Format: Article

Description: A brief by Elsa Billings and Aída Walqui that discusses the importance of a English Language Learners (ELL) first language, presents supporting background research on cognitive, social-emotional, and academic benefits, and offers strategies to help teachers support ELLs in instruction.


Citation: Billings, E. & Walqui, A. (2017) Dispelling the Myth of “English Only”: Understanding the Importance of the First Language in Second Language Learning. New York State Education Department. Retrieved from