Field Story

Hello and welcome back my fellow blog readers!

In this blog I am going to talk to you about my field placement. What’s field placement you might ask? Field placement provides students with supervised hands-on experience within their field of study while fulfilling academic requirements; like an internship.

Looking into my field experience:

I am currently in a head start Pre-K classroom with students of the age of three and four. Out of all the field placements I have been to at my time at Millersville, this is my first time ever being in a head start classroom. Head Start programs promote school readiness for children from birth to five from low-income families by supporting the development of the child emotionally, socially, nutritionally and their psychological needs. Head Start programs are funded federally from the government.

With me only attending my field placement two times so far, I observed that the majority of students were English language learners and that the students spend more time in free play then instructional learning time in their daily classroom schedule. Not only that, students engage more in free play then instructional learning time. This only led me to ask the typical question of a child which is “Why?”

What I wonder:

In my field placement the students engage and participant more during free play time than instructional time. Which led me to the question, “Why is play so important at this age? And what benefits does play have for English language learners?” From what I gathered from my research it seems that play is important at this age and especially for English language learners because it allows students to form social skills, including how to use the language to communicate, initiate contact and resolve conflicts with other peers. This is important for English language learners because in previous studies English language learners had a hard time forming friendships because of not knowing how to communicate verbally, but play allows them to do so.

Importance of Play in Early Childhood – The importance of play in early childhood education is immense. Knowing all the type of play and the benefits of each will make you a…

With the majority of the students being English language learners, this made me wonder if the students were participating in play more for a reason. From what I observed during my field placement most of the student lack confidence during instruction time because students either don’t know the letter they are being asked to identify or they don’t know how to pronounce it and are scared of trying or being incorrect. They usually stare at you in silence until being given the answer or other directions. Several investigations have shown English language learners develop through a silent period in which they speak less and listen more. Therefore, teachers need to keep that in mind when English language learners are trying to obtain new information and knowledge.


Overall, all future educators are going to encounter English language learners at some point during their career. It is important to have patience with these students and making sure they are receiving the needs they might need compared to other students. Not only that, it is important to understand their home life and their cultural heritage since those are all things that affect their emotional, social, nutritional and physical self. Furthermore, it is important for teachers to observe their behaviors during free play and instructional time because it can help you gain knowledge on their social skills and many other skills as well.

Additional Resources:

A Qualitative Study of the Play of Dual Language Learners in an English-Speaking Preschool