The following list of dual language learner (DLL) resources was assembled by the of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).  A dual language learner (DLL) is a child between the age of birth to five who is learning two (or more) languages at the same time or learning a second language while continuing to develop their first language. Children who are DLL come from homes where a language other than English is spoken.

In response to the Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children who are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs that was developed by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, OCDEL has partnered with WIDA to provide resources that provide guiding principles, research, and best practices for early learning professionals working with young dual language learners (DLL) and English language learners (ELL), their families, and their communities.  WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for children and youth who are culturally and linguistically diverse through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional learning for educators.



The Connection: Pennsylvania’s Learning Standards for Early Childhood and WIDA Early English Language Development Standards: The document illustrates the crosswalk between the Pennsylvania Learning Standards for Early Childhood Pre-Kindergarten and WIDA E-ELD Standards. This connection document can be used as a resource by policy makers, practitioners, specialists, educators and all stakeholders in all ECE settings in order to plan for and implement language support for their DLLS.

WIDA Promising Practices Implementation Kit: The Promising Practices Implementation Kit contains resources to help early care and education (ECE) leaders, educators and practitioners implement the WIDA Early Years Essential Actions (EAs). Each resource provides a unique and valuable opportunity for you to reflect, identify areas of strength, and plan meaningful next steps for the care and education of multilingual children in your program. (This kit is only available until 7/1/2021)

WIDA 2014 Early English Language Development Standards Resource Guide: The WIDA Early English Language Development (E-ELD) Standards were specifically developed to help support the unique language needs of children ages 2.5-5.5 years who are in the process of learning more than one language prior to Kindergarten entry. These children are often referred to as dual language learners (DLLs). As the number of DLLs continues to grow in the United States, practitioners in both urban and rural settings can use their state Early Learning Standards (ELS) in conjunction with WIDA E-ELD Standards to effectively support, instruct, and assess these young children.

WIDA Early Years Can Do DescriptorsThe Early Years Can Do Descriptors provide examples of what dual language learners (DLLs) can do at various stages of language development. They can help educators interpret results from WIDA language development assessments and identify ways to design opportunities for DLLs’ meaningful participation in learning environments where the language of interaction is English.

PA English Language Development Standards & Performance Indicators: This guidance document is designed to assist in effectively planning instruction and assessment for DLLs and ELs at varying degrees of proficiency levels and across content areas. The documents provide a Model Performance Indicator (MPI) for each of the four domains which is then broken down specific to content, grade cluster, and proficiency level. Each MPI is then aligned to the academic standards for grades Pre-K to 12.

ECLKC Dual Language Learner Toolkit: This toolkit provides resources that can be used to support young children who are learning their home languages and English. It is divided into three sections: administrators and managers; teachers, caregivers, and family services staff; and families.

OCDEL Dual Language Learner Toolkit: The DLL Tool Kit has been developed to provide research-based information, guidelines, and principles for early learning professionals to promote culturally competent practice. While it provides a broad range of information about young ELLs and their families, its primary purposes are:

  • To define cultural competence and proficiency
  • To describe second language acquisition
  • To unpack myths and realities about DLLs
  • To highlight research and best practices for educating and supporting young DLLs and their families
  • To outline strategies to build and sustain culturally competent and proficient early learning professionals and organizations.

WIDA Focus Bulletin – Promoting Equity for Young Multilingual Children: This Focus Bulletin invites early care and education (ECE) educators to promote equity for young multilingual children and their families. In the bulletin, WIDA offers ideas for taking a languagefocused approach to equitable caregiving and instructional practice in ECE settings. Also, WIDA highlight voices from the field, and offers reflection questions to help you consider what it means to promote equity for multilingual children and their families.

PA Dual Language Learner Professional Development Offerings

To support local programs there are free online learning opportunities available through the PD Registry.  The links to the self-paced learning opportunities are listed below:

In addition, each Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) region is connected to trainers who have received professional development in WIDA philosophy, tools, and resources. These trainers can support programs in need of more targeted training opportunities. You can find all available trainings within the training calendar on the PD Registry (