The effectiveness of milieu language strategies on the English language growth of Head Start children learning English as a second language
The current study explored the effectiveness of milieu language strategies on the English language growth over the course of a school year of children learning English as a second language. The four basic milieu language strategies; model, mand-model, time delay, and incidental teaching, can be embedded into daily routines and interaction to teach language skills to children within a supportive context. Three Head Start teachers and nine children, three native English speakers and six native Spanish speakers, participated in the school year-long study. The teachers received training and coaching to effectively implement the milieu strategies. The aim of this study was to examine how instructional strategies created and implemented from a special education perspective based on recommended teaching practices can be used with children learning English as a second language as a means of providing teachers with developmentally appropriate strategies and providing children learning English as a second language with consistent comprehensible input. This study recognizes that children with special needs and children learning English as a second language do not necessarily have similar cognitive abilities and learning needs. The current study sought to answer three questions: can preschool teachers implement milieu language strategies with fidelity, what is the impact of milieu language strategies on young children's English acquisition, and what are teachers' perceptions regarding milieu language strategies. A multiple baseline single subject and qualitative case study methodology was used. Results showed that teachers can implement the strategies with fidelity with on-going feedback and coaching. Milieu language strategies had a positive impact children's language growth. Teachers' perceptions of the milieu language strategies were mixed. Additional research is needed to determine the specific types of coaching needed to maintain intervention fidelity by teachers. Also, additional research is needed to determine the impact of the milieu language strategies on children's language growth who are learning English as a second language during shorter time periods.
Early childhood education;
Head Start project
0518: Early childhood education