One-third of children ages five and under in the United States have at least one parent who speaks a language other than English. These Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are a diverse and growing group who have the potential to develop as multilingual and multiliterate individuals. However, data on the exact number and characteristics of DLLs in early childhood programs are rare. Unlike the K-12 population, there are few standardized policies and procedures for identifying DLLs. This report examines the extent to which federal agencies, states, and localities have procedures or guidance in place to identify DLLs in early childhood programs. It highlights the more advanced state and local efforts to identify DLLs in California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania. The authors discuss opportunities to advance more comprehensive DLL identification policies and practices.
English Learner Identification
Early Childhood Education