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Dual Language Learners

As the most racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse state, California is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in building an early childhood system that affirms the cultural and linguistic strengths of our children in policy and practice.

We envision an integrated early childhood and TK-12 education system that builds on the gifts of California’s dual language learner (DLL) children and families; and creates joyful, enriching learning environments that sustains their home languages and cultures. We work to address past and present systemic injustices of racial segregation and discrimination that strips children of color of their identities, and dismisses the experiences of families of color as unworthy of meaningful education.

We partner with policy advocates, parent and community leaders, practitioners, higher education, and researchers to advance policy, practice, and investments that support DLL children from historically underserved communities. Policy advocacy priorities include:

  • The Dual Language Learner Policy Platform: Informing California’s Early Learning and Care Policies and Investments in 2020–21 and Beyond: Provides recommendations necessary to provide resources and access to high-quality early education all children need to thrive. Click here for: Full Report | Executive Summary.
  • Bilingual program expansion: Align the early childhood system with the English Learner Roadmap State Policy, by expanding dual-language programs in communities with large populations of children of color, DLLs, and low-income students; 
  • DLL identification: Promote high-quality programs for DLLs starting from birth, by meaningfully identifying and supporting DLLs; and
  • DLL-specific professional development: Support early educators to build on the strengths of DLLs and meet their needs, by including explicit competencies for serving DLLs and providing funding for sustained professional development.
  • Two-Year Action Plan for Implementing Dual Language Learner Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC) Recommendations: Collective action plan to support implementation of recommendations from the MPELC that support DLLs.
  • Goal I: DLLs will be identified and supported across California’s mixed delivery system.
    ---DLL Identification Guide for California State Preschool Program Providers
  • Goal II : California’s ECE and P-3 infrastructure includes explicit focus on supporting DLLs.
  • Goal III: Early educators have access to high-quality, culturally relevant child development training focused on serving DLLs.
  • Goal IV: Institutions of Higher Education effectively prepare the ECE workforce to support DLLs.