Dual Language Early Childhood Education

As young children develop oral and literacy skills, they benefit most from an early childhood program that integrates their native language into the curriculum. Goddard College’s Dual Language Early Childhood Education Concentration offers educators the vital tools and training required to meet these needs in a dual language classroom, or other setting, where students can learn in, and have pride in, their native language and culture. The Dual Language Early Childhood Education Concentration is offered in Goddard’s Bachelor of Arts in Education Program and Master of Arts in Education Program, and was developed in partnership with the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy. It is the only dual language early childhood model of its kind currently offered in the United States.

Coursework during the residency is conducted half in English and half in a second language, usually Spanish. An English-Cantonese classroom model is emerging to serve the Chinese-American community. In still another innovation, indigenous preschoolers are encouraged to rediscover and speak their native languages. A tri-lingual classroom has also been tested in a workshop setting where educators support English, Spanish, and Garifuna Latin American speakers. Goddard’s dual language educators are trained to design, teach, and lead culturally complex programs in a collaborative setting that supports literacy in multiple languages. They actively work to prevent young children from losing their home language, to foster mutual respect across cultures, and to engage with, and become, advocates for cross-cultural students and families. Our educators work against racism and other forms of oppression as part of their skill base and are a unifying force in multi-cultural communities.

Goddard’s dual language educators are trained to design, teach, and lead culturally complex programs in a collaborative setting that supports literacy in multiple languages. They actively work to prevent young children from losing their home language, to foster mutual respect across cultures, and to engage with, and become, advocates for cross-cultural students and families.

Our educators work against racism and other forms of oppression as part of their skill base and are a unifying force in multi-cultural communities.

The program is designed for working adults, and is ideally suited for:

  • Early childhood, preschool, and Head Start educators
  • Education coordinators and curriculum developers
  • Teacher educators and coaches
  • Artists working with the intersection of language, culture, and youth
  • Afterschool educators and parent-school liaisons
  • Certified teachers pursuing MA degrees who are interested in seeking further study in dual language early childhood education

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Learn more about the Individualized Bachelor of Arts program, and how Goddard College can help you meet your goals!

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Residency Week

Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning. A residency is comprised of:

  • New-student orientation
  • Individual and group advising sessions
  • Workshops, presentations, mini-courses, and panels
  • Peer work groups
  • Planning sessions related to teacher licensure
  • Information sessions (assessment of prior learning; financial aid; how to do research; planning your final semester etc.)
  • Co-curricular activities (support groups, art shows, films, movement workshops, meditation space, etc.)
  • Commencement

Writing the semester study plan is an important focus of the residency. Working closely with your faculty advisor, and supported by fellow learners, you articulate your educational and personal goals for your studies within the context of degree criteria and program requirements. The study plan is your detailed and individualized map and will address the following:

  • The semester’s learning goals
  • The resources the student plans to draw on (e.g., books, journals, conferences)
  • The methodology the student plans to use (e.g., library or field research, interviews, creative production)
  • The specific learning activities the student will undertake (e.g., creative and critical reading and writing, observations, field work, keeping a journal)
  • The academic work the student will produce (e.g. essays, visual art work, workshop reports, poems, interview transcriptions, annotations)
  • A bibliography of reading the student plans to do during the semester

The Semester

Following the residency and over the course of 16 weeks of study and reflection, you willsubmit your work to your faculty advisor. Typically, there are 5 submissions for full-time students and 3 submissions for part-time students. Evidence of the work completed can include essays, critical and creative writing, sample curricula, classroom materials, documentation of art practice/works, book annotations, and a cover letter in which you reflect on the learning process.

Your advisor responds promptly in writing to your materials with a detailed letter addressing the various components of your work and containing appraisal, feedback, and suggestions.

Through the regular exchange of work and responses, a sustained, meaningful dialogue takes place centered on your learning and goals. Students often describe this dialogue as transformative and empowering.

At the end of the semester, in lieu of grades, students and advisors write comprehensive evaluations of the student’s learning.

Degree Requirements

Throughout your course of study, you are expected to deeply engage with the degree criteria, working toward a full and sustained demonstration of them by graduation. Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Education will have successfully completed the Goddard undergraduate degree criteria and will also successfully have accomplished the following:

  • Gained an understanding and actualized the essential concepts of progressive education; namely, inquiry-based learning, reflection and critical thinking, and student-focused curriculum;
  • Prepared themselves to work toward the creation of a more just, humane, democratic, and sustainable world;
  • Produced a culminating project in the form of a senior study in an area of interest; for example, curriculum development, multicultural education, alternative education, environmental education, critical pedagogy, democratic schooling, collaborative teaching, feminist theories of education, or authentic assessment.

Students who complete the Dual Language Early Childhood Education Concentration are expected to demonstrate competency in the following components of the Soy Bilingüe curriculum:

  • Building learning communities
  • Forming teaching teams
  • Developing language plans
  • Organizing classroom environments
  • Establishing daily routines
  • Establishing development and learning objectives for the children
  • Assessing and documenting children’s growth and development
  • Focusing the curriculum on children’s language, culture, and interests
  • Teaching, scaffolding, and engaging the children
  • Reflecting on information gathered about the children in your classroom.

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