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Karen Nemeth | @KarenNemethEdM

Karen Nemeth | @KarenNemethEdM

Karen Nemeth, Ed.M., is author of Many Languages, One Classroom: Teaching Dual and English Language Learners, and the director of Language Castle LLC.

Posted by on in Early Childhood


By Karen N. Nemeth, Ed.M., Pam Brillante, Ed.D., Leah J. Mullen, M.A.  

What do we need to see in early childhood education now and in the future? Our hands can reach back to help our colleagues move up, but our eyes have to look forward to the early childhood classrooms of the future. The days of fragmented programs where children and teachers are divided according to special needs and special skills are over. Silos don’t work. Isolating children and practitioners from each other is bad for early education.

All teachers of young children must be prepared for children with DECAL:


Addressing diversity can no longer be about a few buzzwords when we actually still consider diverse people as “others”. There are no non-diverse classrooms! Diversity is about the uniqueness of each and every young child – not about the many vs. the few, or the normal vs. the.....

Last modified on

Posted by on in Movement and Play

When a teacher prepares for a new child who speaks a different language, all sorts of challenges may come to mind.  Active play might not be the first item on the list of concerns, but it is certainly worth thinking about.  On the one hand, physical activity and gross motor play can help a newcomer participate and adapt to the new classroom and new language.  On the other hand, there are a few cautions that every multilingual program should address.  Here are some points for you to consider.




*  Physical play often involves activities and skills that are easy to demonstrate with children who don’t speak your language.  They will feel that they are part of things right from the start.

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Posted by on in Teaching Strategies

Teachers have so many questions about working with children who speak different languages.  Experts recommend that preschool DLLs should continue learning in their home languages while they are also learning English.  In many cases, there will be three, four or more languages in one room and teachers feel overwhelmed.   There is one strategy that all early childhood educators can use to build support for each child's home language:  Make parents your teaching partners!  While it is important to incorporate the languages and cultures of the children in their preschool environment, a lot of support for early language and literacy can take place at home as well.  Here are some ideas to set the stage for a successful blend of home and school supports for home languages.


*  Make it clear in your literature, website and interviews that your program values and depends on the family of each child as partners in the learning process.


*  Have literacy activity workshops, lunch-and-learn meetings, library visits, or informal conversations until you have reached every parent with things they can do to build home language learning.

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