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    "Every young child deserves to have a opportunity to attend preschool and get a head start in their education." - Los Angeles Teacher

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    Dual Language Learners


    Supporting Children's Language Development & Cultural Competency

    “Young English learners are increasingly being referred to as dual language learners. A recent federal report defines dual language learners as young children, between 3 to6 years of age, who are learning a second language while still developing basic competency in their first language” (Ballantyne, Sanderman, D’Emilio, & McLaughlin, 2008). According to research, in order to enhance school experiences for dual language learners, educators must attend to their social, emotional, and cognitive needs (Espinosa 2010).There is an increasing number of children that are exposed to more than one language. A child’s ability to communicate and be understood is critical in laying the foundation for school readiness. 

    Cultural competency and a focus on anti-bias practices are critical components of a quality preschool program. Los Angeles county is one of the most populous and diverse counties in the United States, whose population speaks more than 91 different languages. Our LAUP preschool children reflect similar diversity. The question we have to ask ourselves as early childhood educators is how we will support the needs of every child in their oral language development, especially the dual language learners.  Our goal at LAUP is to provide teachers with the resources, tools, and techniques to support all children.

    The following are some resources you can explore to gather more information on Dual Language Learners.

    Online Resources

    The following resources are in the LAUP lending library available to LAUP network providers. The LAUP Lending Library and resources is a collection of professional development books, children’s books, articles, and materials LAUP providers may access. To access resources contact your LAUP coach or an LAUP Program Support Specialist.


    • Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children. Louise Derman-Sparks
    • Getting It Right for Young Children from Diverse Backgrounds. Linda M. Espinosa (2010)
    • One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Early Childhood Educators of Children Learning English as a Second Language. Patton O. Tabors (2008)
    • Preschool English Learners Principle and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning CA Dept. of Education, also available online.