BRIDGING MEANING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLS) USING CULTURALLY EXISTING TOOLS
Keywords:early childhood, english language learners, asian, new zealand
This study investigates how New Zealand early childhood teachers support Asian immigrant English language learners (ELLs) as they acquire English from sociocultural perspectives. Data gathering included observations and pre- and post-observation interviews with the participants. Various strategies have been employed to support ELLs’ English acquisition including how the teachers bridge meaning in their interactions with the ELLs using culturally existing tools. Seven teachers and five Asian ELLs participated in this qualitative study captures the richness of the teachers’ strategy as they bridge meaning for the ELLs to acquire English. Findings highlighted that some teachers and the ELLs supported their joint efforts by trying to bridge their different perspectives using culturally existing tools such as words, gestures, social referencing, and inter subjectivity. The findings support the New Zealand Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum, Te Whāriki, which advocates that children develop through active participation in activities with collaboration from teachers and other children.