Bilingual Infant/Toddler Environments: Supporting Language and Learning in Our Youngest Children

This guide is based on first and second language acquisition. It provides directors, education coordinators, and teachers with practical classroom strategies for serving infants and toddlers of families who speak languages other than English. The authors identify and respond to key questions and concerns voiced by staff who work with infants and toddlers.

The following fact sheet is provided courtesy of the AED/Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Technical Assistance Center

Bilingual Infant/Toddler Environments: Supporting Language and Learning in Our Youngest Children

Infancy is characterized by profound and seemingly rapid changes in all developmental domains. In what seems to be a very short time, children are sitting, crawling and then walking. Toddlers begin to run. Prior to their third birthday, children's little fingers begin to grab and then manipulate toys, foods, and other objects around them. From interacting with people as well as playing with objects, infants and toddlers come to develop understandings about their world.

In the same period of time, children are listening to what people are saying around them, and to them. Before their first birthday, infants begin to produce sounds. In what seems like no time whatsoever babies are saying their first words, then short sentences. This growth seems so natural, so easy - it's almost as if the babies are doing it by themselves. In reality, people around the young child are having a great impact on their growth and development. Bilingual Infant/Toddler Environments: Supporting Language and Learning in Our Youngest Children» [PDF, 2.52MB]

Bilingual Infant/Toddler Environments: Supporting Language and Learning in Our Youngest Children. A Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Technical Assistance Center. Stechuk, Robert, Burns,Susan and Yanadian, Sharon. AED. 2006. English. [PDF, 2.5MB].

Last Reviewed: February 2012

Last Updated: November 13, 2014