Growing Superdiversity among Young U.S. Dual Language Learners and Its Implications
The United States is quickly becoming a more diverse nation, thanks in part to the increasing number of children born with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English. Growing Superdiversity among Young U.S. Dual Language Learners and Its Implications finds that these children, often referred to as Dual Language Learners (or DLLs), now account for almost one-third of all children in the United States between the ages of 0 and 8. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-15 American Community Survey and the 2000 census, the authors find that the number of DLL children rose dramatically between 2000 and 2015.
Additionally, the make-up of DLL children and their families is changing, with a wider variety of ethnic and racial identities, countries of origin, and languages spoken than in the past– a situation the authors refer to as “superdiversity.” The study also analyzes the great variations in DLLs backgrounds at the state and local levels. For example, 78 percent of DLLs in Texas speak Spanish as opposed to only 16 percent in Vermont. Because of the growing number of cultural and linguistic backgrounds in the DLL population, the authors outline some of the challenges that early childhood education and care facilities and K-12 schools face. The study also calls for further research into effective pedagogical approaches, as well as strategies to increase family engagement in the educational process. (Deb D’Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Park, M., Zong, Jie, & Batalova, J. (2018). Growing Superdiversity among Young U.S. Dual Language Learners and Its Implications. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/growing-superdiversity-among-young-us-dual-language-learners-and-its-implications