Preparing Young Latino Children for School Success: Best Practices in Language Instruction

Language development is the key to literacy development and is often a predictor of a child’s academic success. For young Latino children, many of whom are English language learners (ELLs), early learning programs can provide significant language supports to help them prepare for school success. Children acquiring English as a second language, however, have a very distinct path toward language development, and instructional strategies must be carefully designed to ensure ELLs are acquiring language at a developmentally appropriate pace. This policy brief highlights the importance of intentional language instruction for Hispanic children, particularly ELLs, highlights a best practice in the field, and concludes with policy recommendations for bringing successful programs to scale.