Why Supporting CA’s Dual Language Learners Matters
By: Carolyne Crolotte
Research shows that bilingualism brings enormous benefits. They include strengthened cognitive and memory processes, improved communication abilities, increased confidence, social and cultural benefits, and an advantage in the job market.
Research also demonstrates that the brain is wired to learn multiple languages beginning at birth, as well as the important window of opportunity in the earliest years of life for language acquisition. It also indicates that Dual Language programs are good for ALL kids, especially in the early years. Dual Language programs have been associated with improved cognitive abilities, positive influences on achievement in other disciplines, and higher achievement test scores in reading and math.
Such programs are even more beneficial for Dual Language Learners (DLLs), who represent 60% of kids birth to age 5 in CA. Studies show that DLLs who participate in Dual Language programs early on outperform peers and are far more likely to graduate from high school compared to those who attend English-only programs.
After almost two decades of harmful English-only policies and instruction in schools as a result of Proposition 227, there are many misconceptions about bilingualism and Dual Language education among policymakers, educators, and parents.
This video helps raise awareness about the benefits of bilingualism and the need to invest in programs for children, as well as professional development and preparation programs for teachers, that support bilingualism and biliteracy, starting in the early years.