Expressive Communication Patterns of Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 1,8
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 3: Promoting Diversity and Multicultural Competence in School Psychology

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. present the rationale for home visiting programs’ promotion of early literacy skills as a practice to promote later success in schools and prevent multilingual and socioeconomic disproportionalities in education.
  2. identify significant differences in distinct areas of language development between infants and toddlers from Spanish- or English-speaking homes.
  3. identify methods for assessing early communication skills of dual language learners prior to kindergarten entry.


Substantial differences in early vocabulary, grammatical complexity (i.e., mean length of utterances), conversational turns, and child-directed speech have differential outcomes for low-income children depending on monolingual versus bilingual language input. Early communication patterns of infants and toddlers from Spanish- and English-speaking, low-income households will be explored to assess communication patterns. Implications can inform school psychology practices related to supporting dual language learning infants and toddlers in their transition to kindergarten.



Christina N. Wood, Lehigh University


Marisa I. Sole, Katherine Koller, Patricia H. Manz


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