New America launched its Dual Language Learner National Work Group, which has written a series of 10 posts related to research, policies, and practices pertaining to the education of dual language learners (DLLs) in U.S. public schools. According to this group, a DLL is "a child between the ages of zero and eight years old who is in the process of learning English in addition to his or her home language(s). These children may or may not also be considered ELLs . . . by their schools, depending on their performance on English language proficiency assessments" (from Post 1). Together, these posts constitute a DLL Reader that aims to provide a common, foundational base of knowledge to inform policy conversations about these students. The topic of each post and its link are included below:
- Post 1: Introduction (and Definition of Terms)
- Post 2: Who are DLLs?
- Post 3: How do schools identify DLLs?
- Post 4: How long does it take DLLs to learn English?
- Post 5: What models do we use to teach DLLs?
- Post 6: Testing and DLLs
- Post 7: Federal Policy and DLLs
- Post 8: English-Only Laws and DLLs
- Post 9: DLLs, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top
- Post 10: Preparing Educators to Work with DLLs
DLLs, according to the research, are the fastest-growing group of U.S. school children. Despite their increasing numbers, DLL students “rarely garner enough attention when it comes to considering how changing policies impact their education” (Post 1). Because of these issues, the information presented in the posts are important for educators at all levels (e.g., teachers, school and district administrators, LEAs, and SEAs) to know. The posts are a useful set of resources: they are quick reads and are based on a substantial body of research. Readers can choose to read topics that are particularly interesting to them; however, the introduction is important to read as it includes definition of terms.