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Dual-language learners in Head Start show significant growth in cognitive and academic areas, report researchers. Once they gained basic English proficiency, the dual-language learners eventually outperformed students who only spoke English.
Not all dual-language learners (DLLs) are at risk academically, but as a group, they are often labeled that way.
As reported in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, researchers analyzed data measuring inhibitory control (the ability to pay attention and control natural, but unnecessary thoughts or behaviors) and math achievement for low-income students in Head Start through kindergarten.
The data, collected through the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2009, included 825 children—whose home language was English or Spanish—at 59 Head Start programs across the country.