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Effective practices for partnering with families of English learner students in preschool and kindergarten

These resources are drawn from web-based events, hosted by the English Learner Alliance at REL West, that share strategies for educators interested in fostering effective partnerships with families of young English learner students. This page contains the following resources, below:

  • Discussion Guide
  • Webinar Archive Videos
  • Transcripts
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Additional Resources
  • Tips for facilitators


1. Discussion Guide for Facilitators

2. Webinar: Structuring Meaningful Home-School Partnerships with Families of Young English Learner Students


In this webinar, three presenters share research and practical strategies on structuring strong home-school partnerships. The main sections of the webinar address: 1) research on the foundations of effective partnerships, 2) information on academic and linguistic skills and dispositions that students need to succeed and that families can support, and 3) examples of successful outreach efforts.

3. Webinar: Building Capacity for School Success in Families of Young English Learner Students


This webinar provides information, tips, and practical strategies to support school readiness for young English learner students and addresses ways to overcome barriers to effective home-school partnerships. This webinar is rich in resources and practical strategies that educators can use to foster effectvie home-school partnerships and actively engage families in supporting academic and linguistic growth in their young English learner children.

Additional Resources

This list of resources is a compilation of documents, reports, and websites shared via PowerPoint slides and the chat function during the webinar not mentioned above.

1. Ask A REL Memo: "Research on Parent Liaisons." (2015). REL West.

2. Ask A REL Memo: "Engaging Families of Young English Learner Students." (2015). REL West.

3. Ask A REL Memo: "Summary of State Early Childhood Guidelines and Standards for Dual Language Learners." (2014). REL West.

4. Research Report: Ross, T. (2015). The Case for a Two-Generation Approach for Educating English Language Learners. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.

5. Research Report: Matthews, H., & Ewen, D. (2006). Reaching all children?: Understanding early care and education participation among immigrant families. Washinton, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy.

Tips for Facilitators: Using These Materials for Professional Learning

These webinars and the associated materials provide strong, research-based content to help preschool or primary grade educators develop effective home-school parternships with families of young English learner students.

1. Plan for engagement with these resources by developing some questions or a problem of practice regarding effective home-school partnerships. This will ensure that your use of the materials is targeted, strategic, and mindful of the time of the participants.

2. Select key resources and develop professional learning opportunities that respond to your focus or problem of practice. Some suggestions follow:

  • Jigsaw the three REL West Ask A REL Memos. Discuss the relevance to your context and determine next steps or additional questions you may have.
  • Use some of the slides from Webinar 1 (e.g. slides 5, 11, 13) to provide a base from which to reflect on your parent engagement structure.
  • Review the websites of organizations with promising approaches shared in Webinar 1 (slides 26-27) for ideas on how to respond to your questions or problem of practice.
  • View in their entirety or just segments of the webinars with a viewing guide related to your problem of practice.
  • Consider the specific activities showcased particularly in Webinar 2. Watch that section of the webinar to discern in what ways the activity is similar or different to what you currently do and how it might address your problem of practice.
  • Review the many resources shared in Webinar 2, especially on slides 12-14 and 22-24, yourself or divide them up among participants for new ideas to consider with your team.


  • Linda Espinosa, Professor (Emeritus), University of Missouri
  • Maria Paredes, Senior Program Associate, WestEd
  • Melanie Packham, Comprehensive School Assistance Program, WestEd