Language is a system of linguistic features, such as sounds (phonology), meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax and morphology), and social aspects (pragmatics). These features form a system of words and sentences that people use to express their thoughts and feelings. More than 6,500 languages are spoken in the world today. In the United States, English is the most common language, followed by Spanish. Many children in today’s schools are dual language learners, or children who are learning both their native language and a second language. This article addresses the variations within a language, such as nonstandard dialects, terminology, demographics of nonnative language learners, and teaching models and approaches used by schools. With the increase of young dual language learners in early childhood programs and classrooms, it ...

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