Special Education for ELLs

<b> Forum for the discussion of all aspects of bilingual education </b>

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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:19 pm

Special Education for ELLs

Post by inperez » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:57 am

I always wondered why is it so difficult or impossible to classify a student in bilingual education. I can remember my first year teaching that I had a student that couldn't read or write in either language. I was told that I was not allow to refer him to the Child Study Team. Over the next few years it has changed but it's still hard and seems like we jump over so many hurdles to get the help they actually need.Even after they are classified they still they get the help needed. Why don't they have a special education classroom ELLs?

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Post by mlordon » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:48 pm

It probably is because so many 2nd language learners were misidentified and placed into Special Education classes when bilingual education became public enemy number one in many states and within the policies handed to states by the federal government.

Additionally, many LEP students have parents that do not speak English fluently and therefore cannot advocate on behalf of their children with school boards and administrators who are worried about state test scores.

These past practices which came to light created many inaccurate placements and have led child study team participants to become very wary of making the wrong decision when dealing with a student who is both a struggling learner and a LEP student.

The best advice I can give you is to continue to fight and advocate for the student even if it is an uphill battle.

Let me know how it goes.....

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Post by eslwendy » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:56 pm

Unfortunately, these types of students have something of a double whammy in that that they have two learning issues for which it is difficult to get the proper support. I worked in mainstream kindergarten for several years. We were pretty accurate at identifying the students who needed Special Ed. placement, yet our district had a "wait & see" policy, forcing the issues to go unresolved until 1st grade. On the otherside, then you have ESL issues, which in my opinion seem to be the last thought on the agenda of the districts of my area. I feel that if not for the state mandates, they'd often go ignored. Finally, the bottom line is funding: no one wants to be obligated to foot the bill for special circumstances, so they drag their feet.

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