Help! They Don't Speak English: Partnering Preservice Teachers with Adult English Language Learners

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This article was downloaded by: [University of California Santa Cruz]On: 12 November 2014, At: 06:12Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKJournal of Early Childhood TeacherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20Help! They Don't Speak English:Partnering Preservice Teachers withAdult English Language LearnersLaura M. Hooks aa University of South Carolina Upstate , Spartanburg, South Carolina,USAPublished online: 19 Jun 2008.To cite this article: Laura M. Hooks (2008) Help! They Don't Speak English: Partnering PreserviceTeachers with Adult English Language Learners, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 29:2,97-107, DOI: 10.1080/10901020802059433To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10901020802059433PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. 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Terms &Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ujec20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/10901020802059433http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10901020802059433http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions97Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 29:97107, 2008Copyright National Association of Early Childhood Teacher EducatorsISSN: 1090-1027 print / 1745-5642 onlineDOI: 10.1080/10901020802059433UJEC1090-10271745-5642Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Vol. 29, No. 2, April 2008: pp. 123Journal of Early Childhood Teacher EducationHelp! They Dont Speak English: Partnering Preservice Teachers with Adult English Language LearnersPartnering Teachers and Adult ELLsL. M. Hooks LAURA M. HOOKSUniversity of South Carolina Upstate, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USAIt is well documented that parent and family involvement in childrens educationcorrelates with success in school. The increasing number of English LanguageLearners in public schools has created a need for teacher educators to prepare preser-vice teachers to be able to work with families who have limited English. This studyexamined the outcomes of one guided experience that preservice teachers had withadults who spoke English as a second language. Qualitative data indicated that thisexperience increased preservice teachers confidence when working with parents,broadened their knowledge base about diversity, and expanded their knowledge andunderstanding of strategies that support communication.IntroductionNine years ago, the University of South Carolina Upstates early childhood programembarked on a partnership with a child development center associated with a local schooldistrict, Dunbar Child Development and Family Learning Center. This center is accreditedby the National Association for the Education of Young Children and serves the childrenand families of a diverse population. The partnership between the center and the universityprovided an opportunity for preservice teachers to increase their understanding ofdiversity through immersion in that setting and the exploration of related issues inuniversity classes. In their weekly journals many preservice teachers expressed surprise atdiscovering that not all of the children in their classes spoke English as their firstlanguage. In fact, many children spoke little or no English at the beginning of the schoolyear. These preservice teachers voiced concern that as teachers they would most likelyhave students in their classes who had limited English. Simultaneously, they began tolearn more about the need to involve parents in their childrens education, and theirconcerns began to change to anxiety. It was obvious that these preservice teachers neededto develop strategies that would enable them to work confidently with those who spokelimited English. Being on-site at a center where English classes were provided for adultlearners of English, we were able to partner with the adult English class and providepreservice teachers with experiences that would enable them to develop strategies thatmight prove helpful when they had their own classrooms. These experiences with adultEnglish learners might also take away some fear of the unknown and increase theirconfidence in future experiences.Received 1 December 2007; accepted 11 January 2008.Address correspondence to Laura M. Hooks, 800 University Way, University of SouthCarolina Upstate, Spartanburg, SC 29303. E-mail: lhooks@uscupstate.eduDownloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 201498 L. M. HooksThe value of family involvement in childrens education has been well documented(Comer, 2001; Epstein et al., 2002; Powell & Diamond, 1995; Swick, 1993). Epstein et al.identified these six types of involvement as important components for parent involvement:(a) parenting, (b) communicating, (c) volunteering, (d) learning at home, (e) decisionmaking, and (f) collaborating. When addressed systematically, these six components formthe foundation for school personnel to create new partnerships between schools andparents and strengthen existing ones, thereby improving their childrens overall education.Swick (2004) identified elements that are paramount to strong parentprofessionalpartnerships, and focused on parental views about what is important to them in theserelationships. Swick and Graves (1993) noted that in order for partnerships to work,participants should have a healthy sense of self, be able to communicate effectively, berespectful of each other, view others in the partnership positively, and have a sense ofpurpose and trust. Attention to these components provides professionals with ways toempower parents and leads to collaborative learning efforts. Swick (2003) notes thatcommunication is the key to developing partnerships and empowering families.Communication was identified by Epstein et al. (2002), Swick and Graves (1993),and Swick (2003) as one component needed for successful parental involvement. Due tochanging demographics, public schools now have growing numbers of children who arejust learning to speak English as a second language and whose parents may be learningEnglish at the same time. This language diversity makes communication difficult forteachers and increases the challenge to involve parents in their childrens education. Thevalue of parent/family involvement in their childrens education supports the need foreducators to meet this challenge and create strategies for communicating with parents whomay speak limited English.The number of children enrolled in public schools who are learning English as asecond language has increased 44% over the last decade (NCELA, 2007). At the sametime teacher education programs continue to train teachers whose backgrounds do notrepresent this population (Giambo & Szecsi, 20052006). Lim and Able-Boone (2005)examined current models of practice in teacher education programs that show promise fordeveloping cultural competency in preservice teachers. They identified four key features:(a) infusion of cultural diversity throughout the curriculum, (b) diverse field experiences,(c) opportunities for preservice teachers to confront their biases, and (d) partnershipsbetween universities and communities. Epstein and Sanders (2006) examined undergradu-ate programs in education and found that, despite some efforts, many lack experiences thatprepare future teachers to effectively develop partnerships with parents and communities.Early childhood teacher educators must include experiences that will enable futureteachers to develop the knowledge and confidence they need to work with parents whohave limited English.The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) supportsthe belief that teachers are most effective when they understand the needs and beliefs ofthe children and families in their classes. NAEYCs (2005) recommendations includeemphasis on teachers thorough understanding of the characteristics and needs of diversefamilies and children. Among the standards required by the National Council forAccreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2002), one is designed to address this need.It states: The unit (i.e., the college) designs, implements and evaluates curriculum andexperiences for candidates to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and dispositionsnecessary to help all students learn (p. 10).Clearly, it is vital for teacher education programs to include experiences that enablepreservice teachers to involve all parents in their childrens education. This goal includesDownloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014Partnering Teachers and Adult ELLs 99the skills and confidence to work with families who may have limited or no English.Preservice teachers must learn how to communicate with all families in order to create alearning environment that meets the needs of the diverse group of learners and families intheir classrooms. Schools of education have been charged with preparing teachers to teachin schools where not all students and their families have a complete command of theEnglish languageIt took only a few days for junior level preservice teachers enrolled in universityclasses at Dunbar Child Development and Family Learning Center to realize that manyfamilies whose children were enrolled in the center spoke limited English. The preserviceteachers recognized the need to involve the parents in their childrens education, yet thediversity of language and culture created concerns about their ability to interact success-fully with all of the families. The following quotes, taken from journal entries after onlyone day in clinical classrooms, demonstrate the preservice teachers awareness of thechallenges presented when children speak limited English. They also demonstrate thattheir one solution to the issue was to become fluent in the parents language.I knew ahead of time that Mrs. H had several Hispanic children in her class. Ijust had no idea how many of them had little or no English ability. I hadlearned a little bit of Spanish, but quickly realized that it wasnt nearlyenough.From my first week in the classroom with the children, I learned thateverything is different than I remembered from being in school. . . . The onething that I have struggled with is learning to speak Spanish. We have two all-Spanish speakers and two that can speak a small amount of English.PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of one staged experiencewith adult learners of English on preservice teachers preparedness to work with childrenand families who speak English as a second language. The data describe the feelings andbeliefs of preservice teachers before and after their experience, and demonstrate theirgrowth and understanding of diversity.The staged experience created for these preservice teachers was framed around aclass assignment that would introduce them to cultural diversity that is directly linked tolanguage differences. The university class partnered with an English class for adults whowere learning English, referred to as English Language Learners (ELL). The preserviceteachers had the opportunity to interview the English students using mock parent confer-ences and the English students had a chance to practice their English in a nonthreateningsetting.ParticipantsThis qualitative study included 44 Early Childhood majors in their junior year of study.All students were enrolled in corequisite courses of curriculum, growth and development,language development, assessment and management, and a clinical course taught eachsemester at Dunbar Child Development and Family Learning Center. At the time of datacollection, all the children in the center were from low-income families. In terms of ethnicbackground, the families were evenly divided among Latino American, AfricanDownloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014100 L. M. HooksAmerican, and European American. Since it opened in 1998, the language diversity of thechildren enrolled at Dunbar has increased from 30% to 50%. This change has underscoredthe centers need to provide a supportive environment for a diverse group of children andtheir families.The Center offers a diverse network of child and family services for those who areidentified as at risk. Among programs offered at Dunbar Child Development and FamilyLearning Center are English classes for adult learners. Classes are offered at both begin-ning and intermediate levels and vary in size from 6 to 12 students. The ELL students whoparticipated were adult learners who speak English as a second language and whose solemotivation for attending this class was to improve their English skills. Classes included,but were not limited to, adults whose children attended the center. Not all of the Englishstudents were parents. The native language for the majority of these students was Spanish,but also included Chinese, Korean, and Laotian.MethodPreservice teachers were first provided information and guidelines on communicatingwith the parents of children in their classrooms. An additional discussion, facilitated bythe English teacher, focused on language diversity and strategies teachers might use toovercome that barrier. Preservice teachers were instructed to create a purpose for themock parent conference that they would have with one of the ELL students. Then theywrote letters to the ELL students requesting a conference and describing the purpose.The English teacher used these letters as a learning tool for one class session. ELL stu-dents discussed difficult words and concepts that were later shared with the preserviceteachers. The English teacher explained the conferences to her students, and all wereglad for the opportunity to practice their oral English skills. The preservice teacherswere also instructed to write a preconference reflection that focused on their feelingsabout the upcoming experience as well as what they thought might happen during theconference.Preservice teachers then prepared for and then carried out a conference based on afictitious child. Conference discussion centered on the fictitious child and any issue thepreservice teacher created. Preservice teachers were encouraged to extend the conferenceto include more informal conversation about the English students background andexperiences. The English teacher and university professor were present, but served only tointroduce preservice teachers and students to one another. No interpreter was used to assistduring the conference.Following the conferences, preservice teachers were again asked to reflect on thisexperience (postconference reflection) by first looking at their original reflection and thenconsidering what they learned from this activity. This experience was a requiredassignment for the class, but grades were not given for content or degree of proficiency ofcommunication during the conference.Data AnalysisPre- and postconference reflections were analyzed and coded for recurring themesbythree different university professors who taught in the early childhood program. Eachused open coding described by Strauss and Corbin (1990) to individually evaluatepre- and postconference reflections. Open coding allowed these researchers todetermine categories for data that were then evaluated using axial coding to identifyDownloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014Partnering Teachers and Adult ELLs 101connections between data and categories. The final coding was done as the researcherscompared categories and came to a consensus on common recurring themes foundwithin the reflections.Two recurring themes emerged from preconference reflections: (a) anxiety regardingthe conference and (b) concern over being able to communicate with someone who hadlimited English. Four recurring themes emerged in the postconference reflections:(a) increase in confidence, (b) an expanded awareness and appreciation for diversity,(c) improved knowledge of what is involved in communication, and (d) a commitment toinvolving parents in their childrens education.ResultsPreconference reflections indicated a high degree of anxiety for all parent confer-ences, but especially for one where there may be a language barrier. Forty-two outof 44 (95.5%) of the participants indicated they were nervous about the upcomingexperience:Im very nervous about the ELL meeting because I cannot speak Spanish well.I only know about ten words. I know that the people we will be interviewinghave just begun to learn our language, and Im afraid we will both just besitting there not knowing what the other person is trying to say.When I went to do this interview, I was very nervous. I really didnt want toconduct this interview. I was afraid that I would mess up or that we may notbe able to understand each other. Thats when I realized as a teacher, everychilds parent is not going to speak English.As I sit and think about the ELL parent teacher conference I wonder what I amgoing to say so that they are able to understand me, how much are they goingto understand and will I be able to understand them? I am nervous about theconference, but I will be nervous about any parent-teacher conference no mat-ter what their language may be.This comment illustrates the view that a translator is a necessity for communication tooccur:If the parents do not speak English you should have a translator or a way tocommunicate with the parents so they understand what you are saying.Postconference reflectionsThe first recurring theme from data collected in postconference reflections showed thatthe preservice teachers gained confidence in their own abilities to work with parents whospeak English as a second language. Nineteen of the 44 participants, or 43%, includedcomments in their reflections that indicate an improved confidence level:This experience has helped me realize that I am capable of handling diversesituations and circumstances. . . .The conference was a wonderful way to helpprepare me for communicating with the parents of my students.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014102 L. M. HooksThis experience has made me more at ease about talking to parents. I realizethat talking to parents with other languages is more difficult but you cancommunicate.I feel more confident and have a general idea of what a parent conferenceconsists.This experience has helped me start to feel more confident in talking with notonly parents, but also parents with limited English.I learned that it is not as difficult to communicate with someone whospeaks little English. There is always a way to break the communicationbarrier.As I write this I do feel glad that I had the opportunity to practice my commu-nication skills. I also feel more confident about what is expected of me as ateacher during parent/teacher conferences. Kazue did not laugh at me andI realize that she was probably just as nervous as I was.This was a great experience for me and I look forward to meetingnon-English speaking parents in the future. After the parent conference,I was relieved that it was over and I could stop worrying. I began toquestion why I was so nervous and apprehensive about the experience.I liked the feeling of making a connection with the childs parent duringthe process.I learned that a parent conference with a non-English speaking parent shouldnot be a dreaded experience. The conference can serve as a time of connectionbetween the teacher and the parent in accomplishing set goals for the child. Inaddition, throughout the conference, I observed that the parent was happy torepeat any words I didnt understand.The second recurring theme from postconference data indicated that preservice teachersbroadened their awareness and understanding of diversity. Forty-one percent of the partic-ipants, or 18 of the 44, included within their reflections comments that supported theirbroadened awareness and understanding of diversity. They began to listen to these adultsand to gain knowledge and understanding of the views and experiences of parents fromdiverse cultures and languages.These comments noted a growth in their awareness of other cultures:This experience helped me see that diversity is not just limited to Black andWhite and Hispanic, but includes a variety of ethnicities and cultures. Justwhen I think that I am thinking diversity, something else comes along toopen my eyes a little wider. Most importantly, all cultures are valuable andworth exploring.I was exposed to a particular culture that I was not familiar with and had noprevious exposure to. The interview allowed the opportunity to experienceother cultures.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014Partnering Teachers and Adult ELLs 103The interview has opened my eyes about each childs cultural background.After the interview I was feeling more nervous than I was before, because thisopened my eyes to see how many different types of cultures I will deal with inmy teaching career.I want to be aware of the diversity in the students and do what I can to makethem feel welcome and accepted.Some comments were directed specifically to a broadened awareness regarding diversityas it relates to language:Through this interview, I learned that I would not only be exposed toSpanish-speaking children but many other languages as well in the classroom.I always assumed that ELL students speak Spanish, but that is just my ownignorance showing.I know that working with these children is a huge challenge. I know it is diffi-cult for them to live in an English-speaking world during the day and thencome home to a Spanish-speaking environment.Other comments indicated a growth in understanding similarities between these adultEnglish learners and themselves:I also learned that because someone speaks another language does not meanthat they do not have the same feelings as you do. The student that I spokewith, her friend and her herself, as mothers, they cared for their children justas much as an English speaking parent cares for their child.Elena did not really grasp that concept (pretend). We ended up talking abouther family. She said her father always told her the importance of learningEnglish. I found that interesting because my parents always told me theimportance of learning the Spanish language. Elena, also, told us how essen-tial it was for her children to maintain their native language.This will make difference for me as a teacher, because I now realize thateveryone wants the best for their children; and it is up to me to bridge thatlanguage gap to ensure that desire is accomplishedThrough this experience, I have a broader look on diversity that ranges fromSpanish to Vietnamese and many others. My awareness has stretched toinclude all the diverse populations.The third recurring theme that emerged supported the improved knowledge of what isinvolved in communication. Preconference reflections stressed the apprehension aboutcommunicating with persons who speak limited English. Postconference reflectionsindicated growth in both knowledge and understanding of various ways to communicatewithout words, including the use body language. Of the 44 participants, 21 (48%) notedDownloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014104 L. M. Hooksways they learned to improve communication with parents. Comments were not directedsolely to parents who speak limited English, but also included ways to improve communi-cation and parent conferences with any parent: Some comments focused on preparing forthe conference, putting parents at ease, and starting on a positive note.I learned how important it is to make the parents feel comfortable. She feltcomfortable enough with us to tell us a little about herself.I needed to be much more prepared. During the mock meeting, I found myselfstruggling to find questions and comments to share with Andre. I continuouslylooked at my paper and did not allow the conversation to flow freely. I quicklyrealized the importance of starting off with something positive to share abouttheir child.I wanted to put the parent at ease because conferences can be extremely stress-ful times.I introduced myself as his sons teacher. I started on a positive note statingthat his son was a good student. We discussed his sons strengths.Other comments were directed specifically towards communicating with someone whospeaks limited English:I realized that you need to speak clearly and ask simple questions whilelooking at them attentively.By sitting next to him and facing him I conveyed that I was not defensive andthat I wanted to hear what he had to say and that we were a team workingtogether. My vocabulary changed as I understood his level of English compre-hension. I gave the father time to talk. I wanted to better understand what heexpected and if he understood me.I was especially glad that we had gone over in class how to speak slowly andbe patient with people who use English as a second language. I believe that bygiving them (parents and students) this patience, you are offering them a posi-tive perspective and the support that they need to be successful.I will just use body language and physical cues to communicate with themsince body language counts for 90% of communication.Mrs. Chi tried her best to communicate, and when she stumbled on somewords, instead of her losing confidence in herself, she found a different wordto use or used her hands to tell her story.I learned that eye contact and letting the parents completely try on a wordbefore intervening is important. The eye contact lets the parent know thatyou are engaged in conversation with them. It is important to be patient withthem and pay attention to their mannerisms and situation they are talkingabout.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014Partnering Teachers and Adult ELLs 105Linda talked very slowly when we communicated. I could tell she wouldreplay what she had just said out loud to me in her mind to make sure she hadsaid it correctly. I noticed this and tried to speak slowly and use simplelanguage skills for communication.I used her gestures, tone, and facial expressions to assist in understanding herwords.Even though she has been here for seven years and speaks English well,there were still times when I received a look of confusion from her. Iwould then have to go back and reword my statement so we couldcommunicate.I learned that people could actually communicate without knowing eachothers language. I learned that body language and facial expressions givecues that will inform you on whether or not the other person understands whatyou are saying. I also learned to speak very slowly and clearly. This allows theperson time to think about what you are saying. I felt like as time passed that itwas easier to understand Sunny Lee. I became more familiar with what wordsshe seemed to understand more than the other words I had spoken.The fourth recurring theme that emerged from the reflections was the value placed uponthe teachers relationships with the parents. Postconference reflections indicated thatbecause of this experience preservice teachers demonstrated ways to promote positiverelationships and rapport with parents who had limited English:According to what we talked about in class, through this interview I learnedthat you understand more and gain more from the conference if you firstestablish some rapport with the parent.I feel that it is very important for both parties in the parent conference to becomfortable talking with one another.This has made me more at ease about speaking to parents about theirchildren. What I like to think about is, how I would feel sitting over in theparents seat and what would I like to hear. If a parent knows that you careabout their child and you want to help them it can make all the difference inthe world.I will just have to learn how to communicate and find some way for them tounderstand because the parent-teacher relationship is very important tohave.This assignment allowed me to see that as teachers we need to make sure thatour students parents feel comfortable with us so that there is a connection.We need to have ongoing communication.I want all families to feel welcome and involved with their childrenslearning.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014106 L. M. HooksI learned how important it is to make the parents feel comfortable. She feltcomfortable enough with us to tell us a little about herself. This is important toremember because we must not make our parents feel as if they were belowus in any way. If they feel intimidated or uncomfortable they will not commu-nicate in the way we need them to.I learned that it was not as hard as I thought it would be to speak with a totalstranger who did not speak English fluently. I know that real parent confer-ences will more than likely be completely different since I will know a littleabout the child, or even have had the child in class, and also have a realsituation to discuss. I hope things will go as easily as they did today withestablishing rapport with the parents.Summary and ConclusionsThe rise in the number of children in public schools who are English LanguageLearners indicates a need for teacher educators to prepare preservice teachers to workwith this diverse population. This study supports the value of one experience thatincorporates key features identified by Lim and Able-Boone (2005). Partnering with anadult English class allowed preservice teachers to participate in a field experience thatchallenged them to communicate with someone whose English was limited. Many hadexperienced few or no previous interactions with persons who speak limited English,and this inexperience was perhaps the reason for preservice teachers anxiety prior tothe mock parent conferences. They had given little thought to ways to communicatewith someone who does not speak their language, and were worried they would not beable to do so.This experience addressed several of these concerns. It provided preservice teacherswith insight into other cultures. Preservice teachers also identified nonverbal ways ofcommunicating and found ways to help the communication process by establishingrapport. The one-on-one interaction in an informal setting gave them an opportunity toidentify commonalities between themselves and the adult English Language Learners withwhom they interacted. Most important, the preservice teachers gained confidence in theirabilities to communicate with parents and realized that it was not always necessary to havean interpreter present to establish rapport and to share information.Many students enjoyed the experience so much they wanted to repeat the process.Postconference reflections indicate that this class activity had a positive impact on thesepreservice teachers abilities and confidence in working with all of the parents and fami-lies of the children in their classrooms. As one student noted:I would absolutely want to do this ESOL conference again. It was a wonderfulexperience that will hopefully make me more aware of the cultural and lan-guage differences that will be in my classroom.Two other student comments demonstrate the positive impact this experience had on theirattitude towards interacting with those from other cultures:I really did enjoy learning about her [the parent she interviewed] family andher background. She has a very interesting life, and I was delighted that I hadthe opportunity to speak with her.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014Partnering Teachers and Adult ELLs 107I am excited about having children and families with diverse backgroundsinvolved in my classroom. I can draw from these cultural differences andapply them in the classroom for all children to learn more effectively. I wantall families to feel welcome and involved with their childrens learning.ImplicationsResults from this study support the value of providing preservice teachers opportunities tointeract with adults who have limited English. Data indicate that after this experiencepreservice teachers are more confident in their abilities and have a broader knowledgebase and understanding of persons from diverse cultures. Both are important for beginningteachers to be successful in todays schools. Future research should focus on a variety ofexperiences to determine what types of experiences with English Language Learners arethe most valuable for preservice teachers and have the longest lasting impact. Longitudi-nal research would help determine the carryover of these experiences into preserviceteachers classrooms after they graduate.ReferencesComer, J. (2001). Schools that develop children. The American Prospect, 12(7), 312.Epstein, J., & Sanders, M. (2006). Prospects for change: Preparing educators for school, family, andcommunity partnerships. Peabody Journal of Education, 81(2), 81120.Epstein, J., Sanders, M., Simon, B., Salinas, K., Jansorn, N., & Van Voorhis, F. (2002). Schoolfamily, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press.Giambo, D., & Szecsi, T. (20052006). Opening up to the issues: Preparing preservice teachers towork effectively with English language learners. Childhood Education, 82(2), 107110.Lim, C., & Able-Boone, H. (2005). Diversity competencies within early childhood teacher prepara-tion: Innovative practices ad future directions. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education,26(3), 225238.NAEYC, National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2005). NAEYC: Where westand: Many languages many cultures: Respecting and responding to diversity. RetrievedNovember 19, 2007, from www.naeyc.org/about/positions/pdf/diversityNCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2002). Professional standardsfor the accreditation of schools, colleges, and departments of education. Washington DC:Author.NCELA, National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language InstructionEducational Programs. (2007, November). How many school-aged English language learners(ELLS) are there in the U.S.? Retrieved November 16, 2007, from www.ncela.gwu.edu/expert/faq/o1leps.htmlPowell, D., & Diamond, K. (1995) Approaches to parent-teacher relationships in U.S. earlychildhood programs during the twentieth century. Journal of Education, 177(3), 7194.Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990) Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures andtechniques. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Swick, K. (2003, Summer) Communication concepts for strengthening family-school communitypartnerships. Early Childhood Education Journal, 30(4), 275280.Swick, K. (2004, Spring) What parents seek in relations with early childhood family helpers. EarlyChildhood Education Journal, 31(3), 217220.Swick, K., & Graves, S. (1993). Empowering at-risk families during the early childhood years.Washington, DC: National Education Association.Downloaded by [University of California Santa Cruz] at 06:12 12 November 2014

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