Posted on 04/29/2019 at 09:46 AM by Blog Experts
All state-funded preschool programs in Iowa are required to administer the Teaching Strategies GOLD Child Assessment. The multi-domain, observation-based, curriculum-embedded and formative assessments system tracks development in 38 objectives in the areas of social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, mathematics, science/technology, social studies, the arts and English language acquisition. Children are tracked as they progress through the levels in each of the objectives, with the goal of each child fitting into the widely held expectation for their age range.
Let’s focus on the 10th area--English language acquisition. Some children begin learning English for the first time when they start preschool, while by that time others have been introduced to English for up to 4 years by family members. It is important upon entering preschool that teachers know the primary language(s) of the children. GOLD likes to see that this is done by the use of a simple Home Language Survey completed by the teacher, parent and interpreter; so that teachers know if they need to support the child’s language and literacy acquisition and track their progress. If on the survey the value is 2 or greater that child should be assessed on objectives 37 Demonstrates progress in listening to and understanding English and 38 Demonstrates progress in speaking English.
Check out these Teaching Strategies resources related to English-language learners:
- Research Foundation: English- and Dual-Language Learners
- GOLD Goals and Objectives Colored Progression Charts (you will want to scroll all the way down to see objectives 37 and 38 for English-language acquisition)
Making sure that non-English speaking children attend free preschool in Iowa is one of the best strategies there is for English-language acquisition, and then having programs that support and track their progress in that area is an effort we need to exert!