Supporting English Language Development of English Language Learners in Virtual Kindergarten: A Parents’ Perspective




virtual kindergarten, online learning, ESL, English Language Learner


The researchers of this case study explored English language learner (ELL) parents’ experience as they supported their children’s English language development in an online (virtual) kindergarten programme. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. Then the researchers used thematic analysis to describe the participants’ lived experience with the phenomenon. Findings indicated that online learning increased the emotional stressors for parents of ELL children, and altered the communication between parents and teachers. Meanwhile, the use of breakout rooms reinforced the children’s language development, and translation services supported parents. Based on the findings, the researchers recommend that schools and boards provide the parents and families of multilingual learners with ongoing workshops to give them the tools and confidence to continue supporting their children in person and online. They also recommend a greater investment in translation services.

Author Biographies

Sara Shahbazi, University of Windsor

Dr. Sara Shahbazi is an instructor in the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education. She is a former
kindergarten teacher and current administrative leader at the elementary level. Her research scope includes
early years (kindergarten) and multilingual learners in the elementary and secondary system.

Geri Salinitri, University of Windsor

Dr. Geri Salinitri is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Windsor. She was the former Associate Dean
of the Faculty of Education and has a 40-year career as an educator, with 22 years as a teacher educator.
Her research interests include mentoring, in-risk youth, NTIP, and ELL. She is the Editor of the Handbook
of research on leadership experience for academic direction: Program for student success, published by
IGI Knowledge Networks.

Image of small child at a laptop