What Is CRADLE?
CRADLE is the Cultural Responsiveness and Dual Language Education project. Team leaders work with staff to support the home language and culture of children and families. The project includes:
• Educating staff and community partners about the benefits of supporting children’s home language;
• Developing strategies to support children learning two or more languages;
• Informing staff about the resources available for supporting simultaneous language learners;
• Enhancing program quality.
How Do Children Learn More Than One Language at the Same Time?
Simultaneous language learners learn two or more languages within the
first year after birth. They begin to learn another language after the
first language is established.
How Can We Support Simultaneous Language Learning?
• Involve the child's family in the learning environment.
Language is rooted in culture. Understanding the family's home culture is key to the child's healthy social-emotional development. Teachers and care givers should encourage the whole family to share language and culture. This will support communication among family members and across generations within a family.
• Develop strong relationships with children and strengthen our knowledge of language learning.
Children learn language best through strong relationships with caregivers and in environments that support language learning and home culture. With a strong knowledge of language learning, we will better understand the typical development of simultaneous language learners to help us identify language and communication abilities.
• Strengthen community partnerships by involving the community in supporting simultaneous language learning.
Language is necessary for children to form a sense of family and community identity. Effective community partnerships will help our children develop pride in their heritage and connect them to their community.
Back to Head Start home page