Teacher Language Practices that Support Multilingual Learners: Classroom-Based Approaches from Multilingual Early Childhood Teachers
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The language practices used by teachers in schools directly impact the language development and reading performance of multilingual children. Despite the important effect of teacher language choices on children’s language learning, there is a considerable need to better understand what constitutes effective multilingual language practices for teachers.
This study uses teacher inquiry to examine the language practices multilingual early childhood teachers develop, implement, and refine when supported to critically examine their teaching practice. Participants were five multilingual early childhood teachers with varying language histories, program settings, and professional experiences. Findings describe themes that capture the key practices and guiding ideas from the knowledge developed by these teachers. These themes provide guidance on practices that can leverage the language capacities of multilingual teachers and show ways that multilingual teachers can make language choices that support multilingual learners.
This study centers multilingual teachers’ voices and knowledge about language and culture, and highlights the critical role of teachers as producers of new knowledge and language practices.
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