CAPELL Connecticut Administrators of Programs for English Language Learners English Language Learners and Special Education: A Resource Handbook.

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  • CAPELL Connecticut Administrators of Programs for English Language Learners English Language Learners and Special Education: A Resource Handbook
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  • What is it? A concise guide to help educators answer this question: How do I know if a struggling ELL needs special education services?
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  • What its not The final, definitive answer! In many cases there is no easy answer. This handbook is designed to help educators make the best possible decision based on multiple sources of information.
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  • Who is it for? Administrators Special Education Staff ELL Staff General Education Staff
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  • How did we do it? Formed Sub-committee of CAPELL Examined research and resources Drew upon experiences Reviewed by special education staff in our districts Reviewed by CAPELL members Reviewed by State ELL/Bilingual Consultant Reviewed by State Special Education Bureau
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  • Whats inside? Second Language Acquisition Frequently Asked Questions Recommended Procedure Parent Interview Checklist Assessment Information Translation Resources Terminology Legislation Appendices Connecticut Mastery Standard LAS Links Proficiency Levels Resources
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  • Second Language Acquisition Complex process affected by many factors Similar to first language acquisition Starts with short phrases Nonlinear in development Conversational before academic language
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  • Length of Time Required to Achieve Age-Appropriate Levels of Social and Academic Language Proficiency 1-3 years 5-7 (up to 10 ) years ESL learners Native English Speakers Based on Cummins (1991), Collier (1995)
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  • Frequently Asked Questions: Can students receive both ELL and special ed. services? Yes. ELL and special education staff should collaborate on services. How long do we wait before referring an ELL student for possible special education services? There is no time restriction. Can ELLs with little previous education in the home country be referred for special ed? Yes. But lack of education is not a disability. Is code switching an indication of a disability? No. Many bilinguals mix languages.
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  • Avoiding Over-identification - ELLs may exhibit: Academic difficulties Lack of fluency Attention and memory problems Withdrawn behavior Aggressive Behavior Social and emotional problems
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  • Avoiding Under-identification - possible reasons for concern: Academic/behavioral difficulties in both languages According to the ELL teacher, the ELL is performing differently from cultural peers Little progress resulting from appropriate instructional strategies/interventions Parents confirm the academic/behavioral difficulties
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  • Recommended Procedure: same as for all students except: ELL staff should be involved. Information should be collected from as many sources as possible (including the parent survey). A native language assessment may be desirable. (A true disability will manifest itself in both languages.)
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  • A Caution About Assessments Limited validity if normed on native- English speakers: Only one source of information of many Native language assessment may also have limited validity: if ELL has limited academic experience in native language If ELL has been in school in the U.S. for several years (and has not continued education in native language)
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  • Terminology ELL (noun) = English Language Learner. Refers to the student learning English. ELL (adjective) = English Language Learner. Refers to the teacher or department (ELL teacher; ELL Education Department) ESL = English as a Second Language. Usually refers to the specialized English instruction that ELLs receive. ESOL = English to Speakers of Other Languages. An alternate name for ESL. L1 = The students first/home language. L2 = The student second language. LAS Links = Language Assessment System. The annual proficiency test taken by all ELLs in Connecticut. Dual Language Program = Half the class speaks one language and half speaks another language. Students are taught content in both languages. The goal is bilingualism for all. SIOP = Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol. A model of teaching content so that ELLs can achieve at high levels while they are acquiring English.
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  • Legislation Lau v. Nichols (federal)-1974 Identical education does not mean equal education School districts must take affirmative steps for ELLs Public Act 77-558 (Connecticut) Bilingual Education Act - 1977 20 or more ELLs in the same school who speak the same language No Child Left Behind (federal) 2001 All ELLs must be tested yearly on language proficiency (Connecticut) All ELLs in U.S. schools for 10 months or more must be tested in reading/writing and math (in English). ELLs must meet specific targets (AMAOs)
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  • Connecticut English Mastery Standard (exit criteria) LAS Links Level 4 or 5 AND Grades K-2 DRA on grade level Grades 3-9* CMT Math and Reading Proficient Writing Basic Grades 10-12 CAPT Math, Reading, Writing Basic *Grade 9 takes the school secure Grade 8 CMT
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  • LAS Links Proficiency Levels 1 = Beginning 2 = Early Intermediate 3 = Intermediate 4 = Proficient 5 = Above Proficient
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  • Resources Websites, books, articles CAPELL website:
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  • The Handbook is posted on: The ELL Education Dept. website: NPS Website Curriculum K-12 Programs English Language Learning Education Teachers ELL and Special Education Resource Handbook
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  • Questions?
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  • THANK YOU! Helene Becker


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