Prekindergarten Teachers' Experiences Teaching Preliteracy to English Language Learners
Pre-K teachers in Metro Georgia have little to no training in working with English language learner/dual language learner (ELL/DLL) students, nor do they know how to instruct these students to meet Pre-K preliteracy criteria. As Pre-K classrooms contain increasing numbers of ELL/DLL students, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teachers' need to support emergent literacy for ELL/DLL students in the Pre-K setting. The theoretical foundations for this study included Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and Kreshan's theory of language acquisition. Thirteen teachers participated in the study. Selection criteria was (1) having 2 years of teaching experience and (2) having ELL/DLL students in their classrooms. Interview and observational data were analyzed using a priori, emergent, and thematic coding. The themes emerging from the study addressed teacher needs in four areas: professional development focused on the needs of ELL/DLL students and on providing sheltered instruction, time to collaborate with others in their ELL/DLL instructional practices, and technology as a source of materials and ideas. The project study is a proposed professional development course to help teachers teach emergent literacy skills to ELL/DLL students. The findings may lead to improved practices for teachers offering ELL/DLL preliteracy instruction and increased literacy development for ELL/DLL preschool students. Positive social change will occur as local school and community members recognize the increased contributions by well-educated ELL/DLL students whose road to success started in preschool.