Language Interventions for Improving the L1 and L2 Develop- ment of Dual Language Learners in Early Education and Care

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

CampbellCollaboration - Title registration: dual-language-learners-in-early-education.html


Despite the refugee challenge, a large and growing number of students in Europe or the US come from homes where the societal language spoken in schools and daycare centers is not the primary language spoken at home (Passel, 2011; Statistisches Bundesamt/Federal Statistics Office, 2010). Language-minority students who cannot communicate proficiently in the societal language cannot participate fully in schools, workplaces, or society (August & Shanahan, 2006; Stanat et al. 2002). In particular, most dual language learners enter school with language skills and experiences that differ substantial from monolingual children (Ballantyne, Sanderman, & McLaughlin, 2008). They often lag behind their monolingual peers due to varying input and socioeconomical situations (Reardon & Galindo, 2006; Dubowy, Ebert, von Maurice, & Weinert, 2008).

While there is a growing body of evidence on language development as a key competence for learning in other domains and school success, very little is known about the specific intervention and classroom practices that foster language development of dual language learners in early childhood education settings. Therefore, a systematic investigation on the effects of these different language intervention approaches on L1 and L2 development of dual language learners is urgently needed.

Research objectives

The international systematic review provides an overview of evidence based language interventions for dual language learners in early childhood education and care and rates quality of existing studies. The meta-analysis estimates of the magnitude of the effects of language interventions for dual language learners on L1 and L2 development. We consider all language fostering approaches (e.g., small group interventions, structured trainings, embedded strategies, dialogic reading, tiered interventions, and immersion programs). Moderator analysis investigates the influence of intervention types, and implementation quality.


Literature Search
Literature is search in electronic data basis (e.g., ERIC, PSYCINFO, PROQUEST). Further, hand search is conducted in journals and conference proceedings.

Inclusion Criteria
We include articles, research papers, conference presentations and bachelor or master theses.Intervention studies measuring the impact of language interventions for multilingual children from 0 to 6 years of age in center-based care.Only (quasi-)experimental studies with at least 10 participants per condition were included.The intervention studies should be published in English or German.

The literature screening and coding is double-coded and is accomplished by two independent coders. A multiple-step coding procedure was performed with (a) title and abstract screening; (b) screening of selection criteria, study design, and bias index; and (c) coding of intervention design.

Call for Papers/Presentations

We like to encourage you to send us relevant studies, conference presentations or descriptions of ongoing studies that are relevant for our topic. Please mail to franziska.egert(at)

Project partner

Prof. Dr. Franziska Egert (Katholische Stiftungshochschule München)
Dr. Katarina Groth (DJI München)
Prof. Dr. Steffi Sachse (PH Heidelberg)

funded by Jacobs Foundation & Campbell Collaboration