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Dual Language Homes: Review of Research & Implications for Early Intervention. Lena G. Caesar, Ed.D., Ph.D., CCC-SLP Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI January 21, 2011. Webinar Outline. The Challenge of Changing Demographics Literacy & English Language Learners

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Dual Language Homes:Review of Research & Implications for Early Intervention

Lena G. Caesar, Ed.D., Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI

January 21, 2011

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Webinar Outline

  • The Challenge of Changing Demographics

  • Literacy & English Language Learners

  • Connecting with Parents thru Journaling

  • The SALSA Approach

  • Implications for Early Intervention

  • Debunking the myths

  • ‘ATE’ Tips for Working with Parents from Dual Language Homes

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Part I

The Challenge of changing demographics

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Why talk about Dual Language?

  • US experiencing a demographic shift

  • Minority populations –especially Hispanics—experiencing rapid growth

  • Demographics of ASHA membership not keeping up with changes nationwide

    (ASHA membership survey, 2009)

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US Demographics(US Census Bureau, 2006)

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ASHA Demographics(ASHA, 2010)

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Michigan SLP Survey(Caesar & Kohler, 2007)

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MSHA Demographic Profile(Caesar & Kohler, 2007)

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MSHA CLD Profile(Caesar & Kohler, 2007)

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Michigan Linguistic Profile(Caesar, 2004-unpublished dissertation)

Top 5 (of 40) Languages

(students on caseload)

  • Spanish 63%

  • Arabic 42%

  • Chinese 18%

  • Korean 9%

  • Laotian 6%

Top 5 (of 9) Languages

(responding clinicians)

  • ASL (7) 28%

  • Spanish (5) 20%

  • German ( 3) 12%

  • Bulgarian (1) 1%

  • French (1) 1%

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Why talk about Dual Language?

  • Children were ‘born to talk’— pre-wired for communication

  • Research on infant perceptual skills suggests innate multilingual abilities

  • Consistent early stimulation (regardless of language) is vital to language acquisition

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Part II

literacy and ells

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Significance of Pre-literacy Skills

  • More than any other single skill, the ability to read and read well will allow a child to succeed in school, society and the world.

    (National Literacy Panel, 2006)

  • Problems children experience learning to read are related to pre-literacy skills they bring from their home environments and/or preschools.

    (Lonigan, 2006)

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Literacy and ELLs-1

  • Improvement of literacy outcomes is an area of national concern

  • ELLs twice as likely to demonstrate sub-average literacy skills (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998)

  • Oral proficiency- a prerequisite for literacy development of ELLs (August & Shanahan, 2006)

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Literacy and ELLs-2

In general, ELLs:

  • Do worse than majority of peers of similar SES

  • Do not ‘catch up” –even with intervention

  • Derive fewer benefits from Shared-Book Reading

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Literacy and ELLs-3

  • Parental literacy strongly associated with children’s language/literacy development

  • ELLs tend to have poorer literacy outcomes & lower academic achievement

  • ELLs who may be especially vulnerable:

    • Low SES

    • Low literacy parental background

    • Nomadic/Itinerant lifestyle

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Importance of Parental Input

  • Effective Home Literacy Environments

    • Verbal interactions are abundant

    • Literacy valued

    • Experiences with print encouraged

    • Strong Parental Beliefs/Expectations held

    • Poor Home Literacy Environments (Hart & Risley)

    • “meaningful differences” in vocab knowledge

    • Delayed language acquisition

    • Lack of “school readiness’ & literacy skills

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Issues in Second LanguageIntervention

  • Role and impact of L1 on L2

  • Language of Instruction and Intervention

  • Impact of mothers’ use of Spanish

  • Culturally-relevant intervention

  • Insufficient parent involvement

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Barriers to Parental Involvement

  • Low literacy (in both languages)

  • Difficult working conditions (exhaustion)

  • Poor Housing conditions

  • Beliefs re role of educators

  • Poor self-image regarding literacy

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  • Send spiral notebook home with requests for “news” of the night

  • Parent makes primitive drawing and records child’s dictated comments exactly

Doggie eat grass. Got sick. Yucky.

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  • Looks at news picture with child

  • Redraws picture on bigger paper

  • Scaffolds retelling of “there and then” narrative

  • Invites child to color picture, add features, write name

Doggie eat grass. Got sick on floor. Mommy clean it up.

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Part IV

The SALSA approach (to parent INVOLVEMENT)

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The SALSA Project

  • Collaborative Intervention Study

    • Andrews University (AU) and

      Western Michigan University (WMU)

  • Co-investigators:

    • Lena G. Caesar, Ed.D., Ph.D.

    • Nickola W. Nelson, Ph.D.,

    • Student Clinicians:

      • AU: Natalya Franco, Kalina Shaw & Kimaura Jackson

      • WMU : Paula Vergunst, Megan Kovach, & Katie Smoes

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    Goals of the Project

    • To support parental involvement in children’s literacy development

    • To train parents in providing language and literacy stimulation in the home environment

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    The SALSA Project

    Students and Teachers

    Telamon Migrant Head Start Center

    SALSA ‘Bag Day’

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    Project Participants

    • CHILD participants

      • 21 Spanish-speaking ELLs

      • Ranging in age from 2;8 – 5;9

    • PARENT participants

      • 18-20 families of Mexican descent

      • Educational Level: < HS (85%); HS (15%)

      • Primary Language: Spanish (70%); Other (30%)

        (Indigenous languages: Nahuatl & Mixtec)

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    Parents’ Role


      • Attend a training session regarding language-based parent-child interactions

      • Draw pictures with the child using materials in the pre-school journal kit (SALSA bag)

      • Return drawings once weekly

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    Clinician’s Role

    --Redraw and expand parent’s drawing

    --Scaffold child’s language, extend vocabulary

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    Part V

    Implications for early intervention

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    SALSA & Parental Involvement

    • Structured venue for parent-child interaction

    • Involvement of parents in print activity

    • Functional language stimulation in L1 (and L2)

    • Source of functional, relevant content

    • Positive parent-clinician partnerships

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    Other Implications

    • Clinical Implications

      • Provides alternative approach to parent-clinician communication

      • Provides source of information on family’s interests

    • Ethno-cultural Implications

      • Cultural appropriateness of intervention

      • Validation of L1 ( Kayser, 1998; Brice, 2002)

      • Parental Empowerment

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    Part VI

    Let’s debunk the myths!

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    Debunking the myths-1

    • To effectively work with bilingual families, all SLPs should become bilingual

    • Using an interpreter guarantees open and clear communication

    • Clinicians should encourage parents to speak L1 to the child---regardless of parental proficiency

    • Clinicians should provide therapy in L2 ---regardless of their proficiency

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    Debunking the myths-2

    • Learning 2 languages produces confusion and delay

    • Bilingualism produces delays in both languages

    • Language mixing/code switching is a sign of a language disorder

    • Parents of ELLs are not concerned about their children’s language development

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    Part VII

    Hot Tips for working with Parents

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    ‘ATE’ Tips for working with Parents in DL Homes

    • Initiate (Don’t be afraid to lead)

    • Relate (Relationships transcend language barriers)

    • Educate (Training is essential)

    • Validate (value culture and language)

    • (be) Appropriate (Sensitive, relevant, feasible)

    • Innovate – just do it!

      Respect Respect