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Assessing Young Dual-Language Learners

by Ida Rose Florez
September/October 2013
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/assessing-young-dual-language-learners/5021358/

Early educators play a leading role in young children’s learning and development. To lead and teach well, they need a solid understanding of each child’s development and learning needs. But assessing young children who are learning more than one language can pose challenges, especially when teachers do not speak the child’s home language. With increasing numbers of language-diverse children in early care and education settings, teachers need skills and knowledge that allow them to assess all children in all of the languages they speak.

Young children take a variety of language development paths. Many children learn two or more languages from birth. Others learn the home language first and the dominant language (English in the United States) when they enter non-parental care and education settings. For some children exposure to languages fluctuates as family or caregivers move in and out of their lives. In this article all ­children learning more than one language are referred to as dual language learners (DLLs).

Principles for Assessing Young DLLs

Valid assessment of young DLLs begins with the same ­principles for assessing all young children. Assessing young children requires teachers, caregivers, and other professionals to collect information from a variety of sources, on ­multiple occasions, using ...

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