[kids-lib] Dual language learners: New federal policy and resources to help you!

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Tue Jun 28 09:37:50 PDT 2016

Earlier this month the White House announced a new federal policy statement<https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/dll_policy_statement_final.pdf> from the US Departments of Education and Health and Human Resources about better supporting dual language learners (DLLs) in early childhood programs. The policy statement includes recommendations to state-level agencies and organizations as well as recommendations to early childhood programs-like library storytimes. In conjunction with this policy announcement, the federal government launched a dual language learner toolkit<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/Dual%20Language%20Learners/toolkit> to help programs implement the recommendations.

Here are the recommendations for early childhood programs, much more information and some suggestions about how to implement these recommendations are included in the federal policy statement<https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/dll_policy_statement_final.pdf>:

*         Create a climate that is strength-based and embraces diversity

*         Partner with families

*         Identify and implement intentional approaches to language use in [the children's area and during early literacy programs, like storytimes,] to provide a rich language environment

*         Establish a culturally responsive learning environment

*         Ensure that [staff and volunteers have] the competencies to support dual language learners

*         Ensure [program content] is appropriate

*         Promote positive [staff]-child relationships

*         Support monolingual English speaking staff in serving children who are dual language learners

*         ...support children with disabilities who are dual language learners

*         Facilitate smooth transitions

I highly recommend looking at the "Support Learning English" subsection within the "Teachers, Caregivers, and Family Service Staff" section in the dual language learner toolkit<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/Dual%20Language%20Learners/toolkit/teachers-caregivers-family-services-staff.html>. There are about a dozen useful tips sheets on the topic of dual language learners. You will see a lot of what libraries have been promoting for years about related to language development in these tips sheets. Reading them made me feel less overwhelmed about this new policy statement-you'll probably realize you're already doing some of these things and identify some simple, no-cost and low-cost things you can do to start doing more. Most, if not all of these tips also help support monolingual English language development!

Here are just a few things from the tips sheets that I think may be particular good for libraries:

*         How to identify and screen volunteers<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/planned-language-approach/docs/dll-ts-supporting-cultural-guides-language-models.pdf> to be cultural guides and/or home language models and why these types of volunteers are important

*         Including children's home languages and cultures<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/planned-language-approach/docs/dll-ts-childrens-home-languages.pdf>

o   Ask a parent to teach you a song or rhyme from their culture/home language and sing/say it in storytimes

o   Ask parents how they use language and writing in their home and find a way to incorporate a few of those practices in your storytime or children's area

o   Choose themes that could be relevant to many cultures, like dance or music, and have families share their traditional dances/music

*         Creating environments<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/planned-language-approach/docs/dll-ts-creating-environments.pdf> that include children's home languages and cultures

o   Use photos or pictures along with labels in English and the other major language in your community (don't do too many labels or too many different languages because it becomes overwhelming)

o   Ask parents to suggest toys, books, music, storytime props, clean empty food containers for toy kitchens, etc.

*         Selecting bilingual books<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/fcp/docs/ncclr-qguide-select-cultural-childrens-books-non-english.pdf>, using bilingual books<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/fcp/docs/ncclr-qguide-how-to-use-bilingual-books.pdf>, and selecting and using culturally responsive books<http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/cultural-linguistic/fcp/docs/selecting-culturally-appropriate-books.pdf>

Don't forget, the State Library also has books specifically for libraries about supporting diversity<http://osl-lis.blogspot.com/>. For example, we just got the following book which you can check out via interlibrary loan.
Naidoo, Jaime Campbell & Scherrer, Katie. (2016). Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions. 978-0-8389-1411-3.

Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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