1) How can I welcome and engage families of Multilingual Learners as active partners in their child’s learning?

Families have a wealth of knowledge to share, particularly about their language, culture, home life, and of course, their child.16 Research shows that strong home-school connections are related to positive learning and developmental outcomes for children from diverse backgrounds.17 Families play a critical role in helping to maintain the home language and culture for their children. Such an environment promotes children’s identity development, along with the other advantages of bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism.18 By partnering and engaging in two-way communication, teachers and families can share information and learn with and from each other. Within the classroom, teachers should integrate families’ language and culture in the learning.19 In turn, teachers help children make connections between their experiences in the home, school, and community to provide early learning experiences that best meet their needs.20 Communication with families should be frequent, ongoing, and responsive to families’ needs, even if you do not speak the home language. 

Sample Lesson Plan & Resource Walk

Access additional resources developed to introduce teachers to the work of family engagement. These activities, a sample lesson plan and a resource walk, are designed to support learning about this instructional topic area through structured exploration of resources on the website. Click the buttons below to access these resources.

Strategies in action

You can search across all strategies by keyword on our Research Search page. Give it a try!

Evidence-Based Strategies and Resources


1A) Gather information on each child’s language/cultural background from parents upon enrollment.*


1B) Talk with families about their language and learning goals for their child. Ask families to share their thoughts on the child’s bilingual development and how this may relate to their goals.


1C) Provide families with information on home language development and the benefits of bilingualism and encourage them to continue to speak their home language to their children.


1D) Partner with families to provide varied opportunities for them to come to the classroom to share their language and culture.


1E) Provide parents with children’s learning activities to support home language development and connect the curriculum with learning at home.


1F) Partner with families in identifying topics or ideas that are of interest to the child and incorporate these in curriculum planning.


*Note: When collecting information from families, gather information that will be helpful for informing instruction. Avoid questions that may be sensitive, such as those concerning citizenship or immigration status, which should not have implications for a child’s access to free public education (see CDE description of immigration status of students) and their right to feel safe and secure at school (as described in Assembly Bill No. 699). 

Great Tips

Strategies are interrelated

Individual strategies across the different instructional topics are interconnected and should be implemented together, in a purposeful and connected manner throughout instruction, and not in isolation. Make sure to also consider your classroom or school’s language model when implementing the strategies and adapt accordingly.

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Language Learners - Family Engagment - Multilingual Learners Toolkit

Alignment with Existing California Educator Guidance Documents & Resources

The Multilingual Learning strategies are closely aligned with existing guidance documents and resources for educators in California. Learn how Family Engagement strategies align with these existing resources, or to see how the standards align across all strategies, visit the alignment reference guide page.

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