Project LCExcel


LCExcel, a project of The Center: Resources for Teaching and Learning, was a project that provided coaching and other supports for gold standard early childhood programs that serve linguistically and culturally diverse populations, including Dual Language Learners (DLLs).

During a two-year grant project which ended in 2016, early childhood programs across Illinois utilized some of the resources and materials on this page to help them prepare for The Awards of Excellence (AoE) - in Linguistically and Culturally Appropriate Practice (L-CAP). These materials are available to any program that would like to use them as part of their professional development and quality improvement process in the area of Linguistically and culturally appropriate practices.

For more in-depth coaching or support in this area, please contact The Center.

Awardees: Linguistically and Culturally Appropriate Practice

Each of the following programs welcome visitors to see best practices in action and discuss the change process. Please contact individual sites to learn more about their programs.

Ann Reid Early Learning Center, Naperville District 203
Elmhurst #205, Madison ECE Center
Green Bay School, Highland Park #112, Highland Park
ECDEC/Miner School District #25, Arlington Heights
ECDEC/District 15/POC (Partners in the Community), Palatine
DeLacey Family Education Center, District #300, Carpentersville
Early Learning Center, District #33, West Chicago
Trinity Early Learning Center, District #33. West Chicago
Jugando Se Aprende, Aurora
North Lawndale Family Resource Center, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Edwards Center for Young Learners, Chicago Public Schools



Cultural and Linguistic Competence Policy Document . This tool will help you examine your program's policies related to language and culture.

The Self-Assessment tool is aligned to the 13 Award of Excellence standards. It can be used by staff to get an idea of areas of strengths and opportunities for growth.

IECAM- Interactive Illinois EC Asset Map Database provides a one-stop source for early learning and demographic data

Family Engagement Tool

Staff Qualifications Spreadsheet

Action Plan Template



Danger of the Single Story is a TED Lecture by Novelist Chimamanda Adichie. She tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Data Discussions Webinar addresses the challenges of using data to improve outcomes for DLLs and suggests strategies
that support continuous program improvement.

What Did You Say? Teaching Strategies & A New Language practices listening to a read aloud.

Teaching at the Beginning This site offers a series of 20 short videos on Young Dual Language Learners that addresses the language acquisition process, instructional strategies and family and community engagement


Language Policy Sample

Language Allocation Plan TBE

Links to Resources

Language Castle LLC is a website for educators working with young DLLs, with publications, tips, blog on young DLLs

Head Start: Language and Culture is a website that has many practical resources for DLLs including:

Revisiting Multicultural Principles for Head Start 10 core principles and resources for each that can be used for self-assessment or study groups for continuous program improvement.

Gathering and using language Information that a family shares

The importance of home language series

New America New America is pioneering a new kind of think and action tank: a civic platform that connects a research institute, technology lab, solutions network, media hub and public forum. There are timely resources specifically around dual language learners.

Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners - Research synthesis on young dual language learners

Transforming Early Learning: Educational Equity for Young Latinos is a Latino Policy Forum report that addresses the systemic changes needed to provide Latino children with the early learning opportunities.

Illinois Map of English Learners in Preschool for All Programs by County provides demographic information from 2014-15

Illinois family Engagement Framework Guide A comprehensive guide for districts, schools and families.

WIDA is a consortium that provides multiple resources for young dual language learners including:

WIDA Early Language Development Standards

Assets-based, Language Focused Family Engagement for Dual Language Learners

The Early Years: Supporting Early Literacy Development

Observing Language Use to Promote Dual Language Development and Learning

Planning for Dual Language Development and Learning

Early Years Programs: Supporting Dual Language Learners


One Child, Two Languages is a seminal book by Patton O. Tabors on dual language development of young children

Getting it Right for Young Children with Diverse Backgrounds A book by Linda Espinosa that addresses what young children from diverse backgrounds and those faced with the challenges of poverty need to succeed in school today.

Multilingual Resource List

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The Center: Resources for Teaching and Learning
2626 S. Clearbrook Drive, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
224-366-8500 Contact