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.

Administrators and Managers Support Dual Language Learners

Early childhood programs and staff must be prepared to enhance experiences for a growing number of young children who are learning their home languages and English. We can promote positive experiences for these dual language learners (DLLs) by holding high expectations and emphasizing their strengths, including cultural and linguistic strengths. Staff also provide children and their families with individualized learning supports necessary to succeed in school. These DLL Toolkit resources can help program directors and managers better support the learning and development of young children. Program managers and administrators can build systems and develop policies to improve practices across all service delivery areas by identifying and implementing a planned, intentional approach to language use in the classroom.

Infant and Toddler Caregivers

For infants and toddlers, school readiness refers to their developing capacity to self-regulate, demonstrate curiosity, communicate effectively, and develop close, secure relationships. Good health and proper nutrition support this developing capacity. This happens within the context of nurturing, culturally responsive relationships with parents, caregivers, extended family, and community.

Planned Language Approach

The PLA is a comprehensive, research-based way for early education programs to ensure optimal language and literacy services for children who speak English and for those who are dual language learners. 

Making It Work! Connecting Cultural Learning Experiences in American Indian and Alaska Native Classrooms and Communities with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework

Adults have always taught children the skills and values that they need to succeed as adults in their culture. The Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) calls these the "domains of early learning." When early childhood programs connect their traditional cultural skills, values, beliefs, and life ways with the ELOF domains, children develop math, literacy, social-emotional, self-help, and other skills. The Making It Work! resource is a planning process that supports American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start programs to teach their language and culture while meeting Head Start requirements.

Preschool Teachers

Teachers know and understand the broad range of content areas and the developmental expectations (i.e., social and emotional, cognitive, expressive and receptive language, motor, adaptive, and English language development) appropriate for young children as outlined by the Head Start Early Learning Framework. Teachers consider what they want children to know, understand, and be able to do using the five essential domains.
 

ECLKC Professional Development Modules

The Head Start ECLKC Professional Development Modules are designed for individual or group professional development activities to help Head Start programs meet the needs of children who are dual language learners and their families.