Developing Strong Language Skills in the Early Childhood Classroom
Early childhood classroom activities should develop strong language skills for all learners. Classroom observations show that it can be challenging to have a meaningful conversation with every child every day. For example, it is easy to ask too many simple questions that require only a one-word response (Deshmukh et al. 2019). It also takes considerable time to prepare child-friendly definitions for intentional vocabulary instruction. Too often vocabulary instruction becomes incidental rather than systematic (Wright and Neuman 2014). But a curriculum that helps teachers establish daily routines for supporting language with purposeful questions and systematic vocabulary sets the stage for teachers to have multiple-turn conversations with all children, even those with limited initial language skills.