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Promoting Language and Literacy in Young Dual Language Learners: Research, Practice, and Policy


concerning this article should be addressed to Dina C. Castro, FPG Child Development Institute, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 105 Smith Level Rd., CB# 8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180; e-mail:


Abstract— Research evidence supports the importance of a high-quality early education to foster young children’s school readiness and success. In particular, programs that focus on eliminating the readiness gap for young minority children, including dual language learners (DLLs), have increased in importance given the current demographic shifts in the United States and the need to promote learning in the early years. This article discusses current knowledge about effective instructional strategies for promoting language and literacy development among young DLLs. It presents a brief summary of research on the relationship between oral language and literacy development, reviews instructional practices and language of instruction approaches, and concludes with recommendations for policy and future research.

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