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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Preschool Participation and the Cognitive and Social Development of Language Minority Students


This study examined participation in preschool and its relationship with the cognitive and social development of language minority students. Although there is a large body of research that demonstrates the cognitive and social benefits of attending preschool (Barnett, 1995; Gorey, 2001; National Research Council, Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, 2000; Vandell, 2004), very little of this research has included language minority students, or at least those who do not speak English. Either non-English speaking families are not included in the design of the study, such as with the widely cited National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD) Early Child Care Study, or the studies are based on cognitive and social assessments that are only conducted in English (e.g., Magnuson, Meyers, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2004). Consequently, little is known about participation in and outcomes of preschool for the growing population of language minority students.

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