Screening Dual Language Learners

The Head Start Program Performance Standards require that all Early Head Start and Head Start children be screened “to the greatest extent possible” using standardized developmental screening instruments that are sensitive to the child’s cultural background 45 CFR 1304.20b1, 45 CFR 1308.63b3. Currently, standardized screening instruments for children birth to age 5 are widely available in English and Spanish, but are virtually unavailable for children whose families speak other languages. This document features suggestions to programs working with all Dual Language Learners DLLs. Select this link to download the guide [PDF, 1.6MB].

This resource provides program leaders the tools to plan, implement, and evaluate their screening processes for DLLs from birth to age 5. It focuses on ways that leaders can make informed and intentional decisions about:

  • Selecting screening instruments for DLLs
  • Implementing high-quality screening practices for Dual Language Learners

Source: National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness and the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Screening Tools Chart


This tools chart presents information about screening tools from the fifth annual review of screening tools by the Centers Technical Review Committee TRC. The columns include ratings from our TRC members on the technical rigor of the tool and information about the efficiency of implementation. Definitions of the technical standards can be found here. Additional information is provided below the chart.

Source: Center on Response to Intervention

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