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ERIC Number: EJ898719
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Young English Learners' Interlanguage as a Context for Language and Early Literacy Development
Cheatham, Gregory A.; Ro, Yeonsun Ellie
Young Children, v65 n4 p18-23 Jul 2010
English language learners are increasingly present in early care environments. In 2005, for example, 14.7 percent of children in nonparental care in the United States came from homes where only one parent or neither parent spoke English. Approximately 29 percent of children participating in Head Start programs spoke a language other than English. Because home languages often receive little classroom support as children acquire English, children may gradually lose their home language. Consequently, early educators could think that some children cannot speak either of their languages. This article challenges the notion that English language learners who experience home language loss do not have any language proficiency. This assumption is based on misunderstandings of the transitory phase of children's second language acquisition. It can result in children missing learning opportunities or receiving inappropriate assessments and unwarranted referral for special education evaluation. The authors describe characteristics of children's bilingualism that play a role in early educators' assumptions about children's shifting language proficiencies and present recommendations for teaching young English language learners.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A