Family engagement

1D) Invite families to share language and culture

Partner with families to provide varied opportunities for them to come to the classroom to share their language and culture.

Resource Guide: FAQ Guide for Program Directors and Administrators

This resource guide offers answers to some of the most common questions that come up about literacy instruction for Multilingual Learners. Assessment, the "science of reading," use of home language(s), and curriculum decisions are some of the topics covered in this guide.
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Video: A Meeting At School

In this video, parents come into the classroom to help with a family project and discuss the language preferences of their children with the teacher. Collecting this type of information and exchanging language development goals for the child is key to partnering with families.
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Video: A Letter From My Mom

In this video, parents are encouraged to write a letter to their child and drop it in a classroom mailbox. Children sort the letters into student mailboxes and then read them with the support of the teacher.
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Tip Sheet: Parent Involvement and Family Engagement for Early Childhood Professionals

This resource compares and contrasts "parent involvement" and "family engagement." A spectrum of ideas in both categories for partnering with families are offered.
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Template: Language Presence in the Classroom

This simple form serves as a template for teachers to acknowledge and record the linguistic knowledge of families who are the "home language experts" for Multilingual Learners.
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Strategy Overview: Ensuring the Presence of Each Child’s Language

This resource provides a comprehensive list and explanation of the actions teachers can take to acknowledge, affirm, and support multiple languages in the classroom. Included are tips for engaging with families as "language experts" and capturing their linguistic knowledge on a planning template, and phrase cards with basic greetings in 10 common home languages.
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Podcast: Working with Emergent Bilingual Learners

This podcast reinforces the strength-based idea that bilingualism is a benefit to children, and working with families and children to develop home language is an asset.
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Website: Project 2Inspire

This is a website maintained by CABE, the California Association for Bilingual Education, and is a resource hub for the Parent and Family Engagement Program.
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Tip Sheet: Early Learning and School Readiness – Language and Literacy Development (Spanish)

This tip sheet, provided in Spanish, helps providers partner with parents and families of Multilingual Learners in order to develop language and literacy skills both in school and home environments.
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Tip Sheet: Early Learning and School Readiness – Language and Literacy Development

This tip sheet helps providers partner with parents and families of Multilingual Learners in order to develop language and literacy skills both in school and home environments.
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Tip Sheet: Early Learning and School Readiness – Social and Emotional Development (Arabic)

This tip sheet, provided in Arabic, can be helpful for providers who work with multilingual families and who might need support in how to best communicate and build relationships with them in a culturally responsive manner.
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Tip Sheet: Early Learning and School Readiness – Social and Emotional Development (Spanish)

This tip sheet, provided in Spanish, can be helpful for providers who work with multilingual families and who might need support in how to best communicate and build relationships with them in a culturally responsive manner.
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Tip Sheet: Early Learning and School Readiness – Social and Emotional Development

This tip sheet can be helpful for providers who work with multilingual families and who might need support in how to best communicate and build relationships with them in a culturally responsive manner.
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Website Article: How School Leaders New to Working with ELLs Can Partner with Families – 10 Strategies for Success

This article shares practical tips, along with video explanations and additional links to explore, that administrators can use to support Multilingual Learners and their families.
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Newcomer Toolkit: Establishing Partnerships with Families

This is one chapter from the U.S. Department of Education's Newcomer Toolkit. This chapter focuses on how teachers can partner with the families of Multilingual Learners and invite them to share their language and culture and engage with a school community.
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Newcomer Toolkit: Welcoming Newcomers

This is one chapter from the U.S. Department of Education Newcomer Toolkit. This chapter focuses on how teachers can welcome both newcomer Multilingual Learners and their families into a school community.
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Strategy Overview: Testimonios

Testimonio, a Spanish term for "witness account," is a storytelling pedagogy that emerged from Latin American culture and narrative research methodology. Used in the classroom, testimonios can be written, oral, and/or visual representations of Multilingual Learners' experiences that support home language development and engage families in children's learning.
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Strategy Overview: Gallery Walks

In this culminating activity at the end of a thematic unit, posters and student work are displayed around the classroom while children guide family members, teachers, or peers through the room, explaining the concepts they've learned. The opportunity to explain concepts to visitors gives children an authentic purpose for using language and demonstrating their knowledge.
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Strategy Overview: Family Cohorts

This resource explains how to partner with families by establishing cohorts and home-school connections. Family cohorts can help to create a site-wide culture that values family engagement to support dual language learning. Resources for family cohort meetings are provided, such as a sample agenda and a blank planning template.
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Strategy Overview: Family Conversations, Home-School Connections, & Projects

This resource describes how to engage families in their children’s learning by facilitating family conversations, home-school connections, and projects. This resource includes guidance on how to partner with families and connect the curriculum to learning at home.
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Video: Home-School Connection and Projects

Opportunities for curriculum-based learning at home help build relationships with families and support language development for Multilingual Learners. This video showcases an example of a home-school project presentation in a preschool classroom where educators provide high-quality extended talk in multiple languages and provide hands-on, inquiry-based experiences.
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Strategy Overview: Bridging School to Family Assignments

This resource offers examples of projects and activities that provide families with opportunities to connect school-based content with learning at home. Examples demonstrate how teachers can also invite home language into the classroom.
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Tip Sheet: Special Topic & Mini-Strategy Workshops for Families

Workshops provide rich opportunities to talk with families about language development goals for their children, and to invite and prepare them to share their language and culture in the classroom. This document explains two different structures for family workshops.
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Video: Key Points of Home Language Preview and Review

This resource explains how educators can engage families in previewing and reviewing books with Multilingual Learners. Teachers can provide families with books to preview at home to connect curriculum with learning at home. Teachers can invite families and other speakers of the home language to come to classrooms to share books in their home languages.
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