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CPP Eligibility Factor - Child Is in Need of Language Development

Clarification of Eligibility Factor

In need of language development, including but not limited to the ability to speak English. (22-28-106 (1) (a) (II) C.R.S.).

  • Included in this category are difficulties with language, speech, vocabulary, the frequency of speech, or the delay of when a child begins speaking. It is typical for some three- and four-year-olds to have speech that is sometimes difficult to understand. This does not necessarily put them at risk for academic failure.
  • Research suggests that the long-term achievement of children learning English is greatly influenced by the their fluency in both their first language and English and the level of family and community resources available to them, not just by their status as dual-language learners.

How It May Be Documented

  • Speech evaluation; referral/consultation with speech therapist
  • Physician referral
  • Developmental screen
  • Teacher or caregiver observation/referral
  • Parental concern or report
  • Parental home language

Significance of Factor in regards to School Readiness

  • Language skills are integral to emotional, social and cognitive development.
  • Between 40% and 75% of preschoolers with early language impairment develop reading difficulties later, often in combination with other academic achievement problems (National Research Council, 1998). By the end of first grade, children who have delayed language development usually score in the bottom quartile on reading assessment measures. More than 8 out of 10 children who read poorly at the end of first grade will still read poorly at the end of fourth grade (Juel, 1988).
  • Children who receive early language support and improve their language skills are significantly less likely to experience later reading difficulties (Catts et al., 2002; Disckinson & McCabe, 2001).
  • When children have difficulty understanding others and expressing themselves, social and emotional adjustment programs can arise as well. Children with delayed or disordered language are at increased risk for social, emotional and behavioral problems.
  • Children who have limited fluency in English when they enter school are at greater risk for reading difficulties and low academic achievement levels (Regalado, Goldenberg & Appel, 2001), particularly if they are living in poverty and have a mother or guardian without a high school education.

Research References:

Adams, M. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Brown, F., Aylward, E., & Keogh, B. (1996). The relationship between language and learning disabilities. LD Online. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from

Catts, H., Fey, M., Tomblin, J., & Zhang, X. (2002). A longitudinal investigation of reading outcomes in children with language impairments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 1142-1157.

Colorado Department of Education. (2007). Guidebook on designing, delivering, and evaluating services for English language learners. English Language Acquisition Unit Report on English Language Learners in Colorado.

Dickinson, D., & McCabe, A. (2001). Bringing it all together: The multiple origins, skills, and environmental supports of early literacy. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 16, 186-202.

Juel, C. (1988). Learning to read and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 4, 437-447.

Neustaedter, R. (2005). Children with Delays in Language. Holistic Pediatric Association. Retrieved June 2, 2011 from

Pianta, R., Cox, M., & Snow, K. (2007). School Readiness & the Transition to Kindergarten in the Era of Accountability. Maryland: Brookes Publishing.

Regaldo, M., Goldenberg, C., & Appel, E. (2001). Reading and early literacy. (Policy Brief No. 11). Los Angeles: UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Roth, F. & Paul, D. (March 2009). Early reading and writing development. National Center for Learning Disabilities.

National Research Council (1998). Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press.


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