I want to just talk next, here, about this main question you see on the screen. How are children with disabilities addressed in the DLLPA? And so, I am here to tell you that there is not a separate section in the DLLPA for children with disabilities. Instead, the expectation is that it is integrated throughout the systems and services. And so, I'm going to be showing you, here, some resources that can support successful inclusion of children with disabilities who are also DLLs.
So, this page you can find on the ECLKC. It's the Division of Early Childhood's Statement on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness. And so the DEC has seven characteristics of responsive organizations; and so they're listed right on the screen, but you should also go to the website to read it fully. And the content that I want to really highlight for you is actually found in that seventh characteristic of organizations that are responsive, and I'm just going to read you the direct quote because I think it is so critical. It says, "Dual language learners, including those children with disabilities, should be afforded the opportunity to maintain their home language while also learning English, as there is no scientific evidence that being bilingual causes or leads to language delay."
And so, I highlight that because it is a common myth out there that we want to be sure to dispel here today. Children with disabilities, including those with speech and language impairments or intellectual disabilities, or children with autism can certainly learn more than one language. And of course, they will need some intentional and targeted support in all of those languages, but they absolutely benefit from hearing their home language. And so, that is the key message I hope everyone comes away from, and that you share that with all of your colleagues after this webinar. Looking onto the next slide here, another resource that was released a few months ago is this Disabilities Services Newsletter, and it's specific to supporting children who are DLLs with disabilities or suspected delays.
And if you do a search on ECLKC — the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center — for "Disabilities Services Newsletter," you can find this issue as well as other past issues, and subscribe to be able to receive it each month. But in that newsletter, you'll find lots of other examples and resource links, and one of those resource links is that webinar that you see highlighted as an image there on the slide. So, definitely check that out. And then, again, I want to highlight this other page on that NASEM — the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine — toolkit. This section of that toolkit, you can download a — it's like a five-page fact sheet. Again, because the report is so comprehensive, these fact sheets really provide the essence of the findings of the report in a digestible little chunk. And so, that fact sheet, again, dispels some of the common myths associated with dual language learning in children with disabilities.
It also lists best practices when it comes to identification and evaluation of children who are DLLs. And the expert that you see there on the video is Fred Genesee, and he, again, is a bilingual expert, and the video is, like, 15 minutes long, so I encourage you to watch that. And I think, Karen, with that, I'm going to hand it back over to you again.
Karen: Yes, and we're starting right in... Oops. Yeah, we're starting right in with a survey which asks, now, as we're getting close to wrapping up our webinar today and giving you the conclusion information and preparing you to go forth and use this information, we want to know what you might do. So, which of these options best describes a next step that you are likely to take using the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment? Would you set up a staff meeting to discuss the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment? Would you use data from the DLLPA to update professional development plans? Use data from DLLPA to make changes in your environment and materials? Would you use data from the DLLPA to make changes in your curriculum implementation, or use data from DLLPA to make changes in screening and assessment practices, or to make changes into admission services, or to answer the questions in the tool with the lens of looking at children with disabilities? So now, I am not sure; can you see the survey? When I changed the view, I changed the survey, so I can't see now. Are people able to answer the survey now?
Deborah: Karen, this is Deb. I can see the survey. I think folks just have to remember to hit submit.
Karen: Yeah, that may be. Thank you. Now I see — now our friends in the chat are helping us by answering. I think that's always a great thing. In the beginning, you know, we're presenters presenting a PowerPoint, but by the end we're all friends and you're helping us out. So, we really appreciate that, everybody. So, go ahead and click on your answer and click "Submit." Oh, I see what's happening now. I had to move something. Okay.
Okay, so what we're seeing here is about 40 percent of you said you're going to set up a staff meeting; 21 percent said that you are going to look at your professional development plan; 10 percent said you're going to use the data to look at your classroom and materials in the environment; 11 percent are going to look at curriculum; and 6 percent making changes in screening and assessment; 6 percent using these ideas to make changes in transition; and almost 6 percent in looking at using the questions through the lens of children with disabilities. So, we — we do see a spread across this range of suggestions; and I see Lori is saying she would have suggested more than — she would have selected more than one response if she was allowed to. You know, we're just doing the polls here, Lori. We're perfectly happy for you to select more than one response in your life, even if it doesn't happen on the poll.
But this is a good chance for people to see that this discussion today didn't just lead in one direction, that people were able to access the work of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment from a variety of perspectives. And so you're all going off in different directions, and that's what we hope to see, that there's not one way, that there's not a right way, that each of you is latching onto this information in ways that are meaningful for you in your work, and — and so that is a big positive result from our work today.
And so now, what I want to do is show you the last few remaining recommendations that we have for you, and here is an important one. We want to invite — and when I say invite, I want to say something stronger than invite — encourage, strongly encourage. Please join the MyPeers group called Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Practices community. It's an open community. Anyone from any kind of position can join because this is where we share what we're trying, what works, what are our questions and challenges that other people can help with; what new, cool resource have you located? Sometimes people share something that's not new but they just discovered it, and it opens people's eyes, and then you have a discussion about that. So, we put the information on this slide here that you can use to join the MyPeers community, and we really want to see you there, because the things you've been sharing in the chat today, my goodness, they would be excellent contributions on that community to reach other people, as well. We do want to ask you to continue typing in your questions in the chat and the question box, and we'll try to answer them as we're coming to a close on today's webinar and we're interested in your comments. What did you think about today, what would you like more of, etc.?
And we want to make sure that we take a moment to appreciate. We want to appreciate the Office of Head Start staff and the work that we've all been able to do collaboratively; and the work we've done, it lays the platform for all of the extraordinarily work that you all are doing out there in the field. And the amount of things that have been shared today, really mind-boggling, and we so appreciate all of the ways you help us and help each other, and we have a lot more to learn together. We look forward to continuing this work with the MyPeers chats, and we have some upcoming events.
The next webinar in this Dual Language Learners Program Assessment series is coming upon March 7, 3 to 4:30 p.m. ET, about Partnering with Families of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners. Are you interested in that? Is that a question people might have, partnering with families of children who are dual language learners? Oh, yes. I believe that is a question. So, I hope you'll tune in March 7 for that. And this is an important way to close. What week is this? Well, we have all gotten together and designated this as Dual Language Learner Celebration Week. We couldn't be more excited to know that across the country, Head Start programs have received this collection of resources, and they received them in — digitally, as well as some things in print, so that those things can be shared with their friends and neighbors who are working in early childhood education. And you can see from this slide that we have another set of webinars also focusing on the Planned Language Approach.
And so, we have a webinar coming up on Thursday that — which is about background knowledge and the role of background knowledge in the Planned Language Approach, at 3 p.m. ET. And we are also hosting live chats on the MyPeers CLRP community, with a different theme each day of the week, 1 p.m. ET, where you can join Deborah Mazzeo and I tomorrow as we talk about tools and resources. On Thursday, another team will be talking at 1 p.m. ET on MyPeers with a live chat about transitions for dual language learners, so we'll have more of a chance to share details. And then, finally, on Friday we'll be talking about the research that supports our work, and that will be exciting.
And, let's see... We have one last poll question for you. Have you participated in any other Dual Language Learner Celebration Week activities, including the MyPeers live chat, today's webinar, plus posting on social media or using that hashtag, #BrilliantDualLanguageLearners, on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever you go on social media?
So, this is a little poll. If you would please answer this poll so we could have an idea who's celebrating in Dual Language Learner Celebration Week. And not only can you let us know did you start the celebration, but it's a good reminder to keep the celebration going after you answer that question. So, I hope you'll go ahead and answer that question now. Thank you. And we can see that... [Muttering] Okay, I see what happened. Every time I try to move the slides, I create an experience for myself. I see 64 percent have not started celebrating yet, but nobody likes to be late to a part. So we invite you to think more about what are you doing to celebrate dual language learners, what would you like to do in the future, and how can you use all the resources that we're providing to make it possible for you?
And so, we thank you for the work that you're doing, and we invite you to... Oops. I did it again. I moved the slide, sorry. We invite you to contact us for more information using the email or the toll-free phone number that's here on the slide. And we will stay until 3:30 to answer your questions, and this is the link for the evaluation. Okay. So, we will appreciate it if you'll submit —
Deborah: Karen, this is Deb.
Deborah: And while — while folks are completing the evaluation, I'll just add that in the chat, I just stuck in the link for programs, you know, that may not be a Head Start program, to be able to access the materials that were sent in the DLL Celebration Week resource kits. They can go to that ACF Office of Child Care webpage that I just stuck in the chat, so hopefully they'll find that valuable. And for other folks who didn't receive the box directly and would like to access those materials electronically, they can go directly to that link, as well. And I'll just say thank you to everyone for your participation, and we hope you'll join us in celebrating DLL Celebration Week. And Karen and I will be on again on Thursday for another webinar on the PLA Big 5, focused on background knowledge. So, we hope you'll join us on that. And anything else, Karen?
Karen: Well, and also to — to join the conversation, if you are on Twitter and you go to that hashtag, #BrilliantDualLanguageLearners, you may see some surprises on there of who's participating and the amazing things that are being shared. And also, in a whole variety of Facebook groups, people are posting. There’s just so much to talk about, and we have just been so grateful for the things you've shared here today. So, let's — let’s turn from facing each other and face outward to who else we can share all your great ideas with because this is where change really can happen in the field, and we thank you so much.
Deborah: Karen, I see a question from Elda in the chat. Where do go to sign up for additional webinars? I would encourage folks, on the ECLKC, on the top right there is — on any page of the ECLKC on the top right, there is a link that says "About," and if you click on that link there's a little drop-down that shows Upcoming Events. So, you would click there on Upcoming Events and it lists all of the events put on by not only our National Center, but all of the National Centers. And so, that's where you'll find the registration link for the March webinar that PFCE — the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Center — is hosting, the third in the DLLPA series, and you'll also find our link for Thursday's webinar right there listed under Upcoming Events. So that's where you should go to register, and we hope you'll join us.
Karen: Okay. Thanks, everybody. Have a wonderful day, and we look forward to working with you again in our next event.
Deborah: Thank you.
Explore the Education and Child Development Services section of the Dual Language Learners Program Assessment (DLLPA). It includes Teaching and the Learning Environment; Curricula; and Child Screenings and Assessments. Find out how programs can use these criteria to assess their existing systems and services. Discover available resources, including a Planned Language Approach (PLA), to help address any needs identified in your DLLPA self-assessment.