Planned Language Approach

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Planned Language Approach

The Planned Language Approach (PLA) is a comprehensive, systemic, research-based way for Head Start and Early Head Start programs to ensure optimal language and literacy services for children who speak English and for those who are dual language learners (DLLs).

The PLA materials include handouts, guides, organizational tools, and videos. They are designed to build and refine language and literacy services for all children and to be used to promote staff development. Resources demonstrate how to help DLLs develop their home language as they also move toward becoming proficient in English. These multimedia materials are designed to support program leaders, families, as well as education, family and community engagement, human resources, interpretation, and translation staff.

The key components of PLA include:

  • Research Base in children's language development in one or more languages
  • Home Language Support as the foundation for developing English language skills
  • Strategies to Support DLLs to thrive in their home language(s) and English
  • Policies, Practices, and Systems that sustain language and literacy development throughout all aspects of the program
  • Big 5 for All that address the key elements of early language and literacy development needed for school readiness and success

What Is a Planned Language Approach? [PDF, 471KB] | Spanish (español) [PDF, 472MB]

Why Do We Need a Planned Language Approach? [PDF, 738KB] | Spanish (español) [PDF, 501KB]

Last Reviewed: October 2015

Last Updated: October 23, 2015