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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 4   INTRODUCTION Bridge from Home to School: It’s Exciting to Teach CALD Students! is a guide for observing children’s peer conversa- tions during play and small-group activities. See more on this in chapter 4. The first step in bridging the home- school language connection is becoming excited about teaching ethnic minority children from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. Teaching CALD children offers you an opportunity to Why Is the Conversation Compass Needed? make an extremely important impact in There is a large body of evidence from early child- hood education (ECE) classrooms all over the opportunities to grow—both profession- United States showing that almost all teachers need ally and personally. Do you know that help with strengthening the language-learning envi- almost everyone across the world speaks ronment in their classrooms. Numerous research- at least two languages? Often the first ers, program evaluators, and program monitors step toward learning a new language have used the Classroom Assessment Scoring Sys- comes from social contact with people tem developed by Robert Pianta, Karen La­Paro, who speak another language, either and Bridget Hamre (2008) to observe classroom through schooling or business trans- quality. They have found that teachers need help actions. By learning some key words in with language modeling, providing feedback, and another language and learning how to using conversations to promote children’s con- interact with families from other cul- cept development . Results from other studies tures, you are expanding your worldview, of classroom dialogue show that many teachers’ and you are laying the building blocks for classroom talk relies too much on commands to expanding your own language develop- manage behavior (“Everyone sit down on your ment and future opportunities for work bottom and raise your hand if you want to speak”). and travel! Or teachers’ talk mostly consists of directions during classroom transitions (“Now it is time to clean up. Please put all the blocks away”). Unfortunately, language-learning environments are especially weak in class- rooms where the majority of children are living in poverty or in classrooms where children speak a home language or dialect other than the Standard American English taught in school. This is the situation for many students, who are called culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) learners. CALD learners are young children’s lives. It also provides you with COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL