Using nationally representative data from the ECLS-B, we examined children's outcomes and growth from 9 to 65 months as a function of language used in the home at 24 months (English only n = 7300; English and another language n = 1500; other language only n = 400). We also examined whether demographic variables moderated the effects of DLL status in predicting child outcomes. Results revealed substantial variation within the DLL population within and across language groups in immigration status, heritage country, child outcomes, and family socioeconomic risk. DLL status was associated with differential outcomes, gains over time, and processes in complex ways. Maternal birth outside of the U.S., child gender, and parental education moderated relations between home language and child outcomes. Use of the heritage language at home served as a protective factor for children of immigrant families for a few outcomes. Gender and parental education were more strongly associated with child outcomes among English-speaking households than among DLLs.
Home Environment and Language Practices