The preschool and kindergarten classrooms of children from Latino/a language minority families

Ramos, Aida Isela
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Educational policy increasingly prioritizes early intervention and enrichment for children from historically disadvantaged populations, and this push is relevant to Latino/a children, especially those from language minority families. Beyond increasing the enrollment of such children in early education programs, the highly variable nature of the programs serving them has been a concern. To address this concern, this dissertation provides a picture of the instructional settings of children from Latino/a language minority families. Following a mixed methods strategy, statistical analyses of national data provide an overview of the intensity of reading and math instructional practices in preschool and kindergarten classrooms serving children from Latino/a language minority families, and then qualitative analyses of local data parse out the interactional quality of instruction in primarily Spanish-speaking classrooms as well as the challenges teachers faced in their instructional mission. Findings revealed that, although children from Latino/a language minority families appeared to be advantaged in terms of frequencies of many instructional practices at the national level, they appeared to be at a disadvantage in terms of instructional quality at the local level, possibly reflecting teachers' perceptions that issues of language and literacy, the socioeconomic background of students, and difficulties connecting to parents complicated their instructional abilities