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ELs and Special Education

 
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arp10



Joined: 20 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject: ELs and Special Education Reply with quote

From what I have recently read in my class's required text, the percentage of ELs placed in special education is increasing. At the school where I teach, the Child Study Team is reluctant to place an EL into special education due to the concern that it may be their english language constraints and not a learning disability. How long do you feel a student should be in an ESL classroom before being referred to the Child Study Team?
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nthom814



Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that asking how long a student should be in an ESL classroom before being referred to the Child Study Team is a good question. However, students are going to acquire the language at different rates; many may take several years before they have the language required to take the tests. If there is an EL student who should be in special education, waiting for a certain number of years before they are tested is robbing them of that many years of the type of education they need. I believe we need to ask how the testing can be altered to appropriately identify an EL student's needs. Perhaps administering the same tests in the student's native language would be more telling and more beneficial for students.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1311
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tricky area. All the materials for Special Education are probably in English. The teacher might not be trained to understand the problems of ESL students. Then what good would it do for the students to be placed in a Special Education class? There is often a stigma to be in those classes which they would have to deal with as well.

However, methods used to help special education students will benefit some ESL students whether they have difficulties or not, so it might be better to train ESL teachers in Special Education techniques.

Unless the student have been to school in their own language, it won't help to give them tests in their own language and how many bilingual tests and testers do we have? Can you just translate a test and get the same results? It all seems pretty iffy.
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KRizzo



Joined: 23 Jan 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a sticky situation that seems to come up more and more in education. I think the ESL teacher and Special Education teacher should meet with the Child Study team to share their "knowledge" and previous experiences in this area. Again this will all depend on the school district and how much experience they (teachers) have with this situation. I like the idea of testing in the native language to see if there is any type of learning disability.......
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nthom814



Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to translating a test, there may also be content that needs to be modified. There may be material in a test that students who have just arrived from another country may not have been exposed to. There probably are not enough bilingual tests and testers, just as there are too few trained ELL teachers. That does not mean we dismiss an idea that could possibly be beneficial for students or overlook/ignore ELL programs (because of the lack of qualified teachers).
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lmojica



Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:01 am    Post subject: Special Education alternative Reply with quote

I am a special education teacher who is currently taking the ESl/bilingual education endorsement. As a special education teacher, I find that there really is not a huge different when it come to educating Special needs and ESL students. For what I have seen so far, the one immense different is the content and language objectives and the domain that are being presented. I would not recommend Special education but it will hurt the student if there are no other alternative.
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