Beginning Bilingual

Approaches to training dual-language preschool teachers in California

For the first time, this fiscal year the California Department of Education awarded $5 million through the Dual Language Learners Professional Development Grant to six organizations to train preschool teachers who work with dual-language learners.
Here’s a brief summary of the grantees and their projects:

California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN)

  • CPIN is a California-based preschool-specific professional development provider offering low-cost trainings to preschool teachers and administrators statewide. CPIN provides professional development for preschool administrators and teachers highlighting current research-based information, resources, and effective instructional practices.
  • The grant will enable development of DLL-specific online training modules and professional learning opportunities through a virtual learning platform for preschool program directors and teachers via the California Early Childhood Online website. Trainings will also be conducted for regional CPIN leads on the course content and how they can effectively deliver the content to other early-learning teachers and administrators within their regions.

Cal State University Channel Islands (CSUCI)
The CSUCI Early Childhood Studies Program seeks to prepare students to work with young children from birth through eight years of age and their families, with a focus on coursework related to language acquisition and literacy for young DLLs.
The grant will enable the creation of two sequenced online courses with DLL-focused content for assistant teachers, teachers, administrators, and coaches with corresponding online community-of-practice sessions. These courses will be offered in English and Spanish and will be taught by instructors who have been trained to deliver the online course content.

Preschool Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD)
Based on the original kindergarten through fifth-grade Project GLAD, Preschool GLAD offers research-based strategies for creating language-rich settings that promote dual-language development for DLLs.
The grant will give teachers and administrators the opportunity to be trained in the Preschool GLAD model. Initial training will be delivered by certified trainers from the Orange County Department of Education. The trainers will then work with school districts and programs to identify local educators to receive additional training to become certified GLAD trainers.

Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Model
This is a comprehensive model of intensive, enriched language and literacy education for dual/English learners that begins in preschool and continues through third grade.
Six groups of teachers will engage in an intensive SEAL professional development program geared to preschool settings. In addition, four communities of practice will be established across the state for preschool teachers and administrators to continue building their knowledge of best practices for supporting DLLs.

Language Learning Project
The Language Learning Project is based on the Fresno Language Project (FLP), which is part of the Starting Smart and Strong Initiative and was created to ensure all children, including DLLs, have a strong early language foundation upon kindergarten entry. The project centers around professional
development and coaching based on practices for working with DLLs, including infants and toddlers.
The grant will expand FLP to other parts of the state. The Language Learning Project uses personalized oral language(s)-learning strategies, which are concrete approaches that support language learning in ECE settings, including those serving infants and toddlers.

Faculty Initiative Project
This is a collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE) and WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies with the purpose of aligning and integrating essential content and competencies of key early-childhood-specific CDE materials and initiatives with core ECE curricula of the California Community College (CCC) and California State University (CSU) systems.
The grant will provide additional support for the Faculty Initiative Project to ensure more higher-education faculty have access to DLL-specific content. Faculty will convene and discuss topics such as dual-language-learning strategies, literacy development for young DLLs, and teaching in linguistically diverse classrooms.

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