Assessing Young Dual Language Learners: What You Need to Know and Why

2008 Dual Language Learners Institute General Session - Carol Hammer

Carol Hammer, keynote speaker for the 2008 Dual Language Learner's Institute General Session, discusses major findings from research conducted with Dual Language Learners. Head Start programs may find these findings useful in assessing and supporting language development.

In her strongest recommendation, Carol Hammer advises parents and teachers to encourage the first language as it will assist and add to the child's English development and knowledge. In addition to this recommendation, Hammer highlights eight key points regarding Dual Language Learners:

  • Bilingual language development is not the same as monolingual language development. Though DLLs will go through similar developmental stages with their language, the path by which they become fluent will likely be different.
  • DLLs need time to catch up to monolinguals.
  • Vocabulary skills in both languages need to be accounted for with DLLs.
  • DLLs use their knowledge of their first language to learn a second.
  • DLLs vary in their language abilities.
  • Usage of the native language is not harmful to the development of English.
  • Language of instruction affects children's language and literacy development. 
  • DLLs cannot have a language disorder only in one language.

Assessing Young Dual Language Learners: What You Need to Know and Why. 2008 Dual Language Learners Institute General Session - Carol Hammer. HHS/ACF/OHS. English. Streaming Video. 00:33:12.

Last Reviewed: May 2012

Last Updated: January 6, 2017