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Learning English as an additional language in early childhood settings: How do educators support young children?

Katina Beauchamp, Corrina A. Tucker, and Peter J. Howland

New Zealand’s increasingly heterogeneous population places manifold demands on the education sector to integrate children who do not speak English as a first language. Limited research exists on how minority language children acquire English within early childhood education settings and how teachers support this development. This article reports on research which shows teachers rely predominantly on centres’ philosophies and sociocultural practices as per Te Whāriki, and on children’s perceived natural ability to learn by “osmosis”. Lack of structural support and knowledge suggests there is a need for further research and targeted support for children and teachers.


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