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The students sitting in our classrooms throughout the U.S. have changed as the number of English language learners (ELLs) has increased dramatically over the past ten years. Help your English language learners become active participants in the mainstream and subject area classroom. Join the group to post your comments and questions. Here are some quick resources:
Kenji Hakuta on Facing Challenges
Cable Elementary School: Critical Transformations
Total Participation Techniques
Authors Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes
A Picture Walk (The Language-Rich Classroom)
Former member, 3 years ago| FlagHi Judy,
We had the pleasure of meeting each other at TESOL Day at the Capitol. I'm glad to join the group and am excited to keep conversati
ons going about English learners.
Judie_Haynes, 3 years ago| FlagIn reply to Edna, I think that we have to be very careful when referring an ELL for Special Education. Determining whether a child has normal language acquisition issues or a learning disability can be a difficult process. There are many questions that must be answered before a Child Study Team (CST)decides to recommend referral. Classroom teachers often view ELLs from a different perspective and often see their language development issues as a learning disability.
First,the school must go through the prereferral process. The prereferral process is a screening and intervention process that involves identifying problems that a student is having and ways to help deal with these problems. The purpose is to avoid unnecessary referral to the CST. The ESL/bilingual teacher should attend meetings involving one of their students.
The referral of a student for testing should not be taken lightly. All avenues must be explored before inclusion in Special Education. It is important when evaluating a student to throw away the traditional testing model and to collect data in a portfolio. Input from the ESL teacher, the bilingual teacher, the classroom teacher who works with the student regularly, and the family should all become the basis for the assessment process.
Ideally, students should be tested in their native language. Unfortunately, a test does not exist for many languages and the next best thing to do is to use an interpreter. Do not use friends, family members, or siblings. Schools are legally responsible for providing a professional translator.The law requires that all state and local education agencies ensure that test and evaluation materials be provided and administered in the child's native language, when possible. ELL students have the same rights as the students in the general population. ESL teachers should be advocating for their students.
The Child Study Team that evaluates the child needs to be aware of the many aspects of the child's life such as length of time in the U.S., emotional well-being, stage of acculturation, health status, child's playmates, and the child's caregivers before and after school. All four skill areas need to be assessed: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Auditory processing, auditory memory, visual deficits, and learning style should be considered. It is important to determine whether the difficulty that the student is exhibiting exists in both languages or just in one language.
I hope that this helps you.
Grace_Nathman, 3 years ago| FlagHi! I am currently enrolled in an educationa
l leadership program. I am presently completing my administra tive internship and was wondering how a principal deals with ensuring all the teachers are receiving the support and guidance necessary to help ELL students succeed in the content-ar ea classes. I would welcome your expertise with regards to this issue.
Erin_Garber, 3 years ago| FlagHi! I am a pre-servic
e teacher currently taking ESL to get my certificat ion. I already have my Elementary Ed. degree. I am currently working with an ELA teacher in her fourth grade classroom. There are many ELLs in the classroom, including a few who have only been in the country for a year. These few students are trying very hard to learn English but are really struggling . There is even one student who is being referred to fo Special Education services. What do you do when you have an ELL who is also in need of Special Education services? What strategies can you use with them to help them be successful ?