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Some Questions… English Language Learners, Alternative Language Programs & Special Needs Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New.

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Presentation on theme: "Some Questions… English Language Learners, Alternative Language Programs & Special Needs Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some Questions… English Language Learners, Alternative Language Programs & Special Needs Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University

2 Objectives Provide working responses to questions related to New Mexico’s: English Language Learners (ELLs); Alternative Language Programs; and Special Needs.

3 Let’s Get Right to It! Who are ELLs? What is an alternative language program? Special needs?

4 OCR "There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education." Lau v. NicholsLau v. Nichols (1974)

5 OCR What does Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 require for English-language learner students? Federal law requires programs that educate children with limited English proficiency to be: 1. based on a sound educational theory; 2. adequately supported, with adequate and effective staff and resources, so that the program has a realistic chance of success; and 3. periodically evaluated and, if necessary, revised.

6 OCR Does OCR require districts to follow a particular educational approach, such as bilingual education? No. OCR does not require or advocate a particular educational approach to the instruction of ELL students. Districts have substantial flexibility when developing programs to meet the needs of ELL students.

7 OCR What if parents do not want their child to have services to address their English needs? Parents can opt to not have their children enrolled in an ELL program. When a parent declines participation, the district retains a responsibility to ensure that the student has an equal opportunity to have his or her English language and academic needs met. Districts can meet this obligation in a variety of ways (e.g. adequate training to classroom teachers on second language acquisition; monitoring the educational progress of the student).

8 “If ELLs are failing in general ed., there is no harm in placing them in special ed. where they will receive individualized instruction” Research shows that ELLS in special education with learning disabilities demonstrate lower verbal and full-scale IQ scores after placement in special education than at their initial evaluations. This means that even in special education, ELLs (in general) do not receive the type of instruction they need (due to the lack of ESL instructional methodology and other professional development for special education professionals). English Language Learners with Special Needs?

9 The terminology “English language learner” (ELL) is used to avoid the negativeconnotation of “limited English proficient” (LEP). However, LEP is still used by the government and in law. The dropout rates for English language learners are % higher than the overall rate for non-English language learners. This lack of academic success is also the cause for referrals of English language learners to special education.

10 Research shows that ELLs are typically either over- represented or under-represented in district special education programs across the U.S. The ELL population percentages are disproportionate when compared to their English speaking peer populations’ percentages. English Language Learners with Special Needs?

11 Research demonstrates that English language learners with the least amount of language support are most likely to be referred to special education. ELLs receiving all of their instruction in English were almost three times as likely to be in special education as those receiving some native language support. English Language Learners with Special Needs?

12 OCR v. Denver Public Schools ELL Students With Disabilities

13 Language dominance was not established. Instead the determination of language dominance was based on subjective information regarding the student’s language use and background. Persons who determined language dominance were not necessarily qualified to administer special education instruments.

14 Sometimes LEP students were evaluated in English only because school staff persons decided that the student was “fluent enough in English”.

15 Diagnostic testing instruments that are published in English were often translated into other languages for students who speak another language

16 Staff persons disregarded advice of evaluators that unknown effects of linguistic differences affect the reliability and validity of the results and should be considered when interpreting test scores.

17 District failed to ensure that language-minority student were not assigned to special education programs on the basis of criteria that essentially measure and evaluate English-language skills.

18 Schools lack special education staff persons who are qualified to deliver recognized alternative language services. The District does not pay special education teachers to receive training in alternative language service delivery, as they do alternative language program teachers in the regular education setting.

19 Students who met the eligibility criteria to receive dual services (alternative language programs and special education programs) were not receiving both. Some LEP students receiving special education services do not also receive alternative language services at all schools. Some LEP students who did receive alternative language services, receive less service time when qualified for special education.

20 What can we do before referring?

21 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

22 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?

23 Prereferral Strategies* Child study teams Informal problem solving Observations Parent interviews *Some students should be referred for an evaluation immediately, depending on suspected disability

24 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).

25 Why is LEP Status Important? Will determine language or languages of evaluation.

26 How Do You Determine LEP Status? For most students, information is included in referral. Consult bilingual/ESL service providers.

27 Evaluation of Language When is it necessary to evaluate language or languages? When the suspected disability has language component.

28 Next Steps Determine suspected category of disability. Determine existing data. Determine additional data needed.

29 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

30 What Should the IEP Team Do First? Section (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.

31 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

32 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.

33 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.

34 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.

35 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).

36 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

37 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.

38 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

39 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

40 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 …?

41 USDE Title III NCLB Under Civil Rights law and the No Child Left Behind Act, school districts that receive Federal financial assistance have an obligation to identify and serve all ELL/LEP students. Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act particularly focuses on providing financial support for districts to develop scientifically research- based instructional programs for ELL/LEP students. These programs must ensure that ELL/LEP and immigrant students: Attain English language proficiency; Develop high levels of academic attainment in core academic subjects; and Meet the same challenging state academic standards as all children are expected to meet.

42 State Law

43 New Mexico Bilingual Multicultural Education Regulation

44 Bilingual Program Models Dual Language Immersion Maintenance Enrichment Heritage Language Transitional ELL/FEP/ English native speakersELL students FEP/ English native speakers ELL/FEP/ English native speakersELL students Instructional Time: 3 hours per day for each language, including all subject areas. Instructional Time: 2 to 3 hours per day. Instructional Time: 1 to 2 hours per day. Instructional Time: 1 to 3 hours per day. Instructional Time: 2 to 3 hours per day. Required Courses: Minimum of 3 hrs. in the Home language (Language Arts and two Content areas) and 3 hrs. in English, including ESL for ELL students. Required Courses: 1 hr. of Home language and 1 hr. of ESL. Optional/Additional Courses: May have 1 additional hr. of Bilingual in a Content Area (Math, Social Studies, Science or Fine Arts). Required Course: 1 hr. of Home language. Optional/Additional Courses: May have 1 additional hr. of Bilingual in a Content Area (Math, Social Studies, Science or Fine Arts). Required Courses: 1 hr. of Heritage language and 1 hr. of ESL for ELL students Optional/Additional Courses: May have 1 additional hr. of Bilingual in a Content Area (Math, Social Studies, Science or Fine Arts). Required Courses: 1 hr. of Home language and 1 hr. of ESL/ELD Optional/Additional Courses: May have 1 additional hr. of Bilingual in a Content Area (Math, Social Studies, Science or Fine Arts). Purpose: All students will be bilingual and biliterate in English and the home/2nd language. Purpose: ELL students will become bilingual and biliterate in English and the home language. Purpose: All FEP and English native speakers will become fluent in the home/2nd language. Purpose: All students will become bilingual and biliterate in English and the Heritage lang. Purpose: All ELL students will become proficient in English.

45 Program Placement

46 Parent Notification Provide procedures to ensure that parental notification is given annually prior to program placement. U.S. Civil Rights law and policy require districts that receive Federal financial assistance to provide the parents of language minority students with notice of all school activities containing the same information that is provided to the parents of other students, regardless of the subject matter. To be adequate, such notices must be furnished in a language, manner and/or form that are understandable to parents. (See examples in the Appendixes of this manual). Parents of ELL/LEP students do not need to respond to the student placement notification in order for the student to participate in the program. Whether the parent(s) responds or not, the district is obligated to provide ESL/ELD instruction strategies to ensure that the student’s English-language and academic needs are met.

47 Parent Notification

48 A LAT Team Language Assistance Team

49 Anything Else?

50 Thank you! Adrian Sandoval Phone: Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University


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