English Language Learners And Special Education
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English Language Learners And Special Education






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English Language Learners And Special Education Presentation Transcript

  • 1. English Language Learners In Special Education Peggy McLeod, Ed.D DMP Associates AIR, October 2 0 0 4
  • 2. English Language Learners In Special Education
    • What Can School Districts Do NOW?
  • 3. Who Are English Language Learners?
    • Limited English proficient or English language learners?
    • English language learners is the term currently preferred by researcher and practitioners
    • Limited English proficient is the term found in federal law
  • 4. Each state has definition of LEP – but not consistent across states.
  • 5. Demographics
  • 6. There are over 5.5 million limited English proficient students in the United States LEP Students
  • 7. Who Are English Language Learners?
    • Most common language: Spanish (80% of LEP students)
    • Other languages: Vietnamese, Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Navajo, Haitian Creole, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, Russian, Tagalog, Lao, Japanese
    • 77% come from low-income families
  • 8. Who Are ELL Students?
    • ELLs are concentrated in schools that are linguistically homogeneous and have high numbers of low-income students
    • Many are in schools with unqualified teachers, inadequate resources and crumbling facilities
    • Latinos have the highest dropout rate in the country
  • 9. Is There a Disproportionate Representation of ELLs in Special Education?
  • 10. Disproportionality
    • Are LEP students overrepresented or underrepresented?
    • What are the reasons for disproportionality?
    • How do we determine disproportionality?
      • State
      • District
      • School
      • Classroom
  • 11. English Language Learners with Disabilities
      • In 1997 (the only year for which this data is available), the Office of Civil Rights determined that only 5.5% of LEP students in the U.S. were also receiving special education services.
      • The latest Descriptive Study of Services to LEP Students and LEP Students with Disabilities (OELA, 2003) reported approximately 9.0% of LEP students received special education services in 2001-2002.
  • 12. Is The Issue Disproportionality or Inappropriate Placements?
  • 13. First, what can we do before referring?
  • 14. Improve General Education: Teacher Training
    • General education teachers who can teach an increasingly diverse student population
      • English language learners
      • Children from diverse cultural backgrounds
      • Children living in poverty
  • 15. Improve General Education: Strategies
    • Teacher teams to improve instruction in general education
      • Data driven
      • Collaborative
      • School-wide interventions
      • Appropriate language supports
    • Parent and community involvement
      • How can schools understand their students if they don’t understand where they come from?
  • 16. Prereferral Strategies*
    • Child study teams
    • Informal problem solving
    • Observations
    • Parent interviews
    • *Some students should be referred for an evaluation immediately, depending on suspected disability
  • 17. Classify English Language Learners For Evaluation Purposes
    • Limited English proficient – recent arrival (less than one year).
    • Limited English proficient – one to three years.
    • Long-term limited English proficient – over three years (regardless of services).
  • 18. Why is LEP Status Important?
    • Will determine language or languages of evaluation.
  • 19. How Do You Determine LEP Status?
    • For most students, information is included in referral.
    • Consult bilingual/ESL service providers.
  • 20. Evaluation of Language When is it necessary to evaluate language or languages? When the suspected disability has language component.
  • 21. Next Steps
    • Determine suspected category of disability.
    • Determine existing data.
    • Determine additional data needed.
  • 22. Next Steps (cont.)
    • If additional data gathering is necessary, determine in which language or languages child will be evaluated.
    • Determination of language of evaluation can be done based on the previously outlined categories of LEP:
      • Recent arrivals should be tested in native language
      • All other LEP students should be tested in both languages if appropriate and depending on suspected disability
  • 23. What Should the IEP Team Do First?
    • Section 300.533 (Determination of needed evaluation data) allows teams* to review existing data to determine if child has “…a particular category of disability” and “whether the child needs special education and related services…”
    • *Always include bilingual/ESL service provider as part of team.
  • 24. For What Categories Should An Evaluation of Language Be Conducted?
    • Speech Language Impaired
    • Specific Learning Disabilities
    • Mental Retardation
    • Autism
    • Multiple Disabilities
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Deaf and Hearing Impaired
    • Deaf/Blind
  • 25. For Which Categories Is It Not Necessary to Evaluate Language? *
    • Visually Impaired
    • Orthopedically Impaired
    • Other Health Impaired
    • Emotionally Disturbed
    • *Unless the IEP team suspects that the child’s language skills are delayed as well.
  • 26. Why Determine Suspected Disability For LEP Students?
    • IEP teams routinely conduct language evaluations for students they suspect have a non-language related disability.
    • To better calibrate evaluations and produce better results.
  • 27. Suggested Strategies for Evaluation
    • Gather as much background information as possible including academic records, parent interviews*, and observations.
    • For additional instruments, use bilingual personnel or trained personnel working with trained interpreters.
    • *Particularly important for ELL students.
  • 28. Suggested Strategies for Evaluation (cont.)
    • Use only instruments normed on a sample that includes children similar to those being evaluated
    • OR
    • Report findings descriptively, never report scores (approximate measures).
  • 29. Evaluation Issues
    • Beware of language load when using translations
    • Beware of item difficulty (importance of bilingual evaluators)
    • Train evaluation personnel to work with and prepare interpreters whenever necessary
  • 30. Training Special Education Personnel to Work with Interpreters
    • Evaluation personnel is often reluctant and unsure of how to work with interpreters.
    • Trained interpreters are much more effective in translating the message accurately.
    • Trained evaluation personnel working with trained interpreters will produce better results.
  • 31. Planning for Special Education and Related Services
    • Link evaluation results to IEP
    • Link language(s) of evaluation to language(s) of services
    • CONTINUE TO PROVIDE LANGUAGE SUPPORT SERVICES, e.g., bilingual instruction or ESL services
  • 32. Delivery of Special Education and Related Services
    • Use team approach whenever possible, especially for students who need special education and language support services
    • Allow time for team planning - saves time and money in the long run
  • 33. What Else Can You Do?
    • Frequent review of referrals and placements of ELL students
    • Close collaboration with bilingual/ESL personnel
    • Training for special education personnel
    • …?
  • 34. Peggy McLeod, Ed.D ©2004 DMP Associates AIR, October 2 0 0 4