English Language Learners
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English Language LearnersSchool Issues
Common Terms for ELLEnglish Language Learners (ELL)Limited English Proficient (LEP)Second-Language Learner (SLL)Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD)Bilingual
Title VII of Improving Americas School Act (1994)LEP: has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is EnglishFederal definition was often reflected in state definitions as well.State methods of identifying are found on pages 4-5.
Review Data in School RecordsWas child appropriately placed (or not) as LEP?What is family history/ background?What is childs educational background?Has the child progressed while in the U.S. academically?What might have been overlooked by the referral team?
LEP Students Differ byVariations in degrees of proficiency across both languages.Sequential versus simultaneous bilingualismDid they learn both languages at the same time or did they learn one first and then the other second?Elective versus circumstantial bilingualismDid they actively want to learn another language or did they have to learn a second language in order to survive?
2nd Language AcquisitionBICS: Basic Inter-communication SkillsCALP: Cognitive Academic Language ProficiencyTip of the Iceberg Cummins, J. (1979).
Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey, Revised (WMLS-R)Rating System1 = Negligible2 = Very Limited3 = Limited4 = Fluent5 = AdvancedMeasures the following areasOral Language DomainReading/ Writing Domain
Tip of the IcebergWMLS-R: Level 1WMLS-R: Level 3WMLS-R: Level 5WMLS-R: Language Proficiency TestBICSCALP
Case ScenariosCase 1SpanishOral Lang. = 4Read/Write = 2EnglishOral Lang. = 3Read/Write = 1Case 2SpanishOral Lang. = 1Read/Write = 2EnglishOral Lang. = 1Read/Write = 1
Group ProjectCase 1SpanishOral Lang. = 4Read/Write = 1EnglishOral Lang. = 2Read/Write = 2Case 2SpanishOral Lang. = 2Read/Write = 1EnglishOral Lang. = 5Read/Write = 4
Disproportionality in SPEDDefinition: When the percentage of one cultural group placed in special education is not proportional to the percentage of that cultural group in the population.The worst problems with disproportionality are found in MR,SLD, and SED.When poverty is removed as a variable, disproportionality based on ethnicity decreases, but it is still apparent.
National Research Council (2002) and Parrish (2002)African American compared to white135%-188% more likely to be dx MR59%-92% more likely to be dx EDNative American compared to white24%-50% more likely to be dx SLD31% more likely to be dx MR12%-24% more likely to be dx EDHispanics7-17%% more likely to be dx SLD13-23%% less likely to be dx MRMost groups more likely to be dx MR in states with larger diverse populations.
Least Restrictive EnvironmentHispanics and African Americans are more likely to be placed in more restrictive environments than whites.In California (2002)Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian/ Pacific Islanders in special education classrooms were placed in self-contained to a greater extent than was warranted based on their disabilities.~8-9% over assignment for each of these groups concerned.
The little guysBirth to 2General Population18.2% are HispanicChildren served in sped14.9% are HispanicPreschoolGeneral Population17.2% are HispanicChildren served in sped12% are Hispanic
Other end of the spectrumProbability of dx gifted compared to whitesAsian/ Pacific Islanders: 34% greaterNative American: 35% lessHispanics: 52% lessAfrican Americans: 59% less
Factors associated with DisproportionalityDeficit view about culturally diverse students.Students will rise to the level of expectationsSociological and economic characteristics of culturally diverse families and communitiesSES shows the largest amount of influence over academic achievement.However, although SES is a large contributor to poor school achievement for minority students, ethnicity still significantly influences achievement.
Factors associated with DisproportionalitySystemic school bias occurring in instruction, referral, and assessment.Unequal resources for the schoolBias in who gets referred and in some schools there is the lack of pre-referral interventions.Assessments done without adequate training, using wrong practices, and illegally.Noncompliance w/State & Fed Guidelines.How often are students assessed in native language?How well are exclusionary clauses addressed?
Factors associated with DisproportionalitySchool accountability requirementsLack of accountability except through English-only group administered testing.Lack of appropriate monitoring to ensure that laws are being followed.Ambiguity in how different disability categories are defined and constructed.This is particularly problematic in the mild disability areas.These shift from state to state, reauthorization to reauthorization, and sometimes from psychologist to psychologist within the same district or school.
Whats the problem?Historically, special education has too often been a place -- a place to segregate minorities and students with disabilities. To the extent that minority students are misclassified, segregated, or inadequately served, special education can contribute to a denial of equality of opportunity, with devastating results in communities throughout the nation.Civil Rights Project (2000)
Group Project: Solutions to the ProblemsAs a class, review pages 36-40.Group 1: Discuss systemic-wide changes that a state might make to improve things.Group 2: Discuss district-wide changes that a district could do.Group 3: Discuss school-wide changes that a school might do.Group 4: Discuss classroom specific changes that a teacher might do.
Informed Parental ConsentDefinition of Consent: parent be fully informed, in his or her native language (or other mode of communication) of all relevant information for which consent is sought.Must be:Knowledgeable: Know what they are consenting to.Legally Competent: No judge has said that they cant do it.Voluntary: Cannot be forced or cooerced.
Native LanguageLanguage normally used by the parents of the child, unless this differs from the language normally used by the child.In all direct contact (including the evaluation) the language should be that normally used in home or learning.
Evaluation ProceduresSelected and administered so as to not discriminate on racial or cultural bias.Provided in childs native language or other mode of communication unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.Measures the need for SPED services not the need for bilingual education services. This includes formal or informal testing in both English and childs native language.If there is not a person available in your district to do this, then you must find one from outside of your district to do so.Must evaluate if the primary cause meets one of the exclusionary clauses
Parents Participation in MeetingsGeneral MeetingsParents are members of the group making decisions.Make reasonable efforts to ensure that parents understand and can participate in any meeting.To do this a translator may be needed.For IEP meetingsSchool shall take whatever action necessary to ensure that the parent understands the meeting.
IEPSchools are required to provide children with alternative language services to:Enable them to acquire proficiency in English.Provide them with meaningful access to the content of the educational curriculum available to all children.The IEP must describe which language services will be provided to the student.
Group Project: StudentYou have received a referral on your desk for a child whose native language is Spanish. The school district has no paid translators and no tests except RIAS, WJ-III, KTEA-IIWhat are legal and ethical issues in assessing this child?What are legal and ethical issues that need to be addressed in the eligibility meeting?What are legal and ethical issues that need to be addressed in developing the IEP?How do you deal with this dilemma given that the school is saying they will not budge?