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. Classroom Language Models: A Leader’s Implementation Manual describes a number of ways to support home language use in early childhood education programs.
Explore the rich research base that enriches home language and culture and promotes learning English. It is foundational to supporting children and families thriving in programs.
- Research Base in children's language development in one or more languages
- Why Do We Need a Planned Language Approach? | Spanish (español)
- Key Research Directs Our Work | Spanish (español)
- We Have a Responsibility to Teach Children Specific Skills | Spanish (español)
- Important to Know: Dual Language Learner Facts, Figures, and Findings | Spanish (español)
- Same, Different, and Diverse: Understanding Children Who Are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) | Spanish (español)
- What the Research Tells Us
Systems, Policies, and Practices
In order for children to make progress and close any achievement gaps, programs must have clear systems in place that support high-quality instruction. These resources are designed specifically for program leaders. They may be used to ensure school readiness and success for all children.
Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs
This policy statement supports early childhood programs and states by providing recommendations that promote the development and learning of young children, birth to age 5, who are dual language learners (DLLs).
Policies, Practices, and Systems
Review examples of system, policies, and tools that promote and sustain language and literacy development throughout all aspects of program operations that target services to young children and their families.
Program Preparedness Checklist
The Program Preparedness Checklist helps early childhood programs and schools promote school readiness for DLLs by examining their systems and services for children and families who speak languages other than English. Programs should assess the status of their services and systems and use that information to implement improved and more expansive supports.
A Systems Approach to Language and Literacy Organizational Capacity Checklist
Head Start and Early Head Start programs can use this tool to track their implementation of high-quality language and literacy practices, measure progress, and continue to expand and perfect their language and literacy services.
Support for Staff Development
Administrators and others who provide professional development for early care and education program staff can find resources to help their staff intentionally plan for and support children and families using their home languages.
Ways to Use the Handbook
Ways to Use Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development Handbook is a tool designed to support Head Start and Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS), Refugee Resettlement staff, and other early care and education providers in using and applying concepts from the Handbook. It includes staff self-reflection activities, team planning strategies, and approaches to family engagement. Available in Arabic (العربية) and Spanish (español).
Last Updated: February 12, 2018