Harvard Educational Review
  1. One Child, Two Languages

    A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language

    By Patton O. Tabors

    Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks, 1997. 195 pp. $24.95.

    In One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language, Patton O. Tabors, a research associate for the Projects in Language Development at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, provides a comprehensive and readable resource that early childhood teachers, administrators, and parents will find insightful and invaluable.

    One Child, Two Languages is divided into two parts: the first part discusses children as language learners, while the second illustrates how teachers can support children's second--language acquisition. As a participant observer, the author studied culturally and linguistically diverse young learners and teachers in one English--language classroom over two years. The first part offers in--depth portraits of two children - Juliana, a native English speaker, and Byong--sun, a second--language learner - to demonstrate the complex process of acquiring language within a learning environment. There are multiple examples that illustrate Juliana's and Byong--sun's challenges in acquiring English.

    The second part is a step--by--step guide that preschool teachers will find useful in supporting children's second--language acquisition and social learning in different classroom settings. There are strategies on how to use the curriculum to promote language development, the teacher's role in assessing the development of second--language learners, and working with parents. One Child, Two Languages is a resource that can help preschool educators begin to understand the complex challenges that second--language learners face in acquiring English in the preschool classroom.

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