Supporting Dual Language Learners' Language Development Using Relevant Teacher Talk during Playtime

  • Judy Hicks Paulick University of Virginia
Keywords: Free Choice Time, language development, play, playful learning, teacher education


This study focuses on the language that teachers use during Free Choice Time (FCT), recognizing that playtime has the potential to be particularly important for children's language development. I looked at the amount, sophistication, and type of talk used in both higher-scoring and lower-scoring (on the CLASS instrument) Head Start classrooms of dual language learners. I found that there were discrepancies in how much talk, how much sophisticated talk, and the kind of talk children were being exposed to and in which they were being engaged. I provide suggestions for teachers and teacher educators.

Author Biography

Judy Hicks Paulick, University of Virginia
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education
Research-to-Practice Summaries