skip to main content
Heartland mobile logo

Resource List on Linguistic Diversity

Division for Early Childhood. (2010). Responsiveness to all children, families, and professionals: Integrating cultural and linguistic diversity into policy and practice. Retrieved from (PDF)

A position paper that outlines the need for professionals and organizations serving families to be aware of and sensitive to the cultural and linguistic diversity of the families and children they serve. Seven position statements detailing the characteristics of culturally and linguistically responsive organizations are discussed.

Espinoza, L.M. (2008). Challenging Common Myths about Young English Language Learners. Foundation for Child Development Policy Brief 8. Retrieved from  (PDF)

This 12-page paper reviews research and uses the findings to debunk 6 commonly believed myths that hinder both practices and policies related to educating young English language learners.

Ford, K. (2010). Colorin Colorado. 8 Strategies for Preschool ELLs' Language and Literacy Development. Retrieved from

This 2-page article provides an overview of research-based, age-appropriate classroom strategies to promote language and literacy development for English language learners.

Goode, T.D. (2009). Promoting cultural and linguistic competency: Self-assessment checklist for personnel providing services and supports in early intervention and early childhood settings. Washington, DC: National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved from (PDF)

This checklist allows individuals to assess their awareness of cultural diversity and their sensitivity to linguistic differences in the early childhood classroom. The checklist helps professionals to expand their knowledge of these issues and be challenged to adopt many of the practices exemplified within it.

IRIS Center. (n.d.). Star Legacy Modules. Cultural and linguistic differences: What teachers should know. Retrieved September 18, 2011 from

This learning module discusses the impact that cultural and linguistic diversity has in the classroom. The impact it has on student performance, communication with the student, and interactions with the family is discussed. Ways to incorporate instruction that is sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences are provided.

IRIS Center. (n.d.). Star Legacy Modules. Teaching English Language Learners: Effective Instructional Practices. Retrieved from

This online learning module provides videos and articles helpful in identifying instructional practices specifically for English Language Learners included in the regular classroom.

Kaiser, A. P. (2011, February). KidTalk: Naturalistic communication intervention strategies for parents and teachers of young children. AUCD Webinar February 22, 2011. Vanderbilt University, Department of Special Education. Retrieved from Webinar_2_22_11.pdf  (PDF)

This archived webinar introduces the Communication Intervention of Enhanced Milieu Teaching, a naturalistic, conversation-based intervention that uses child interests and initiations as opportunities to model and prompt language in everyday contexts.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2005). Screening and assessment of young English-language learners: Supplement to the NAEYC and NAECS/SDE joint position statement on early childhood curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from (PDF)

This position paper, (an extension to the NAEYC and NAECS/SDE Joint Position Statement on Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation), outlines the need to utilize assessment tools that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. Ways to address this need are discussed and recommendations are shared. Attention is paid to the assessment tools, the involvement of the family, and the cultural frame-of-reference offered by the professional doing the assessment.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009). Where we stand on assessing young English language learners. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from

A position paper that addresses the need for better assessment practices and tools for young children who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Indicators of quality assessment practices are provided and current needs within the field are discussed.

Nemeth, K.N. (2009). Many languages, one classroom: Teaching dual and English language learners. Silver Springs: Gryphon House. Available from

This 96-page book provides teachers with ideas on how to address the needs of English language learners in the preschool classroom. Based on the latest research and developmentally appropriate practices, the author provides numerous strategies to support literacy and language development in the preschool classroom.

Palacios, R. (n.d.). Colorin Colorado. Preschool for English language learners: Language learning and assessment [Video file]. Retrieved from

This is part one of a four-part web series that focuses on how young English language learners develop the language skills they need to be successful in the classroom. How quality preschool settings support ELLs and the various models available for ELL classrooms is discussed. Ways to help children develop skills to listen, speak, read and write as well as how to build partnerships with families are shared. How to use peer supports and activities to build language skills through learning centers are also discussed. Types and uses of formal and informal assessments are explored.

Palacios, R. (n.d.). Colorin Colorado. Preschool for English language learners: Academic skills [Video file]. Retrieved from

This is part two of a four-part web series that focuses on how young English language learners develop academic skills in a preschool classroom. Discussions include the types of curriculum necessary for a successful ELL classroom, what skills need to be in place for future success in the kindergarten classroom, and how to support language development through social interactions. Specific examples are provided on ways to support ELL students through the various curricular components of literacy, math, science, technology, music, and play.

Santos, R.M., & Ostrosky, M.M. (2007, December). Understanding the impact of language differences on classroom behavior (What Works Brief Training Kit #2). Tennessee: Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. Retrieved from (PDF)

This training module analyzes how English language learners may exhibit challenging classroom behaviors as a result of their linguistic diversity. Through case studies, participants learn the characteristics of English language learners and are encouraged to find classroom and communication strategies to address some of the challenges they may experience in a classroom. Various strategies are outlined that support English language learners in preschool classrooms.

Smallwood, B.A., & Haynes, E.F. (2008). Singable books: Sing and read your way to English proficiency. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved from

This report discusses the use of books with singable words as a way to develop literacy skills in young English language learners. The research supporting the use of singable books is summarized. Also included are the benefits of this practice and how to select books. A list of recommended singable books is provided.

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746