This topical guide on supporting dual language learners in early childhood will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse.


Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian).

  • 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child
    Naomi Steiner and Susan L. Hayes
    AMACOM, 2009
    This book is a resource for parents raising their child bilingually. Steiner and Hayes expose common myths about bilingualism, explain how the brain learns multiple languages, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide the reader with a variety of resources to help them along their journey of raising a bilingual child.
    P 115.2 .S822 2009
  • Dual Language Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning
    Fred Genesee, Johanne Paradis, and Martha B. Crago
    Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 2004
    This book is written for professionals working with early childhood students who are bilingual or learning a second language. It may help speech-language pathologists and educators determine whether language is typically developing or if there is a delay as they work with children and their families.
    WL 340.2 .G326 2004
  • Introducing English as an Additional Language to Young Children: A Practical Handbook
    Kay Crosse
    Paul Chapman Publishing, 2007
    This handbook will help teachers meet individual needs and develop the confidence of young children with English as an additional language in their classrooms. There also are practical and varied language teaching strategies for promoting learning for children working individually or in small groups.
    PE 1128 .A2 .C951 2007
  • Learning to Read the World: Language and Literacy in the First Three Years
    Sharon Rosenkoetter and Joanne Knapp-Philo.
    Zero to Three Press, 2006
    A collection of journal articles addressing the issues of early childhood and the development of language and literacy. Provides a good understanding how language evolves from infancy through toddlerhood.
    P 118 .R814 2006
  • Many Languages, One Classroom: Teaching Dual and English Language Learners: Tips and Techniques for Preschool Teachers
    Karen Nemeth
    Gryphon House 2009
    Written with early childhood professionals and staff in mind, each chapter addresses a common question that may arise in a dual-language early childhood classroom. With a wide range of topics from assisting families in crisis who do not speak much English to addressing the needs of bilingual infants and toddlers with special needs.
    PE 1128 .A2N21 2009
  • Teaching and Learning in Two Languages: Bilingualism and Schooling in the United States
    Eugene E. García
    Teachers College Press, 2005
    This book is a resource for anyone interested in the state of bilingual education in the United States. García takes a look at effective curriculum and instructional approaches used with English language learners in the American school system.
    LC 3731 .G216 2005


Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Some videos may be viewed online.

  • Assessment of Bilingual Learners: Language Difference or Disorder?
    3 hour, 25 minute DVD plus resource guide
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2003
    This DVD/guide combination provides vital information about normal second language acquisition processes as well as a discussion of the phenomena of bilingualism as a foundation for distinguishing between language differences and disabilities in English language learner (ELL) students. Assessment considerations and techniques used to differentiate between language difference and disability in ELL students are highlighted.
    LC 3731 .A846r 2003
  • Effective Interventions for English Language Learners
    2 hour, 20 minute DVD plus resource guide
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2007
    María Adelaida Restrepo, associate professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University, is a bilingual speech-language pathologist. In this instructional film, she outlines intervention principles and other factors to consider when planning intervention programs for English language learners (ELLs). Specific areas of language intervention for ELL children with language disorders are discussed. Preventive techniques for their general language needs in the classroom and at home also are addressed.
    LC 3725 .R436 2007
  • One Child, Two Languages in Action: Educating & Assessing Young Second-Language Learners
    120 minute DVD.
    Patton Tabors, Mariela Paez, et al
    Brookes Pub Co, 2008.
    This video discusses techniques for educating young children who are dual-language learners as well as demonstrating recommended methods of assessment. This DVD was created as a companion to the book One Child, Two Languages by Patton O. Tabors. It includes educating and assessing young second-language learners.
    DVD P 118.2 .O54 2008
  • Second Language Learning Environments at Home and School
    30 minute DVD
    STARnet, Apples Video Magazine, 2007
    Embracing a child’s first language at home and in the classroom is the foundation for successful acquisition of any second language. Becoming bilingual or multilingual is a necessity for some children and a privilege for all. This video inspires a positive philosophy and provides where-to-begin guidelines as well as hands-on activities to create the environment that is absolutely necessary for strong development of a second language in young children.
    P 118.2 .S445 2007
  • Supporting ESL Learners in Early Childhood Settings
    60 minute DVD
    STARnet, Apples Video Magazine, 2002
    This video covers the support of English as a second language (ESL) learners in early childhood programs. Integral to this program is the importance of the support of families and the integration of community resources.
    LC 3715 .S959edvd 2002


We are still adding to this resource guide. Please check back later for additional resources.


The journal titles linked below will take you to the publisher's homepage. You can ask your local public librarian how to obtain these articles or contact us for more information.

  • “An Experimental Study Comparing English-Only and Transitional Bilingual Education on Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers’ Early Literacy Development”
    Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 207–217.
    Lilian K. Durán, Cary J. Roseth, and Patricia Hoffman. (2010)
    This study was designed to test the hypothesis that native language instruction enhances English language learner’s (ELL’s) native language and literacy development without delaying English development. Results showed that Spanish language instruction increased Spanish oral vocabulary and letter-word identification without significant differences between bilingual and English-only classrooms on these same measures in English.
  • “Two Tests of the Effectiveness of Bilingual Education in Preschool”
    Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21, 352–363
    Andrew M. Ryan. (2007)
    This study used multiple years of data from an Even Start program and relevant comparison groups to consider bilingual education in preschool. The study provides some evidence of the effectiveness of bilingual education in preschool, but further research is needed to validate the findings.
  • “Meeting the Home Language Mandate: Practical Strategies for All Classrooms”
    Young Children, 64(2), 36–39, 41–42
    Karen Nemeth. (2009)
    The author stresses the important role of early childhood educators in helping young dual language learners retain their home language while building their English language skills. She suggests strategies to improve a preschool program’s effectiveness in teaching dual language learners.
  • “Enhancing Practice with Infants and Toddlers from Diverse Language and Cultural Backgrounds”
    Young Children; 67(4), p49-57
    Karen Nemeth and Valeria Erdosi. (2012)
    The article discusses strategies for helping infants and toddlers from diverse language and cultural backgrounds adjust to early childhood care situations, focusing on practices that support children’s home languages and help develop English language skills.
  • “Evaluating young children who are dual language learners : gathering and interpreting multiple sources of data to make informed decisions”
    Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series No. 13: 133-156
    Lillian K Durán, Gregory A. Cheatham, & Rosa Milagros Santos. (2011)
    Available upon request from the EI Clearinghouse.
    LC 4019 .M4599 2011

Web Resources

The web resources listed below provide quick and easy access to evidence-based online information.

  • EIC: Encouraging Bilingual Babies and Toddlers
    A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.
  • Helping Your Child Learn in Two Languages
    An Illinois Early Learning Project tipsheet for parents and caregivers. Children who know more than one language often benefit in school and later in life. Also, many parents and grandparents find that talking to older children about important life matters is easier if the children retain their home language skills. Also in Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, and French.
  • How Children Learn a Second Language
    Author Linda Halgunseth writes a family-friendly article about how children have the ability to learn multiple languages. She explains the stages children go through when they learn a new language, describes the benefits of knowing more than one language, and suggests tips and ideas for parents to incorporate with their child to foster multi-language learning.
  • National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)
    The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition “supports the U.S Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA) in its mission to respond to Title III educational needs and implement NCLB as it applies to English language learners.” The NCELA Web site includes state and district statistics on English language learners and a resource library with articles focused on topics such as early childhood and bilingual education.
  • National Dual Language Forum (NDLF)
    This Web site defines dual language, lists types and features of dual language education programs, contrasts what is considered a dual language program with what is not, and mentions what the program looks like as children progress through school. Links to additional resources and other organizations’ Web sites are provided.
  • Dual Language Learners
    From The Illinois Early Learning Project, this blog is intended to help parents and teachers support these children as they learn English and their home languages. A recent trend in early childhood and education in Illinois is the increasing population of children who speak a home language other than English and enter early care and education with few or no English words. Also in Spanish.
  • The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
    This Web site provides links to information about English language learning (ELL) education, bilingual education, immigrant education, two-way immersion, sheltered instruction, and teacher education. The site also provides links to projects and resources pertaining to each of the topics.

Supporting Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood