Children Learning More Than One Language (Science Webcast)

In this brief video clip from The Office of Head Start Discovering Science Webcast Series, Dr. Patton Tabors, a dual language learning expert, describes what teachers may do to support science learning for children who speak different languages.

DEC Position Statement on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

For young learners of English who are speakers of other languages (ESOL), the challenges of literacy and language development are different if they are learning in an all-English environment where they need the language to function in school, or if they are in an environment where English is taught as a foreign language (EFL) in school. This position paper from the Division of Early Childhood focuses on children who speak a language other than English at home, and who are entering school environments where English is the principal medium of instruction.

Highlights for Teaching Children Who Are Dual Language Learners (DLLs)

This resource highlights strategies discussed in the Head Start Science Teacher's Guide that teaching teams may use to help children learn their home language in addition to English. Teachers are encouraged to focus on language and literacy skills as integral to the exploration of science topics in the natural world. Specific suggestions from the Guide provide evidence-based practices that are effective for working with dual language learners in Head Start programs.

Dual Language Learners Toolkit

Administrators, practitioners, and families, who support young children learning their home languages and English, find helpful resources. These can help programs implement an intentional approach to language use.

Home Language Support

Children who speak home languages other than English make up at least one third of Head Start enrollment. They speak more than 140 languages and are enrolled in 87 percent of all Head Start programs. All Head Start staff, and policy makers will want to understand what these young dual language learners (DLLs) need in order to thrive in Head Start and beyond. They will also want to know how to support DLL’s development and school readiness skills.

Families Support Their Children Who Are Dual Language Learners

Parents and families are key to holding high expectations and supporting home language development for their dual language learners (DLLs). Families can promote positive experiences for these young children by emphasizing their strengths, including cultural and linguistic strengths. They also provide learning supports necessary to succeed in school. These DLL Toolkit resources can assist families in supporting the learning and development of their young children.

Brilliantly Bilingual: Growing up with Two Languages

In this talk, learn about young children's amazing capacity to learn multiple languages. The presenter shares the basics of how children learn language, how learning multiple languages influences that process, and the cognitive benefits of bilingualism.