Abstract: Increasingly, studies have shown that early childhood education
programs are an effective way to promote young children's school readiness and long-term
outcomes. However, there is still debate in the field about what constitutes a high-quality
preschool experience for DLLs to foster their optimal positive development. To better serve
DLLs, research needs to focus on how having acces... read mores to two languages uniquely affects their
learning. This dissertation examined the relations between teacher-child interactions, a
consistently cited feature of high-quality preschools, characteristics of classroom
context, and DLLs' school readiness skills. The three studies in this dissertation used
multiple methods but all focused on low-income Latino DLLs. Study 1 utilized the latest
Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a secondary data set representing the
population of children who entered Head Start in the U.S. for the first time in fall 2009.
In Study 2 and 3, data were taken from a local Head Start program that consisted of 11
classrooms where more information was collected on DLLs' initial English and Spanish skills
and teacher language ideologies.The first set of findings discussed the positive
associations between teachers' speaking Spanish and students' socio-emotional skills but
not language outcomes. The second set of findings show how higher concentrations of DLLs
were linked to lower language and socio-emotional outcomes. Implications for preschool
programs and teacher professional development are discussed as well as potential directions
for future research.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Christine McWayne.
Committee: Jayanthi Mistry, Michael Lopez, and Elizabeth
Keywords: Early childhood education, and Language.read less