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Language and Literacy Development of Dual Language Learners Growing Up in the United States: A Call for Research


concerning this article should be addressed to Carol Scheffner Hammer, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, 110 Weiss Hall, 1701 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122; e-mail:


Abstract— Statistics show that many dual language learners (DLLs) growing up in the United States are at risk for poor educational outcomes. As a result, national attention has focused on the promotion of DLLs’ academic abilities, beginning in the preschool years. Despite this interest, our understanding of DLLs’ language and literacy development is limited. The purpose of this article is to discuss the current state of knowledge about the language and literacy development of DLLs during early childhood, and to present a research agenda designed to enhance the field’s understanding of DLLs’ development, which, in turn, can help improve the educational outcomes of children who are learning two languages.