Early Learning in Native Language can Help English Skills

Published:  August 16, 2016

Pre School"New research from theUniversity of Missouri shows that Spanish-speaking preschoolers experience significant improvements in their English skills when they have a good grasp of Spanish letters and numbers. In another study, the researcher found that behavior traits play a role in English learning. These findings suggest that early education programs that connect children’s word and math skills in Spanish to those in English can increase school readiness for Spanish-speaking children." 

We recommend that you read the complete article on written by the University of Missouri here.

First 5's Investment in Teachers Acquiring Language Learner Knowledge (TALLK)

The research conducted at the University of Missouri validates the investment that First 5 has made in the Sonoma County TALLK Project since 2006.  The TALLK project provides preschool teachers with training and coaching in specific strategies for interacting with English learner children to support language acquisition. TALLK is based on the research-demonstrated best practice of providing adult education through a combination of information sharing followed by coaching. The goal is to support language development among preschoolers in their home language and in English.

TALLK also offers parent workshops, emphasizing school readiness and strategies for building a language-rich environment at home. The parent workshops emphasize the same evidence-based language development concepts that preschool staff are learning through the TALLK program. Parents learn activities to do with their children that continue to promote language learning at home.

According to Terri Clark, Regional Director of North Bay Children's Center, "The TALLK project has not only transformed how we approach language and literacy in our programs but has provided us with a proven tool to help children develop a second language."

Learn more about the TALLK Project and watch an informative program video here.