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External Resources, Resources | | New America Education Policy Program

Integrating DLLs’ Home Language in the Classroom Does Not Hobble English Learning, New Study Finds

An article by New America explores the concept of using DLLs’ home language in the Early Learning classroom to maximize DLLs English development.

A recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly provides additional evidence to the growing research base that using the home language does not compromise DLLs’ English development. The study found that in classrooms where more Spanish is spoken, the DLLs made more progress in their language development, compared to students in classrooms where their home language was less used. 

The study also illustrates the importance of  high-quality Early Learning programs, regardless of what language is used in the classroom. “Spanish-speaking children seem to learn English in good quality classrooms irrespective of classroom type,” the researchers state. 

 A few newly elected state leaders have promised investments in ECE, such as additional funds for in pre-service and in-service professional learning opportunities. Ensuring that DLLs have equitable access to these investments should be a goal shared by all stakeholders.

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