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Call for Papers: Research Initiative on Supporting Dual Language Learner Success in Superdiverse Early Childhood Programs

Call for Papers: Research Initiative on Supporting Dual Language Learner Success in Superdiverse Early Childhood Programs

Submission deadline: February 10, 2017

The National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is launching an interdisciplinary research initiative to examine policies and practices that effectively promote academic success and healthy socioemotional development in multilingual and superdiverse contexts for young Dual Language Learners (DLLs).

This initiative is focusing on superdiversity within early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs, which is an increasingly common phenomenon, but one without a clear definition or a sufficient research base. For example, the research is clear on the benefits and characteristics of well-implemented bilingual and dual-language ECEC programs in settings with a preponderance of speakers of one home language, but there is little research on effective policies and practices where no single language is spoken by most or all DLLs and few or no teachers are proficient in students’ home languages. Likewise, little is known about the effects of other aspects of superdiversity, such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, immigration status, parents’ education level, religion, and so on.

In order to build the research base on ECEC in superdiverse contexts, MPI is soliciting papers by scholars working in child development, education, sociology, psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, public policy, migration, and other relevant fields.

Paper Topics

Papers supported through this initiative will address all of the following:

  • a superdiverse demographic setting in the United States, in which multiple languages and cultures are represented among children and families;
  • program(s) that serve young children (including any range of ages from birth through age 8) in any home-, center-, or school-based setting, or the policies that guide such programs; and
  • DLLs, defined as young children who speak a language other than English at home.

Within this context, papers that have immediate local policy and program design implications or include collaboration with local educational agencies or community-based providers are particularly encouraged. Papers should provide original analysis of an issue drawing on qualitative or quantitative methodology.

Areas of inquiry may include one or more of the following topics, or another topic of the authors’ choosing:

  • Effective approaches to curriculum and instruction, building positive educator-child relationships and a welcoming environment, professional development, English and home-language development, family engagement, or other specific facets of ECEC programs
  • Access to effective instruction and high-quality care for children in linguistically isolated or low-incidence minority-language households in superdiverse contexts
  • Effective use of bilingual paraprofessionals or teachers’ aides to provide native-language instruction or support to DLLs when all other instruction is in English
  • Assessment practices for DLLs who speak minority languages not spoken by program staff and/or for which appropriate instruments do not yet exist
  • Differences in access, approach, and/or outcomes for DLL children based on the degree to which their program also enrolls middle-class, English-speaking children
  • Differences in access and/or outcomes for children based on variables other than language, such as immigration status/mode of arrival, parents’ education level, or children’s age when first enrolled in U.S. schools or ECEC programs
  • School, district, and/or state data collection and aggregation practices that support informed policymaking and effective, high-quality program designs in superdiverse contexts.

Research Symposium and Publication

Selected papers will be presented at a private research symposium on this topic, hosted by MPI in November 2017, and subsequently widely disseminated as MPI publications. Authors will be expected to work with MPI staff both before and after the symposium to edit and finalize papers for publication.

Timeframe for Paper Proposals

All submissions must be made by February 10, 2017, with final drafts of selected papers due in October 2017.


An honorarium of $5,000 will be offered for completed papers presented at the symposium and published by MPI.

Submission Guidelines

Please submit the following:

  • Preliminary title
  • Abstract up to 500 words
  • Brief description of research methods
  • Brief description of the context or setting of study (including community demographics)
  • Current CV or brief biography indicating any current affiliations for each author (papers with multiple authors will be considered)

Submit paper proposals and any questions electronically to:

Maki Park
Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
[email protected]