In a recent press release, the White House launched a new Federal policy statement from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) that focuses on strategies to better support our country’s youngest dual language learners and features resources developed by EDC. As a long-time technical assistance provider for ED and HHS, EDC is honored to have helped inform the new guidance with our development of the Planned Language Approach cited on page 22 of the Federal policy statement, as well as the EDC-designed Electronic Dual Language Learner Toolkit named in the White House press release. The policy statement is of critical import: the fastest growing population in the U.S. is young children under 5 who live in a home where a language other than English is spoken.
Developed by EDC during our work on the Office of Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR) (2010 to 2015), the Planned Language Approach is a comprehensive method of providing all young children with outstanding, effective language and literacy development support. It helps programs strategically design learning environments that meet the needs of all young children in a manner that is consistent with research and best practice. Drawing upon Planned Language Approach, the new Federal policy statement includes classroom language models and descriptions of the best ways known to set up classrooms that promote children’s early literacy and school readiness and success.
Joanne Knapp-Philo, former NCCLR co-Principal Investigator, noted that, “The main goal of the Planned Language Approach is to support all programs in thinking carefully about how they can tailor and refine instruction in ways that will optimally support all children’s growth and development in every classroom. This means taking careful stock of the skills staff have, the languages children bring, the individual needs of children, family engagement, and much more.”
Jennifer Crandell, EDC Research Scientist added, “The Planned Language Approach materials support leaders, teachers, family engagement specialists, and families in understanding how monolingual and dual language learning children develop language and literacy skills, and provide specific strategies for supporting that development in a variety of contexts—including different classroom language models and at home.”
For NCCLR, EDC produced extensive resources and trainings that supported programs nationwide in providing high-quality, comprehensive services to young children and their families. These include a recently-published report on tribal language revitalization by EDC Researcher Ruth Rouvier and Making It Work! a tool that Native American programs can use to align the teaching of their traditional ways to research-based curricula that is being used in Native American and Alaska Native Early Head Start/Head Start programs and in the Hebrides. These materials are all available on the Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness region of the Office of Head Start (OHS) online Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center.
Last Updated: June 2016