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October is Prevent Bullying Month

available as ebook and paperback, English or Spanish on Amazon.com and other sites.

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Fast 5 Gamechangers to Support Math Learning for Young DLLs

by Karen Nemeth There’s nothing boring about math but some math activities CAN be boring or hard to understand. This is especially true for children who are dual language learners. They really need math activities that are embedded in meaningful contexts that interest them to help them understand. Using empty plastic, paper or worksheet items ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers for Using Bilingual Alphabets

We want all preschool children to start learning the alphabet. That’s not always easy when they come to preschool with different language backgrounds. It can be confusing for a Spanish speaker to see a picture of “una manzana” (Spanish word for apple) next to the letter A while the other kids are saying “aaah”.  This multilingual ...

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To Build a Cohesive, High-quality Early Childhood System, You Have to Address Linguistic Diversity!

  by Karen Nemeth In a recent blog post from the Brookings Institution, authors Bassok, Magnuson, and Weiland1 review the shortcomings of the current early childhood care and education system and make recommendations for changes in the field… without ever once mentioning the role of growing language diversity. Apparently, that’s my job. So, please get ...

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Handout from ACTFL 2016 Conference

Preschool and Kindergarten Language Learning: New Trends in TechnologyPresented by Karen Nemeth at ACTFL 2016 Karen@languagecastle.com      www. Languagecastle.com     Twitter @KarenNemethEdM Digital Decisions: Choosing the Right Technology Tools for Early Childhood Education by Fran S. Simon and Karen N. Nemeth http://amzn.to/2cPiWO3 TED Talk video by Dr. Patricia Kuhl: The Linguistic Genius of Babies https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=TED+linguistic+genius+of+babies&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 Apps that ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers Help Diverse Young Children Respect Each Other

  Early childhood educators have the power to start early and start strong by helping all children learn to respect themselves and others. When children and teachers speak different languages, they need special strategies to build that life-changing sense of community. Pronounce each child’s name as closely as possible. Model for your DLLs and for ...

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Top Tips for Translating Materials for Preschool DLLs and Families

1.  Say less!! Reach out to preschool DLLs and their families by paring down to the absolute minimum of messages and words needed to save money and time on translations.

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Big Ideas for Finding Books for Preschool DLLs

Need help finding books for preschool DLLs to support the home languages and cultures of your children? In this post I give you quick tips and deeper resources to help you keep the learning going!

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How can technology help diverse families? It’s in this new book!

Here’s how Chip Donohue announced his new book. It’s a privilege to include diversity in our chapter among these great experts! “I’m excited to announce the release of my second edited volume, Family Engagement in the Digital Age: Early Childhood Educators as Media Mentors co-published by Routledge and NAEYC The book includes a Foreword by Ellen ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers – Revolutionize Classroom Labels for DLLs!

  Preschools have labels because they value ‘environmental print’. But… if no one reads the labels or talks about them, do they really help teach language and literacy?

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Cultural/Linguistic Responsiveness is NOT Enough for DLLs

Cultural and linguistic responsiveness is NOT enough to address the early learning needs of young children who are dual language learners. This infographic tells the story about what should be included in plans for preschool DLLs. Feel free to use it as a planning tool or an advocacy tool.

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Wait a Year to Assess Preschool DLLs with Disabilities? No! And Here’s Why

I was asked by a district whether it was a good idea to wait for a preschool dual language learner to spend a year in English-only kindergarten before screening or assessing him for possible speech/language services. Here’s my answer along with relevant resources. photo by Bigstock.com 1. Full English immersion is not the best approach ...

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The D.A.P. Gap: Is Cute the Enemy of Quality?

By Karen N. Nemeth, Let’s be honest. Worksheets, cookie cutter craft activities, printables, and plastic manipulatives are widely reviled by early childhood education experts, yet they are widely available and often used in preschool and child care programs. At a recent luncheon with early childhood professional development providers and authors, we tried to sort out ...

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The Importance of Being a Little More Inclusive

By Karen N. Nemeth How did you like the new book, The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, by Erika Christakis?  It is so appealing that readers might not immediately realize what’s missing:  there is no inclusion of diversity. This is not a book about all preschoolers – it is a ...

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Strategies that Work with Multiple Languages – A Resource Collection

We all know that the appearance of multiple languages and cultures is growing in early childhood education. In the past, children with different languages might have been the responsibility of a specialist like an ESL teacher or certified bilingual education teacher. 

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Fast 5 Gamechangers for Cultural Connections in Early Childhood Education

  We all know the importance of connecting with young children by understanding who they are and what’s important to them. Real cultural connections for DLLs go way beyond plastic food, flags, or posters about holidays. Here are some ways to make intentional, authentic, personal connections that help dual language learners:

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Fast 5 Gamechangers- Preschool Science Learning for DLLs

Science is a great subject for early learning because it is hands-on and includes language, literacy, math, and other learning domains. But, how can teachers make science learning meaningful for children who don’t speak the same language?

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Curated Learning Toy and Book Collections for DLLs via Amazon

We have received many requests for suggestions about learning materials for dual language learners (DLLs)  that we thought we’d try setting up an Amazon A-Store. Click here to find recommended bilingual and multicultural toys, books and learning resources collected for specific kinds of classrooms or programs. We call it  Language Castle Learning Store.   You’ll find ...

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Naming the New, Inclusive Early Childhood Education: All Teachers Ready for DECAL!

by Karen N. Nemeth, Ed.M., Pam Brillante, Ed.D., and Leah J. Mullen, M.A. What do we need to see in early childhood education now and in the future? The days of fragmented programs where children and teachers are divided according to special needs and special skills are over. Silos don’t work. Isolating children and practitioners ...

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Ban the “Bears”! We Can Do Better in Preschool!

By Karen N. Nemeth, Ed.M., author and founder of Language Castle and Pamela Brillante, Ed.D., author and assistant professor of special education You know those colorful, plastic “bears”? We’re sure you do because they are in nearly every preschool classroom in the U.S. We think that’s a problem and we are about to tell you ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers that Make Early Ed. Professional Development Stick

The big question about expensive professional development for early childhood educators is: Will it stick? Will the time and expense result in lasting, meaningful change? Five quick questions can make all the difference. Don’t pay anyone to provide professional development for your early childhood education program without getting answers to these  Fast 5 Questions. The really ...

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Infographic Makes the Case for Including Young DLLs in Everything!

Language Castle is giving you this infographic so you can use it for advocacy, reports, grants and policy development in support of dual language learners. Click the image or here to download the infographic.

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U.S.: 1 Country, 2 Language Attitudes – Should All Children be DLLs?

By Karen N. Nemeth What an interesting week in the news for early childhood language and advocates. News reports revealed the growing trend for families in upscale neighborhoods to pay high fees for language immersion schools so their young children can become bilingual. On the other hand we read that, in some cities, families are ...

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New Words, New Friends story for DLLs on Video!

New Words, New Friends is a story about young children who don’t speak the same language, but their teacher understands about dual language learners and helps them learn strategies to help. Thanks to the dedicated folks at @ReadyRosie.com for creating this video of a mom and child learning together with…Click here to order New Words, ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers that Build Language Quality for DLLs!

by Karen Nemeth Have you seen the articles focusing on language quality this week? In the New York Times on October 16, 2014 we read about Kathy Hirsh-Pasek’s research in Quality of Words, Not Quantity, Is Crucial to Language Skills, Study Says. Researchers are making a powerful case that, for children under the age of 6, ...

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Recursos para los maestros preescolares

por Karen Nemeth Recursos en español para educación y desarrollo infantil 2014                                                                                        ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers that REALLY Get Parents of DLLs to Engage!

by Karen N. Nemeth “Parents of DLLs just don’t want to get involved – and it’s hard to know why because many of them don’t speak much English!”  Language Castle Fast 5 Gamechangers gives you five fast changes you can make now to start seeing better results. If your goal is to just get some ...

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Fast 5 Gamechangers that Make a Great 1st Day for DLLs in PreK

by Karen N. Nemeth photo by Bigstock.com You know what they say – “First impressions are lasting impressions.” What happens on the first day or two of preK can set the tone for a young DLL’s entire year! These FAST 5 Gamechangers will make sure each child gets the best possible start – paving the ...

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Summer Learning Day for Preschool DLLs

by Karen N. Nemeth Diego and Mei-ling may be small, but they worked hard to learn in their preschool this year. They did a lot of preschool learning, social learning AND language learning, but what will happen to all that knowledge over the long weeks of summer leading up to the first day of kindergarten? ...

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Using Skype and Videochats with Young Children

Skype can provide an open window to interact with the world. For young children, it can make different languages and cultures take on a whole new meaning. Skype can be downloaded for free on any computer or tablet device.

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Language Diversity … Can You Help Young Children Communicate and Play with their Friends who Speak Different Languages? (How New Words, New Friends was born!)

How New Words, New Friends was Born! by Karen N. Nemeth  “Why don’t you play much with the other kids, Vivi?” “Most of the kids speak Spanish and they just talk to each other. If my friend who speaks my language doesn’t come to school one day, I don’t have anybody to play with.” “Don’t ...

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World Mother Language Day in Professional Development – Four Pillars of Support

by Karen N. Nemeth Celebrate World Mother Language Day on February 21, 2014 by Sharing the 4 Pillars of Support for Home Language: Brain, Identity, Family and Social Skills Development Over the past year, we’ve shared several major research reports that confirm the importance of supporting each child’s home language, or “mother language”.   I make ...

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Twitter tips – What to do with a Conference Hashtag Twitter feed

by Karen Nemeth It’s 2014 – so you shouldn’t be surprised that every education conference is asking you to follow proceedings on Twitter.  Don’t be afraid.  When you try it, you’ll really like what this use of social media has to offer.  Here are some tips: 1.  Twitter is free and it’s public – anyone ...

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Ten MORE Ways to Improve School Attendance with DLLs and Families in Mind

By Karen Nemeth Reports about the damaging effects of poor school attendance in early childhood education, particularly kindergarten, have been in the news lately.  Whenever that happens, lists of solutions soon follow.   I am concerned that most of these solutions are focused on the superficial symptoms rather than on the root causes.  If we really ...

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Supporting a Young Child who is New to your Community

by Karen Nemeth I have been asked several times for personal advice when a colleague knows a young child is moving to the US and they want to be helpful and supportive.  These supports can be valuable to all dual language learners. My suggestions: 1.  Comfort is key, stress is the enemy of young children ...

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Teaching DLLs in PreK – 3rd Grade: Best Practices for School Readiness

by Karen Nemeth In August, a newly updated report by Dr. Linda Espinosa clearly explains what the research tells us about working effectively with young dual language learners (children who are growing up bilingual).  Five years ago the first version of this report was released and I wrote my first book, Many Languages, One Classroom, ...

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Big Ways Libraries Can Fill in for Funding Gaps in Early Education

Cen Campbell and Karen Nemeth Times are tough for preschools and home visiting programs right now. This article in the Arkansas Times tells the real story about the devastating effects of sequestration budget cuts on early childhood education programs across the country.  As we read about the millions of dollars, we were really moved by ...

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Advocacy for Preschool DLLs? Are you Serious??

by Karen Nemeth No, really.  I’m asking you if you are serious about being an advocate for preschool DLLs.  Because getting serious means we have to go beyond occasional events and start weaving awareness of DLLs into everyday actions.  There’s a lot of  talk about preschool initiatives right now so what we do and say ...

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Celebrate all the Languages of Children This Week!

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Does Dual-Language Immersion Learning Pay Off in Better Test Scores?

Dual language immersion programs are appearing all over the country. Karen was interviewed by Larry Mantle on the Los Angeles NPR station on March 25, 2013 to discuss what families should look for when choosing a high quality dual language program for their child. You can listen to the Does dual-immersion learning pay off in ...

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Interview about Meeting the CCSS Needs of Young DLLs

Karen was interviewed for this blog post by Diane Staehr-Fenner in her Colorin Colorado column on ELLs and the Common Core State Standards: Meeting the CCSS Needs of Young Dual Language Learners

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Being Bilingual Means Building Better Brains for Babies

Our collaborative friends at Language Lizard invited Karen to write an article about using books to support learning in two languages for infants and toddlers.With all the talk about preschool in the news recently, it’s important that we don’t forget to keep our focus on the babies! You can read the article here: Building Baby ...

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Considering Children Who are DLLs in Emergency Planning

Events in the news have many schools and programs taking a second look at their emergency plans. Let’s think what an emergency – or even a simple fire drill – must be like for a young child who doesn’t fully understand the language! 10. Establish class buddies – a more experienced, more fluent or more ...

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Remembering Ty Nelson in Atlanta

by Karen Nemeth If you knew my mom, Ty Nelson, these pictures wouldn’t surprise you.  But, if you know my work now, would you have guessed I had a mom like that?  She had a sweater or vest for every season and holiday!  I hope reading this will bring up all kinds of memories for ...

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Connecting the Ingredients of Language and Literacy for DLLs

by Karen Nemeth Language is like a cake.  We love cake because of the way the ingredients are combined – not because of the separate ingredients.  The more we learn about first and second language development and DLLs, the more important those combinations of ingredients become.

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New Kid, New School, New Year, AND New Language: That First Day Really Makes a Difference!

By Karen Nemeth This post is meant for teachers of all grades who will greet children who speak languages other than English into class this year.  I usually focus on preschool, but we gathered a lot of great suggestions that apply to all ages when we discussed this topic on our weekly Twitter chat – ...

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Countdown to Preschool with DLLs

by Karen Nemeth 10.  Find out the languages you will have in your class and if you can’t find out for sure – make a good guess based on last year, languages in community etc. 9. Learn the correct pronunciation of each child’s name so the feel supported and respected on the first day of ...

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Connecting with Diverse Members of Your Community

10. Get to know the diverse languages and cultures represented in your local area and include them in the images and messages you share about your program.  You want the members of your community to know that your program will be a welcoming place for families who come from different languages and cultures. 9. Make ...

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Free eBook on Home Visits for Immigrant Families and Young DLLs

A compilation of Language Castle’s most requested strategies and resources for serving young DLLs and their families when attending a preschool is not the answer. Download the FREE ebook in convenient and portable PDF format here: Home Visits for Immigrant Families Sometimes clicking the link above may load the PDF directly into your browser window. You ...

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Top Ten Factors for Successful Professional Development!

Top Ten Factors for Successful Professional Development! by Karen Nemeth, Ed.M. A large part of my work is doing professional development about teaching young DLLs and collecting valuable resources here at Language Castle.  I’ve traveled the country and worked with hundreds of programs.  I am always mindful that my visit is so temporary, but what ...

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