Early Language Development

two children reading a book together at a desk

Support for the dynamic needs of young multilingual children

Multilingual children learn and develop two or more languages as they navigate their home, community and early care and education (ECE) settings. Children’s experiences, environments, exposure to languages and opportunities to use language all play key roles in  their early language development.

While all young children need support, guidance, and positive interactions with adults, multilingual children need additional attention to their individual linguistic needs and experiences as they develop both their home language(s) and additional languages. Supporting multilingual children’s early language development is critical for their future success in K-12 systems.

To support early language development, WIDA Early Years offers tools and resources for the ECE community that:

  • Highlight what multilingual children can do with language
  • Support instructional planning with attention to language
  • Offer suggestions for scaffolding language development
  • Promote language-focused family engagement

    Resources for Educators and Practitioners

    line drawing of document
    How early language development standards correspond to states’ early learning standards
    line drawing of file
    Instructional and program practices for supporting early language development and engaging with families
    line drawing of document
    Key concepts related to the language development of young multilingual children
    early care practitioner with children at table, arranging blocks

    WIDA Early Years Membership Benefits

    WIDA Early Years membership provides states access to tools, resources and services designed to support the unique needs of young multilingual children in ECE settings.

    two younger students at science lab table

    Can Do Descriptors

    Understand what multilingual children can do at various stages of language development as they engage in early care and education contexts.