Preschool teachers, assistant teachers, program directors, administrators and family child care providers who wish to have a better understanding of the unique traits and needs of young children who are dual language learners will greatly benefit from taking this credential. This credential meets the needs of early care and education professionals by giving them the tools and resources needed to teach and care for children in a dual language program.
The demographics within early childhood education in America are shifting. The number of young children learning a home language other than English as their first and primary language is growing at a much faster rate than young children learning English as a native speaker (WI Early Dual Language Learner Initiative). Dual language learners are generally referred to as children birth through age 5 who "acquire two or more languages simultaneously, and learn a second language while continuing to develop their first language" (OHS 2009). Early childhood professionals will benefit from the comprehensive coursework provided in this credential to gain the skills and confidence to support children and families in a dual language learning environment.
Registry Credentials are offered by accredited higher education institutions located throughout Wisconsin. The following is a list of colleges and universities in Wisconsin that offer this credential:
This credential is a four-course series for a total of 12 credits. Each course is three credits. Course descriptions are as follows:
Course One: Introduction to Dual Language in Early Childhood
As the first course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, this course provides a historical overview of dual language programs in the United States and offers evidence to support the importance of home language maintenance in a dual language setting. It provides a foundation for understanding dual language learners, as well as strategies to effectively meet the needs of dual language learners in an early childhood setting, including classroom environments, teaching recommendations, and methods of assessment.
Course Two: Components of a Quality Dual Language Program
As the second course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, students will learn about the components of a quality dual language program, including assessment and accountability, curriculum, instruction, classroom environments, staff quality, program structure, family and community involvement, and support and resources. Students will investigate and evaluate each component and how it affects dual language learning.
Course Three: Supporting Language Acquisition in Early Childhood Dual Language Learners
As the third course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, students will develop understanding about the characteristics of an effective teacher of children who are dual language learners. Students will learn and apply strategies to effectively support all dual language learners in an early childhood setting from infancy to preschool.
Course Four: Assessment of Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood
Throughout this final Capstone course, students will take a deeper look at the components of a quality dual language program, including assessment and accountability, curriculum, instruction, classroom environments, staff quality, program structure, family and community involvement, and support and resources. Students will investigate and evaluate each component and how it affects dual language learning through an assessment lens. Prerequisites: Courses 1 through 3 of the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential course series.