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Early Teacher-Child Relationships of Multilingual Children

Tue, April 9, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 200 Level, Room 201D


In the present study, we examined the teacher-child relationships of children who speak multiple languages and children who only speak English (N = 840) in preschool through grade 3. Based on teacher perceptions of teacher-child relationships, we found that children who are multilingual experienced less close relationships with their teachers across the academic year. Conflict levels did not differ as a function of children’s language status. Additionally, results indicated that the patterns of association between teacher-child relationships and children’s language backgrounds do not vary by grade level. Findings underscore the importance of providing professional development opportunities to teachers to lessen teachers’ anxiety about working with children learning multiple languages and support the development of close teacher-child relationships.