Early Learning Newsletter | October 2019 | So Many Resources to Support Dual Language Learners!


The U.S. Department of Education's Early Learning Newsletter

So Many Resources to Support
Dual Language Learners!

October 2019

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In This Issue:

From the Directors

Laurie VanderPloeg and Christopher Rinkus

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month. Child care, preschool, and kindergarten programs often enroll dual language learners — those children who are simultaneously learning their home languages and English. While bilingualism gives children great benefits, supporting young children who are dual language learners can feel like a daunting task for many practitioners. In this edition, Early Learning features several resources to help educators and caregivers support the well-rounded development of young dual language learners.

For our Voices From the Field blog, we interviewed Karen Nemeth, who specializes in improving early childhood education for children who are dual language learners. Karen talks about how she supports the field of early childhood education through her work for children who are dual language learners.

Enjoy reading the rest of the newsletter to find out about recent developments and resources to support our youngest learners, and their teachers, caregivers, and families.

Thank you, as always, for reading Early Learning!

Laurie VanderPloeg
Office of Special Education Programs

Christopher Rinkus
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Discretionary Grants and Support Services
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education



Project Spotlight

Logo: Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

The U.S. Department of Education (ED)-funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) is a national technical assistance center focused on building state and local system capacity to improve outcomes for children with disabilities and their families.

ECTA’s website provides abundant resources for early childhood program administrators and practitioners, as well as families of young children. In its Resources section, a page is dedicated to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young Children with Disabilities. This page contains valuable information related to identifying dual language learners with disabilities, assessing dual language learners, existing policies to support dual language learners with disabilities, and much more!


Early Learning Updates from ED

Download the English Learner Family Tool Kit (PDF)

The English Learner Family Toolkit

In early 2019, ED’s Office of English Language Acquisition released the first two chapters of the English Learner Family Toolkit. The toolkit provides information, tips, and resources that families may need as they prepare to enroll their children in public schools across the United States. The topics of the first two chapters are “Enrolling Your Child in School” and “Attending Schools in the United States.”


Announcing New Awards

IDEAs That Work logo

OSEP recently awarded grants to prepare graduate level students using an interdisciplinary approach to work in early intervention or early childhood special education. Universities receive funding to provide financial support to students to receive their master’s, educational specialist, or clinical doctoral degree. Congratulations to:

  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Cal State University Northridge
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Erikson Institute
  • Georgia State University
  • Illinois State University
  • Kent State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut Health Center
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Massachusetts Boston
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • University of Toledo
  • Utah State University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Resources for You

This Month's Recommended Resources:

Promoting Kindergarten Readiness for Dual Language Learners: Evidence-Based Models & Strategies

Supporting Dual Language Learners in the Pre-K Classroom

The Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northeast & Islands is part of a network of 10 regional educational laboratories funded by ED’s Institute of Education Sciences. A recent blog post features REL Northeast & Island’s work to promote strategies to help young dual language learners succeed. The post introduces evidence and research-based classroom strategies and instructional models to best serve dual language learners. This blog also contains information related to engaging families of dual language learners and a link to a webinar, Promoting Kindergarten Readiness for Dual Language Learners: Evidence-Based Models & Strategies.

IRIS Center logo

Instructional Practices for English Language Learners

The OSEP-funded IRIS Center offers a wide variety of resources on instructional strategies for students, including English learners.  Check out the learning module Teaching English Language Learners: Effective Instructional PracticesThis module helps teachers understand second language acquisition and instructional practices that will enhance learning for English learners.

Taking a Critical Look at Your Child Find Efforts

The ED-funded DaSy Center recently posted a new resource: Taking a Critical Look at Your Child Find Efforts. This page introduces tools that can assist state agencies in evaluating and improving their child find systems. These include Child Find Self-Assessment, Part C Child Find Funnel Chart Tool, and Meaningful Differences in Child Find Calculator.



Featured Webinar

Planned Language Approach (PLA) webinar series

Planned Language Approach Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Head Start is hosting the Planned Language Approach (PLA) webinar series on the third Thursday in October, January, March, May, and July. This month, Coaching to Support the Use of a PLA’s Big 5 for All Skills was broadcasted on Thursday, Oct. 17. The PLA is a comprehensive, systemic, and research-based way to ensure optimal language and literacy services for children who speak English, and for children who are dual language learners. Learn about effective practices early childhood staff can use to support children's language and communication development!


Voices From the Field

Karen Nemeth

Supporting Dual Language Learners

We interviewed Karen Nemeth. Karen works for Zero to Three as the Senior Training/Technical Assistance Specialist in the National Center for Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning. Karen talks about how she supports the field of early childhood education through her work for children who are dual language learners.

We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.



Connect With Us Online!

Check out ED's Early Learning website for updates on all of ED's early learning activities, and to view the Early Learning newsletter archive. 

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OSERS is on Twitter with the latest tweets from special education and early intervention advocates, educators, families, and students. Be sure to follow @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends.