Language Building Blocks
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Additional (E)-Resources

"An extraordinarily informative, useful, and highly accessible tool for educators of young children of ALL language backgrounds. An excellent resource for teacher preparation and professional development."

Dorothy S. Strickland, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

International movies for Your Classroom: Whale Rider & Rabbit-Proof  Fence, (Australia), Tsotsi, Yesterday, Lucky, Life, Above All (S. Africa), Africa United (Ruwanda), My Name is Kalaam, English-Vinglish & Hathi (India), Turtles Can Fly, Jiyan/Life (Iraq), Children of Heaven (Iran) & Bumm Bumm Bole (Indian version), Not One Less (China), Barefoot Gen, Wolf Children, & Grave of Fireflies (Japan), Tomboy & The Painting (France); Tom Sawyer & His Friends/Tom und Hacke (Germany), Moon Man (France/Germany/Ireland), Lotte & the Moonstone Secret (Estonia/ Latvia),  Kauwboy (Netherlands), Believe (UK),  The Lorax, This Boy’s Life, The 1st Grader (set in Kenya), & Tio Papi (U.S.A.).  

Internationalize Your Curriculum Using International Movies & Songs!  Additional Titles:

The Zigzag Kid, Kirikou & the Men & the Women, Meet the Small Potatoes, A Monster in Paris

African Tales The Movie - Mark of Uru - Enemy of the Rising Sun Land (Brazil)

Erikson Early Childhood Leadership Academy's Podcast: "Gaps in the Word Gap Study & Emphasis on Words Alone."

Chapter 1
  • Center for Applied Linguistics (

Cook, V. (2004).  The English writing system.  London: Arnold. [compares ideographic and sound-based writing]. 

  • Linguist List (

Salzmann, Z. (2004).  Language, culture, and society: An introduction to linguistic anthropology.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press [Provides a readable introduction to linguistics]

Popular Blogs



Chapter 2


  • [provides handy word lists and games, and resources for educators, parents, and DLLs]


  • [P. Ladefoged’s A Course in Phonetics, including audio files on phonemes in English and other languages]
  • [English consonant chart]
  • [English vowel chart]


  • Nouns-
  • Verb-
  • Adverbs-
  • Adjectives-

Chapter 3

Lear, E. (2011).  His shoes were far too tight.  San Fransisco, CA: Chronicle Books. [Children’s poetry from the 1840s]


  • American Tongues, Do You Speak American? and The Story of English [Segments could be integrated in lesson plans]

Web Resources

  • [provides visuals, timelines, and links]
  • Stevick, R. The Sounds of Old English.
  • You-Tube (clips of OE, ME, and World Englishes).

Chapter 4

  • 101 Word Games (OUP) recommends a few math games that enhance multiple skills. (e.g., buzz and bizz-buzz, which practice interval counting, and number recognition, respectively).
  • Tang, G. (2001).  Mind-Stretching Math Riddles: Grapes of Math.  New York: Scholastic.  This book offers 4 problem-solving tips:

-          Intuition and open-mindedness (looking beyond the obvious)

-          Grouping (look for “convenient sums”)

-          Subtracting and adding to save time

-          Organization (look for “patterns and symmetries”).

 Recommended Websites

  • Explore Learning

[Offers gizmos for math and science]

  • IXL

  • [an interactive K-4 math resource with many math-through-language (mostly keywords) problem sets. Examples follow.  They require an understanding of core vocabulary, specifically less than, and greater than, and through these, one can infer implied mathematical constructs or functions including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and, in later grades, division.
    • What number is one less than 71? [emphasis added]
    • What is 10 less than 65?
    • Mrs. X has 4 apples.  She needs four times as many for her class.  How many more does she need?
  • Mr. Duey's Long Division Rap


Chapter 5

  • First in Math

  • Multilingual Geometry

Romaine, S. (2001). Language in society: an introduction to sociolinguistics.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.


  • World Englishes
  • American Speech

Chapter 6

  • (international Society for Music Education)
[A comprehensive list of sound files for folk and other musical genres   incorporating international melodies and moves]

The following books (with plus points outlined in parentheses) present vital P-3 (health) content and would advance reading:

  • All about Food: Vegetables and Herbs by Cecilia Fiztsimons, Hampshire, UK: Zoe Books, 1996. (This book is bound to interest children in gardening, which is much more physically involving and valuable than watching TV or playing games on the computer.  Moreover, each section ends with a valuable “Think Green” section).
  • Eat Well by Miriam Moss. Crestwood House, 1993 (helps childhood make conscious and healthy eating decisions).
  • Where Food Comes From by D.H. Patent, New York: Holiday House, 1991 (links what we consume to nature).
  • Foods and Festivals (a series by Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers with a useful glossary containing words like grain and protein).
  • The American Regional Cooking Library series from Mason Crest Publishers (e.g., African American cooking).
  • Cooking the South American Way by Halga Parnell (part of Lerner Publications’ “Easy menu ethnic cookbooks”)
  • Holiday Cooking from Around the World  by Raintree Steck-Vaughn (and an expanded edition that includes low-fat vegetarian recipes).
  • American Grub: Eats for Kids from All Fifty States.
  • Bugs for Breakfast: Food and Culture (an educational DVD from Learning Seed)
  • Global Eating: Learning from Other Cultures (another educational DVD from Learning Seed based on the idea that we can learn about and adapt tasty foods from around the world to meet our palatal needs while fending off obesity)
  • What should we eat?: the Vegetarian Debate (another educational DVD from Learning Seed that discusses what vegans eat and why).
  • The Largest U.S. Cities Named after a Food and Other Mind-Boggling Geography Lists from Around the World by Brandt Maxwell.  Santa Monica Press, 2004.
  • Passport on a Plate: A Round-the-World Cookbook for Children by Simone Vezz.  Simon and Schuster, 1997.
  • Love Soup by A. Thomas.  New York: Norton and Co., 2009.
  • Welcome to Italy
  • Jamberry
  • You are what you eat and other mealtime hazards [uses food-based idioms literally, prompting the/some readers to ponder the source]
  • International stories that mention foods prepared (e.g., West African and Jamaican Anansi tales like Anansi goes fishing) foster strategic literacy skills.  Apart from enriching children’s vocabulary (e.g., adding warthog to their list of animals), such stories generate interest in diverse cultures and ways of conceptualizing and expressing--often through one and the same language, namely, English. 

Chapter 7

  • Birdsong, D. (1999).  SLA and the Critical Period Hypothesis.  Mahwah, NJ: Lwarence-Erlbaum.
  • Crawford, J. (2004).  Educating ELs: Language Diversity in the Classroom.  Bilingual Educational Services Inc. [Crawford (1999) provides an eye-opening overview of the history and politics of biling. Educ. in the U.S.]
  • Houk, F. (2005). Supporting ELLs: A Guide for Teachers and Adminstrators.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinmann. [Offers practical tips for ELLs]
  • Diaz-Rico, L. & Weed, K. (2002).  The Crosscultural Language and Academic Development Handbook: A Complete K-12 Reference. 
  • [Focuses on the theory and practice of SLA, specifically content area instruction and assessment for ELLs and Special Needs children]
  • Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. & Short, D. (2008).  Making Content Comprehensible for ELs The SIOP Model.  New York: Pearson.
  • Johnson, M. (2004).  A Philosophy of SLA.  Yale University Press. 
  • [Discusses behaviorism and SLA, information processing models, communicative competence and interactional competence and an interaction-based approach to SLA]
  • Peregoy, S. F. & Boyle, O. (2001).  Reading, writing and learning in ESL: A resource book for K-12 teachers.  New York: Longman.
  • Reading and Writing (this journal published by Springer) offers insightful papers of direct relevance to P-3.

Example of Infant Sound Use and First Words:

  • Watch a baby go from saying “gaga” to water:

Chapter 8


  • American Educational Research Journal
  • Exceptional Children
  • International Journal of Early Years Education [Provides international perspectives]
  • Journal of Special Education Technology (the Council for Exceptional Children)
  • Language, Speech, & Hearing in the Schools. 
  • Learning Disabilities Research and Practice
  • Journal of Special Education
  • Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

Recommended Websites

  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities

  • The National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)

[Promotes the use of technology to enhance educational outcomes for students with sensory, cognitive, physical and social/emotional disabilities]

  • The Access Center

[Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education.  offers chatting and discussions, publications, and information designed to make the K-8 curriculum more accessible to students with disabilities]

  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

  • Speechville
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

  • Smart Kids with LDs

  • Museum of Disability History

  • LD Online

  • Learning Disabilities Association of America

  • Center for Research on Learning

  • Pathfinders for Autism

  • Explore Learning


Chapter 9


  • Journal of Special Education Technology (from the Council for Exceptional Children)
  • The Reading Teacher


  • Johar, K. (2010).  My Name is Khan.  Delhi: Dharma.

Recommended/Useful Websites

  • International Reading Association


[offers hands-on phonemic awareness games/activities, e.g. By car, train, or bus!  The sounds of a language on the go by J. Fontana]

  • FL Association of Bilingual/ESOL Supervisors [see links]


Grognet, A. et al. (2000).  Enhancing English language learning in elementary classrooms: Study guide.  Washington DC: CAL.

Garcia, E. (2005). Teaching and Learning in Two Languages: Bilingualism and Schooling in the United States.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Garcia, E. & E. Frede E. (2010).  Young English language learners: Current research and emerging directions for practice and policy.  New York: Teachers College Press.


Chapter 10

  • Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
  • Center for Technology in Learning
  • Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) University of Michigan,
  • Computer-Using Educators (CUE)
  • Focus on Technology, National Education Association
  • Institute for the Transfer of Technology to Education (ITTE)
  • International Reading Association
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
  • International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)
  • National Reading Panel
  • National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement (CELA)
  • Office of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education E-mail:

[This website offers free online learning games and songs for kids, tools for building foundation math and language skills]


[This website shares research, information, and opportunities for discussion related to technology use with children birth to age eight. The website can serve as a forum for teacher of young children to stay informed and connected with new technological practices with young children]


[An online learning forum that helps students develops 21st century communication, critical thinking, and technology skills.  The site offers a virtual library and learning resources that teachers of young children can use for professional development] 

  • Toppo, G. (2011). White House details plans for more digital learning. USA Today, Sept. Sept. 9.
Digital Promise
(a center for developing and vetting educational software, games, etc.).
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