Parent Self-Advocacy: Supporting Intentional Responses to Misinformation About Early Bilingualism

Research Report

Parent talking and holding their baby in the morning.

Overwhelmingly, Latino parents want their children to be bilingual, to speak, read, and write well in both English and Spanish.

Latino families should be fully supported to accomplish their goals for the bilingual development and school success of their children. Unfortunately, they often encounter misinformation and negative messages regarding early bilingual development, specifically the belief that young children are “confused” if they grow up with two languages. In a national survey of Latino families (N = 750) with young children conducted during the fall of 2023 in collaboration with BSP Research, 38% of Latino families whose children receive speech therapy reported being told by the therapist to stop or reduce speaking Spanish to their child. This brief offers an approach to support Latino parents and families and programs that work with them to understand the evidence on early bilingual development and prepare them to advocate for their children effectively and confidently.


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