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Learning English as an Additional Languagein the Early Years (birth to six years)RESOURCEBOOKLETDr Priscilla Clarke 2011

Learning English as an Additional Languagein the Early Years (birth to six years)RESOURCEBOOKLET

Copyright Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2011ISBN: 978-1-921702-76-1No part of this publication may be reproduced except as specified under theCopyright Act 1968 or by permission from the VCAA. For more informationgo to: ght.htmlThe VCAA provides the only official, up-to-date versions of VCAApublications. Details of updates can be found on the VCAA website: www.vcaa.vic.edu.auThis publication may contain copyright material belonging to a third-party.Every effort has been made to contact all copyright owners. If you believethat material in this publication is an infringement of your copyright pleaseemail the Copyright Officer: [email protected] Resource Booklet may be copied by early childhood professionals foruse within their service.For all other purposes, permission must be obtained in writing from the VCAA.This resource is available on the Internet at:www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/earlyyears

ForewordI am thrilled and delighted to introduce the LearningEnglish as an Additional Language professionallearning resources.In Australia at the present time there are manychildren starting early childhood services forwhom English is not their first or home language.Some early childhood settings have a diversity oflanguages spoken, while others have only one ortwo children who do not speak English.This set of resources provides comprehensiveinformation to assist children from birth to six yearsin learning English as an additional language andpractical suggestions to support early childhoodprofessionals in their work with children andfamilies from diverse communities.These materials, which draw on both the researchof Dr Priscilla Clarke and the training and practiceexpertise of the FKA Children’s Services, havebeen developed in partnership with the VictorianCurriculum and Assessment Authority.These resources will support implementation of theVictorian Early Years Learning and DevelopmentFramework. The Framework acknowledges thatthe families and communities in which children liveare diverse, that responsive relationships supportchildren’s learning and development and thatearly childhood professionals respect children’slanguages, cultures and ways of knowing andbeing.I commend these accessible, clear and helpfulprofessional learning resources to early childhoodprofessionals. I also recognise the significantcontribution these resources make to bi/multilingualearly childhood education and to all children’slearning.Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchfordhas worked as an academic andresearcher for over 25 years,holding positions at the Universityof Warwick and the University ofLondon.Professor Siraj-Blatchford'sresearch includes the impact ofearly home learning, staff training,pedagogy, curriculum andassessment on young children’slearning and development;particularly those childrenand families from vulnerablebackgrounds. Prior to this herwork was as an early yearsteacher during the 1980s.ProfessorIram Siraj-BlatchfordInstitute of EducationUniversity of Londoniii

AcknowledgementsSpecial thanks to Boroondara Kindergarten staff,children and families for allowing us to photographin their welcoming and inclusive environment.This resource has been written by Dr PriscillaClarke, OAM, Early Childhood Consultant (formerlyExecutive Director of FKA Children’s Serviceswhich includes the Multicultural Resource Centre).In 2003, Dr Clarke was awardedan Order of Australia medal forher significant contribution to thebilingual preschool education ofimmigrant and refugee children.ivDr Clarke specialises in the Second Languageacquisition of young bilingual children birth toeight years and has conducted professionaldevelopment for early years educators in Australia,New Zealand, Thailand, England, Scotland,Northern Ireland and Ireland. She is the author ofmany publications including a book written jointlyby Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford and publishedby Open Press University.

ContentsIntroduction1Creating welcoming and culturally inclusiveenvironments for all children and families3Strategies to welcome and support allfamilies and children3Practical ideas to support children underthree years oldRelationships with familiesExperiences for children underthree years of age9912Practical ideas to support children threeto six years old17Beginning in an early years setting17Strategies to develop children’s English18Games and learning experiences24Cooking experiences27References30Resources32 Resource Web Link Contact Experiencev

Photo and image creditsThis Resource makes use of a series of photos and images: Cover image of From lullabies to literature: Stories in the livesof infants and toddlers, Washington DC courtesy of NAEYC andPademelon Press. Cover image of Inviting Play Photographs of imaginativelyconstructed early childhood settings courtesy of FKA Children’sService Inc. and Dr Priscilla Clarke. Cover image of There’s a Goat in my Coat, courtesy of Allen andUnwin. Images of children’s books courtesy of Global Books website. Photographs taken at Boroondara Kindergarten. Photographs courtesy of Dr Priscilla Clarke. Selection of plant images courtesy of Ian Potter FoundationChildren’s Garden.vi

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)IntroductionThis Resource Booklet has been developed by the Victorian Curriculum andAssessment Authority (VCAA) with funding from the Victorian Department ofEducation and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) as part of implementation ofthe Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, 2009.This Resource Booklet complements a professional learning program that supportsearly childhood professionals in their work with children, birth to six years fromculturally and linguistically diverse communities. The professional learning programand materials include:1. Supporting Children Learning English as a Second Language in the Early Years(birth to six years) 2009 by Dr Priscilla Clarke OAM2. Three professional learning modules: Module 1 – Learning English as an Additional Language – children under three Module 2 – Learning English as an Additional Language in the preschool years Module 3 – Achieving outcomes in English as an Additional Language in thepreschool years3. A Resource Booklet which is ordered into four sections: Creating welcoming andculturally inclusive environments for all children and families, Practical ideas tosupport children under three years old, Practical ideas to support children threeto six years old and References and Resources.This Resource Booklet begins with a selection of ideas, experiences, resources andwebsites for early childhood professionals. The focus is on supporting children in themaintenance of their first language and in learning English as an additional language.The materials provided promote cultural awareness for all children.1

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)Creating welcoming and culturallyinclusive environments for allchildren and familiesUnderstanding diverse cultural practices is an importantpart of supporting parents and assisting children tosettle into services. The most effective way to learnabout the diverse cultural practices of families is throughongoing discussions with families.Discussions with families over time providesinformation on: what values are important to them what cultural practices families wish to retain.(Victorian Early YearsLearning and DevelopmentFramework for all Childrenfrom Birth to Eight Years, p.7)(VEYLDF)Strategies to welcome and support allfamilies and children1. Refer to written information on diversecultures and cultural practices.A current resource on diverse cultural practices is:Child Rearing Backgrounds of ImmigrantFamilies in Australia (manual and/or CD)‘The VictorianFrameworkacknowledgesthat the familiesand communitiesin which childrenlive are diverse, andchildren’s learningand development isenhanced when earlychildhood professionalsrespect their culturesand ways of knowingand being.’ Published by FKA Children’s Services2. Provide translatednotices, brochuresand pamphletsthat help explainthe routines ofthe early yearssetting.3

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)3. Create a space to displaycommunity information andprovide bilingual informationwhenever possible.4. Acknowledge the traditionalcustodians of the land:Together the children and educators have created adisplay to acknowledge the traditional custodians of theland and pay respect to the elders both past and living. 5. Display a calendar of significant cultural eventsto share with all families.6. Discuss with familiesappropriate ways ofacknowledging andcelebrating these eventswith children and families.7. Display photos of childrenengaged in learning.Accompany photoswith explanations of thechildren’s experiences using the languages spokenby the children and written in the spoken languageand English.8. Learn to pronounce children’s names.9. Learn greetings in the children's languages.4

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)10. Work collaboratively with interpreters or bilingualearly childhood professionals to welcome families.These bilingual professionals can explain the earlyyears settling-in processes, routines and practices.All services with State Government Funding contact: Organisation:All Graduates Interpreting and Translating ServicesTelephone: 03 9605 3000Telephone Translation Desk: 03 8602 0000Email: General Enquiries – [email protected] services with Commonwealth GovernmentFunding contact: Organisation:Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) NationalTelephone: 131 450Email: [email protected] Seek assistance from an interpreter or bilingualeducator wherever possible. If this is not possible,and where appropriate, consider seeking assistancefrom another parent at the early years setting whospeaks the same first language and has appropriatelanguage skills.5

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)12. Provide a welcoming physical environment thatreflects diversity both indoors and outdoors, forexample: display pictures andpuzzles of varyingfamilies and lifestyles display a variety ofbooks, fiction andnon-fiction in Englishand other languages select items for home corner that reflect diversityincluding kitchen utensils, materials and dolls select musical instruments, songs, CDs andrhymes that promote a variety of backgrounds plant a variety of herbs and plants that reflect arich cultural diversity, for example Vietnamesemint, bamboo in pots, lemongrass, oregano,Australian native plants.B am b o oV ietnamese MintB a n k si a6

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)Notes7

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)Practical ideas to support childrenunder three years oldRelationships with familiesEarly childhood professionals play a vital role in themaintenance of children’s first languages when they:‘The maintenanceof first or homelanguages has asignificant andcontinuing role inthe construction ofidentity’.(VEYLDF, p.18)1. Support families to understand the value ofmaintaining their first language. Make available upto-date information such as bilingual resources informats that are accessible for families.2. Reassure families that children will learn English asan additional language from English speakers at theearly years setting.3. Work with bilingual early childhood professionalswhenever possible to support children to feelsecure in the early years setting and to assistcommunication with families.9

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)4. Demonstrate a respect for diverse cultures andlanguages by learning greetings, key function wordsand the names of familiar objects in the child’s firstlanguage. Develop a bank of resources such as:Publications of key phrases forearly years setting such as FKAChildren's Service publication.How to say it:some practicalphrases to usewith small childrenGenerate individualsets of key wordsusing theweb translators at:Example English –pencilSpanish – el lápizTurkish – kalemVietnamese – bút hoo.com5. Ask families to teach you key words and phrasesand help you to pronounce them correctly.6. Show respect for the cultural backgrounds of familiesby discussing their cultural practices and routinessuch as: the child’s sleeping patterns feeding, eating and toileting expectations promoting independence and choice; forexample, about choosing toys or clothing, andencouraging self-care10

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years) attitudes to play, for example use of toys andresources (new shop bought, natural materials orhomemade materials) purpose of different play settings, for exampleplaying on the floor, in the sandpit or with water,small group play behaviour guidance and beliefs about discipline.Think about: What information have we sought fromfamilies about their cultural practices? How flexible are we in accommodatingthe family practices into our routines?11

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)Experiences for children underthree years of ageBabies and toddlers need rich language experiences tosupport the maintenance of their first language and thelearning of English as an additional language.Strategies to support language development in Englishand other languages1. Create inviting spaces and safe environmentsindoors and outdoors such as: places to crawl in andexplore treasures for toddlersincluding boxes andbaskets handmade and knittedtoys, dolls and balls open spaces, areaswith cushions,mats and rugs,natural materials.Further information is available in:Inviting Play: Photographs of imaginativelyconstructed early childhood settings(Clarke, P)12

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years)2. Use language experiences, for example: talk with children and engage in language play engage children in shared conversations such as‘peek-a-boo’ or waving goodbye use interactive games such ‘ipsy wispy spider’and ‘round and round the garden’ clap with babies and toddlersCan you keep a secret?I don’t suppose you canYou mustn’t laughyou mustn’t smileBut do the best you can. sing action songs when playing in the sand ask parents to teach simplerhy

Learning English as an Additional Language in the Early Years (birth to six years) ‘The Victorian Framework acknowledges that the families and communities in which children live are diverse, and children’s learning and development is enhanced when early childhood professionals respect their cultures and ways of knowing and being.’