Preschool English Learners

Content focused on preschool English learners (ELs)

The Center: Early Childhood Professional Learning (ECPL) leverages its partnerships with local and national providers to bring you FREE high quality, relevant professional learning focused on preschool English learners (ELs). As part of ECPL's and ISBE's partnership with WIDA Early Years, you have free access to WIDA Early Years eLearning resources which include self-paced, on demand courses and downloadable resources. ISBE and/or Gateways credit is available.

Credential and Licensure Information

Gateways offers an ESL & Bilingual Credential as an add-on to the Gateways ECE Credential for early care and education professionals who have formal college education, training, and experience with multilingual/multicultural children and families, either in the form of supervised observation/experience or direct work experience.

ISBE offers the ESL and/or Bilingual endorsements to add onto a Professional Educator License. Information on licenses with Stipulations such as the ELS-TBE and Visiting International Teacher (VIT) can also be found on the ISBE site.

Live Webinars

10/25/23 Developing language in the early childhood settings: Strategies that make a difference!

11/29/23 Desarrollando el lenguaje a través de centros de juego socio-dramático culturalmente relevantes (Developing language through culturally relevant socio-dramatic play centers)

12/11/23 Developing a culturally and linguistically responsive classroom environment for all children

01/25/24 Understanding How Young Children Learn Multiple Languages

02/21/24 Supporting Young ELs' Social Emotional Development in Culturally Appropriate Ways

03/20/24 Unleash Their Play by Tapping Into Children's Home Cultures

Live Online Administrator Academy

04/18/24 AA#1925 Cultural & Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education

On Demand Learning from the WIDA Consortium

  • Resources for preschool age multilingual children are now available on WIDA’s Teaching in PreK-3 webpage.
  • A new self-paced workshop, Exploring the WIDA PreK-3 Essential Actions, introduces educators to the WIDA PreK-3 Essential Actions. Educators now have an opportunity to build their knowledge and understanding of the Essential Actions and to reflect on their own ideologies, practices, and settings. Access to the course will require a WIDA Secure Portal account. Gateways and ISBE credit is available after completing the course. Contact for information about how to set up a WIDA Secure Portal account and access this and other WIDA self-paced offerings.
  • Are We Ready? is now a set of resources, videos, guides and notetakers to support PreK–3 educators as they promote and provide equitable transitions for multilingual children and their families as they move through PreK-3. This resource is available now at - no log in needed.

Recorded Webinars

5/18/2022 - Frequently Asked Questions about Serving English Learners in Preschool Programs


Downloadable Resources

Downloadable Resources

Making Connections, is a comprehensive resource that offers suggestions, tools, and sample plans for teachers who use the Illinois Early Learning and Developmental Standards and WIDA Early Years resources to plan equitable learning opportunities to young multilingual children.

Multilingual Children and Their Families - Snapshot

Promoting Equity for Young Multilingual Children and Their Families 

WIDA Early Years Guiding Principles of Language Development

ABCs of Family Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions - Serving English Learners in Preschool Programs in Illinois Public School Districts (Revised March 2022)


ISU Preschool Videos Featuring Bilingual Preschool Teacher, Eva Gonzalez Heredia 

"The Power of Enrolling Your Child in a Pre-K Program with Bilingual Education Services" video

Teaching at the Beginning: 20 Videos of young dual language learners in early childhood education settings

We gratefully acknowledge our partnership with ISBE that brings these resources to the early care and education (ECE) community across Illinois.

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