ERIC Number: ED470980
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Thematic Literature and Curriculum for English Language Learners in Early Childhood Education. ERIC Digest.
Smallwood, Betty Ansin
The incorporation of age- and language-appropriate thematic literature into the early childhood curriculum can stimulate content-based academic learning for English language learners (ELLs). This systematic approach is particularly beneficial to young ELLs ages 3 through 8, because it provides background knowledge and cultural information along with opportunities to hear, speak, and interact with carefully crafted language in thematic and story contexts. It also develops literacy in an engaging and playful context. For example, a well-chosen picture book can provide a meaningful focus for developing reading skills such as vocabulary and comprehension, as well as an awareness of sounds and sound-letter relationships. While this careful introduction to reading is important for all children in Grades preK-3, it is critical for the growing population of young ELLs. Almost half (47%) of the K-12 ELL school population reported by grade (1999-2000) is enrolled in Grades K-3, representing about 1.3 million children. Many of these children are interacting socially beyond the home and family for the first time, hearing extensive English, being exposed to books and read aloud to, and functioning as part of a learning community. This digest provides early childhood educators with book selection criteria, literature-based teaching strategies, curricular topics, and book lists for representative topics appropriate for use with ELLs in early childhood settings. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/VWL)
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, English (Second Language), Literature, Second Language Learning, Teaching Methods, Thematic Approach
ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 800-276-9834 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.cal.org/ericcll/DIGEST.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.