Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky

Second Reader

Elisabeth Amirahmadi


English language learners, social and emotional development, early childhood, preschool, academic achievement gap


The fastest growing population of students entering preschool classrooms are English language learners (Winsler et al., 2014). Not only is the population of English language learners growing (Winsler et al., 2014), but there is a steady increase in the academic achievement gap. Further, the growth of ELL students corresponds with the gap. Related to both is social and emotional development. Social and emotional skills provide the apparatus for all learning. The early childhood educator is well-versed in teaching these skills. Therefore, an early childhood educator teaching social and emotional development to English language learners provides opportunities to remedy the academic achievement gap. Such remedies appear as play and social interactions that incorporate students with all levels of English skill. This paper synthesized research on English language learners and the benefits of social and emotional development taught in Early Childhood classrooms. The research showed the value of English language-learning children entering high-quality early childhood classrooms at an early age. Programs that teach social and emotional education provide all children with a foundation to advance academically and close achievement gaps.