Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs
The purpose of this policy statement is to support early childhood programs and States by providing recommendations that promote the development and learning of young children, birth to age five, who are dual language learners (DLLs). The statement also provides support to tribal communities in their language revitalization efforts within tribal early childhood programs. National estimates indicate that there is a large and growing population of children who are DLLs – children who have a home language other than English and are learning two or more languages at the same time, or learning a second language while continuing to develop their first language. Early childhood programs should be prepared to optimize the early experiences of these young children by holding high expectations, capitalizing on their strengths- including cultural and linguistic strengths – and providing them with the individualized developmental and learning supports necessary to succeed in school.