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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction The term early childhood means birth to third grade. I share the phi- losophy of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC believes early childhood ranges from birth to eight years, because during these years children build the foundation for later academic success. The majority of dual-language learners are in this age group. They are at the beginning of their schooling. Their parents are at the beginning of their own involvement in the formal education of their children. It is a hopeful time and an opportunity to set a positive tone for the future, which is why it makes good sense to support their educa- tors well. This view of early childhood dovetails with a national education move- ment called PreK-3rd (Copple and Bredekamp 2009). A PreK-3rd approach integrates the learning experiences of children three to eight years old (from preschool through third grade). Teachers across these grades plan cooperatively and align their resources and instruction to provide an education that’s coherent, sequential, and developmentally appropriate from year to year. This movement is gaining momentum as the sciences of child psychology and education become more precise and as educators become more aware of the need for continuity between preschool and the primary grades (Kauerz 2010; Mead 2011). Continuity is especially important for dual-language learners. They must move along the road of language learning and the road of content learning at the same time. If you pay constant attention to the double job of dual-language learners and believe deeply that they can learn, then you will succeed. How This Book Is Organized The techniques I propose work for all ages in the span of early child- hood. I highlight separate ages when appropriate, but I do not provide age-specific activities. You can plan your own activities—tailored to your students’ ages and abilities—using the strategies I recommend. I have organized this book so that later chapters build upon informa- tion in earlier chapters. But you can read the information in an order that makes sense to you. Here’s a quick guide: • Chapter 1 touches on challenges and best practice of teaching dual-language learners. • Chapter 2 provides answers to questions I hear often about teach- ing dual-language learners. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL u 3