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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Frequently Asked Questions about Dual-Language Learning positive feedback. Even though Tomás did not say the full sentence, he learns more English in this example than in examples 1, 2, and 3. The teacher in example 4 challenges Tomás more than the teacher in example 3. The decision to use one approach rather than the other depends on the context, the teacher’s relationship with Tomás, and his mood on that day. If it is a smooth day and Tomás is in a positive mood, she can ask more of him. What Are the Best Ways to Teach Dual-Language Learners? Research shows clearly that the best ways to teach early literacy skills are using a thematic curriculum and repeating meaningful activities in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one (Hart and Risley 1995; Dickinson and Tabors 2001). Teachers must provide explicit, developmentally appro- priate instruction with many opportunities to practice. These methods benefit all children—both monolingual and multilingual. In addition, teachers of dual-language learners must tune in to the challenges their students face in a world that’s not fully understandable. Teachers should imagine themselves as visitors finding their way in Gua- dalajara, Mexico, or Bangkok, Thailand, and consider what they’d need to understand and be understood. They must integrate that awareness into all their instructional practices (Jameson 1998). The following tech- niques have been shown to be most effective: • using simple but complete sentences • making gestures • demonstrating with toys and other objects • repeating • following a theme- or project-based approach that offers children multiple opportunities to hear, experiment with, and produce English If you think about the nursery rhyme “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” from the perspective of a child learning English, you no doubt realize that the child needs scaffolding to understand the rhyme. For example, you may show the child a plastic spider, a picture of a waterspout, or the sun. Visual aids, gestures, and demonstrations support teaching and enhance learning (Tabors 2008). COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL u 21