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.
Dual Language Learners Program Assessment (DLLPA): Users' Guide
The DLLPA outlines strategies for a coordinated approach across management systems and program services. It helps Head Start, child care, and pre-K programs assess their systems and services to ensure the full and effective participation of children who are DLLs and their families. The DLLPA also supports fully integrated culturally and linguistically responsive practices for all children, families, and staff. Programs can use it to improve coordinated approaches to promote school readiness for children who are DLLs and the engagement of their families.
Download the DLLPA
All 14 parts of the DLLPA are available for download. This includes the 10 sections for rating your program's implementation of integrated culturally and linguistically responsive practices.
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).
Topic:Culture and Language
Keywords:Dual language learners
Resource Type: Article
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: March 9, 2020