This paper reports five Australian educators’ language practices relating to English language learners (ELLs), specifically, Chinese children’s English learning in early childhood centres. Portraiture methodology is employed in this study to present the investigation by embracing the views of the participants who negotiate their experiences# with a desire of showing goodness of their practices. The five portraits of the educators were analyzed with Cummins’ [2] framework for supporting ELLs’ language development with different language activities that are categorized with the dimensions of contextual support and cognitively demanding. The portraits, on one hand, reveal the goodness of the educators’ practices that involve a variety of strategies supporting ELLs effectively, and some examples offered by the educators may be inspiring for other educators. However, on the other hand, the portraits demonstrate the challenges experienced by some educators whose practices draw heavily on body language that is highly context-embedded and lowly cognitive-demanding. They suggest some opportunities for enhancing educators’ knowledge about different language strategies, especially highly context-embedded and highly cognitivedemanding language activities in practice. The implications from the study inform the avenue of future educator training programs in the field of supporting ELLs’ language development.

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2017

  • Date of Conference: 26-29 June, 2017
  • DOI: 10.2053/CICE.2017.0244
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-908320-83-4
  • Conference Location: University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada