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Keywords:

  • dual language learners;
  • English language learners;
  • early childhood;
  • teacher preparation;
  • diversity;
  • workforce

Abstract— Teacher preparation is clearly linked to the quality of early childhood programs. In order for young dual language learners (DLLs) to be academically successful, teacher preparation should focus on those skills and abilities relevant to students’ particular needs. This article reviews the content of professional preparation for early educators working with young DLLs and briefly discusses the importance of developing the cultural and linguistic diversity of the early childhood workforce. It identifies 6 content areas: (a) understanding language development, (b) understanding the relationship between language and culture, (c) developing skills and abilities to effectively teach DLLs, (d) developing abilities to use assessment in meaningful ways for DLLs, (e) developing a sense of professionalism, and (f) understanding how to work with families.