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Working with English- and Spanish-learning children from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, our research examines the importance of early language experience in supporting language development. We are deeply involved in community-based research in San Jose, designing an innovative parent-engagement program for low-resource Latino families with young children. We are also conducting field studies of beliefs about child development and caregiver-child interaction in rural villages in Senegal. A central goal of this translational research is to help parents understand their vital role in facilitating children’s language and cognitive growth.