Over representation of ESL in ESE

saisa12

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We all know, as future and current educators, how challenging the assessment portion of instruction can be. We know that when it comes to English language learners (ELL) the generalized concept and broad approach of assessment is simply not going to cut it. Numerous research and studies have been conducted over the years to find strategies and methods of teaching and assessment that can benefit the learning experience of students in this population. Differentiated instruction and differentiated assessments, allow educators to gain a better understanding of the student’s knowledge in core subjects regardless of English language proficiency. In addition, differentiated instruction and the accommodations made to assessments, can further decrease the overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse children in special education. The issue of having ELL students being categorically placed in special needs education simply because they perform poorly on assessments given to them in a foreign language with no accommodations is one of the most significant issues that U.S public schools face. National statistics show a severe overrepresentation of certain ethnic groups as mentally disabled (IEP) and/or emotionally disturbed (504 plan). I am interested in getting other educators’ perspectives on the implications that overrepresentation in special education has on ELL students and what we as educators can do to prevent such a huge gap from forming in our own classrooms.
Saisa Jamis
 
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Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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If students are being categorised in these ways on the basis of poor assessments, it sounds troubling to me. What tools and paths within your system are there to remedy or affect this?
 

saisa12

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I think the issue is very widespread. If we look at statistics we can see a major difference in students of ethnic backgrounds represented in ESL. As teachers we should be trained to look for signs of special needs and not take proficiency of language into account. In cases where student academic records are not available, students should be tested using full accommodations and modifications. Does anyone have ESL students in their classrooms and what accommodations do you use when assessing them?
Saisa Jamis
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Joined
Nov 13, 2002
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British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
I left the UK over a decade ago and haven't taught classes like this since then, but this sounds like things have got worse. Where student academic records are not available, we should not be trying to bring in the full force of the law, but trying to work out where they are.
 
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