First 5 California Dual Language Learner (DLL) Pilot Update
By Carolyne Crolotte
Senior Policy Analyst
Early Edge California
First 5 California Dual Language Learner (DLL) Pilot
We wanted to share an update on the important statewide effort led by First 5 California to shed light on effective high-quality, research-based learning experiences for infant, toddler, and preschool age children who are dual language learners (DLLs). Our Senior Policy Analyst Carolyne Crolotte participates as a member of the DLL Pilot Input Group, which is comprised of key state- and national-level DLL experts and stakeholders.
About the First 5 California DLL Pilot
The First 5 California DLL Pilot is a study led by a research team at American Institutes for Research (AIR). The goal of this study is to determine and share information about effective, scalable, and implementable strategies to support DLL children in a variety of early learning settings (center-based, family child care homes, and community-based/alternative settings) across California.
How the DLL Pilot Study Got its Start
In July 2016, the First 5 California Commission authorized an investment of $20 million over the course of five years for this study.
The research project was launched in the fall of 2017 and is expected to be completed in June 2021.
Study activities include:
Conducting county focus group interviews with leaders from local First 5 county commissions, county offices of education, and resource and referral agencies in 16 selected counties to learn more about their perspectives, needs, practices, and supports for DLLs across early learning and care settings.
The focal counties were selected based on the number of DLLs, languages spoken, and other sampling criteria.
A site-level survey to capture program characteristics and approaches to support DLLs, including family demographics, child assessments, and in-classroom observations.
How the findings will be used
First 5 California will use the findings in the following ways:
Disseminate to early educators working in a variety of early learning settings to improve the experiences and outcomes of young DLLs, and increase understanding of the importance of supporting DLL children’s home language development.
Incorporate into early educator training, coaching, and technical assistance best practices that can be shared across all 58 counties in California.
Share the successes and challenges faced by DLLs in California and convey the benefits of bilingualism and biliteracy.
Inform the development of culturally and linguistically responsive elements of quality for California’s Quality and Rating Improvement System.
Share with institutions of higher education for integration into coursework and practicum experience.
Share best practices to support DLLs at the local, state, and national level.
For more information on the study, please visit the First 5 California DLL Pilot website, which contains fact sheets and other materials about the study, as well as their DLL Resource Guide.