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Inclusive Education in the ESL Classroom
Transcript of Inclusive Education in the ESL Classroom
ESL Classroom Anna Matejova How can I expect my school to support students with disabilities? How can I support students with disabilities in my classroom? An ESL Instructor's Guide to Teaching Students with disAbilites How do I know if a student
I teach has a disability? There are many types of disabilities, some more apparent than others Districts are required to uphold the rights of students with disAbilities and provide them with certain special education services.
My school's special education provider(s) can assist me in determining how to best support my students with disAbilties, and at times may even co-teach with me. "Good teaching is good teaching" An ESL Instructor's Guide to Teaching
Students with disAbilites What you may know: What you may not know: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 identifies 14 categories of disability. Intellectual Disabilities Impacts slightly less than 1% of the US population
You might notice students struggle with:
Smith et al p. 234-5 "Significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance"
IDEA 2004 Learning Disabilities Emotional Disturbance "...A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations." IDEA 2004 Hearing Impairment Impacts at least 3 in every 1000 children (many children are never diagnosed)
Watch for students who:
Appear to not be paying attention or ignoring you when you ask questions
Frequently ask for repetition
Turn their head in the direction of a speaker
Have difficulty with sounds, letters, vocabulary, and articulation in comparison with to peers from the same language background)
Smith et al p. 320 Visual Impairments Characteristics to look for:
Difficulty with reading
Student holds reading materials close to eyes
Inability to see distant objects clearly
Tilting of head, covering/shutting one eye
Rubbing eyes, squinting, blinking more than usual
Complaints of itchy eyes, poor or blurred vision
Dizziness, headaches, and nausea following reading activities
Smith et al p. 332 "Includes students who are partially sighted and those who are blind, whose educational performance may be adversely affected because of impairments in vision even with correction."
IDEA 2004 Orthopedic Impairments "A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance...includes impairments caused by disease"
IDEA 2004 Other Health Impairments Students may show any of the following symptoms:
fatigue and lack of stamina
issues with mobility
frequent absences or tardiness
problems with muscle strength and coordination
Smith et. al. p. 349 "Having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems"
IDEA 2004 Speech or Language Impairments "...An impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, and graphic symbol systems..."
IDEA 2004 Traumatic Brain Injury Autism Impacts 1 in 110 children in the United States.
Repetitive actions or speech
Intolerance of changes in routine
Difficulties with verbal communication as well as initiating and maintaining social interactions (in comparison with other ELLs of similar language ability and background)
Improper use of non-verbal communication skills (that cannot be attributed to cultural differences)
Abnormal preoccupation with a task or activity
Smith et. al. p. 286 “A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences...”
IDEA 2004 Hearing Impairment: "An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, adversely affecting a child's educational performance..."
IDEA 2004 Inclusive Education in the ESL Classroom Anna Matejova Students may need to be evaluated to diagnose a disability The process of diagnosing a disability that may qualify a student for special education services goes something like this... 1. Problem Identification 2. Problem Analysis 3. Plan Development 4. Plan Implementation 5. Plan Evaluation About 8.5% of all students have been diagnosed with a specific LD
Look for students who struggle with:
Reading, writing, or math
Speaking and listening skills
Attention and memory
Motor skills and coordination
Can these difficulties be accounted for by other disabilities or issues of L2 language acquisition alone?
Does the student appear to struggle significantly more than peers with the same language and educational background?
Smith et al p. 163 About 19% of students 6-21 years old have a speech or language impairment.
Speech/language impairment may be the primary disability or it may accompany another disability. "An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment , or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance."
IDEA 2004 Characteristics to look for:
Aggression, fighting, or tantrums
Defiance and/or noncompliance with rules
Difficulty maintaining attention
Frequently causes disruptions
Lying and stealing
Limited activity levels
Fixation on certain thoughts
Withdrawal/avoidance of social situations
Anxiety and depression
Smith et al pp. 206-7 Students "exhibit inappropriate behaviors or emotions that result in disruptions for themselves or others in their environment" and adversely affect their academic performance.
Smith et. al. p. 6 May result from:
Smith et. al. pp. 359-63 Impact .04% of the US student population What you may not know: There have been dramatic changes in these rights and services since the 1970's
Most recently, these rights and services have been defined in the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Prior to the 1970's... Most students with disabilities were educated in separate schools or excluded from the educational system all together. ...Today 8 out of 10 students with disabilities receive the majority of their instruction in a setting with general education peers. What you may know: INCLUSION RESPONSE
INTERVENTION IDEA 2004 defines the various categories of disability and the services for which students are eligible.
IDEA also describes a specific model districts can use to screen, diagnose, and provide appropriate supports for students with disabilities This model is called... Tier 3: Students who fail to make progress may be referred for special education and if they qualify, begin to receive "Tier 3" supports from a special education provider according to their IEP.
Tier 2: Supplemental "Tier 2" interventions are initiated and progress monitoring continues for students who are not performing at grade level compared to peers with the same language or educational background.
Tier 1: The ESL teacher provides
core ESL instruction and gathers
data on the performance of ALL
her students References Archer, A. (2008, December). Vocabulary instruction, 2nd grade (video). Retrieved from
Archer & Hughes. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New
York: The Guilford Press.
Brown, J. E. (n.d.). RtI for English Language Learners (powerpoint). Retrieved from
CAST. (2002-2013). Chapter 4: What is universal design for learning? In Teaching every
student in the digital age. Retrieved from <http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/chapter4.cfm>
Churchward, B. (2009). Proactive Discipline. Retrieved from
Iris Center, The. (n. d.). Classroom management (Part 1): Learning the components of a comprehensive behavior
management plan. Retrieved from
Smith, T. E., Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R., & Dowdy, C. A. (2012). Teaching students with
special needs in inclusive settings, sixth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Tonaquint1. (2011, September 22). Co-teaching is NOT (video). Retrieved from <http://www.youtube.com>
U.S. Department of Education. (2004). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004.
Retrieved from <http://nichcy.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/PL108-446.pdf>
William & Mary. (2012, October 12). Co-teaching Model for Special Education (video). Retrieved from
<http://www.youtube.com> Deafness: "A hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification..."
IDEA 2004 What you may not know: We call this... There are actually a variety of co-teaching models to choose from! What you may already believe: What you may not know: The following are some specific research-based ways of improving instruction for students with disAbilities:
Explicit instruction & Scaffolding
Universal Design of Learning (UDL)
Positive Behavioral Instructional Supports
(PBIS) What is Explicit Instruction? Telling and showing your students exactly what you want them to do before you have them do it.
Providing adequate opportunities for group practice before having a student try out a skill independently
Provides students with the scaffolding they need to accomplish an academic task by following the "I do," "we do," "you do" progression.
Archer & Hughes 2011 What ESL practitioners should know about RtI Watch how the teacher does each of these in this video Explicit Instruction is necessary if students are to learn content they are not capable of "discovering" or understanding on their own! What you may think: Co-teaching looks like this. If not this, then what is co-teaching supposed to look like? Team Teaching: Teachers share equally in planning and delivering instruction, both teaching a large group (or smaller cooperative groups) of students together.
Alternative Teaching: One teaches the large group while the other teaches a small group simultaneously.
Parallel Teaching: Teachers plan together and teach the same lesson simultaneously to two equally sized groups of students.
Station Teaching: Each teacher is in charge of teaching different content at different stations in the classroom.
Smith et. al. p. 37 What co-teaching model do you see the teachers in this video using? Many of the ways to improve instruction for students with disabilities will actually improve instruction for ALL students (using appropriate, research-based instructional methods that are good for my regular education students will also be beneficial for students with disAbilities). What you may know: Will I have to slow down, water down, or otherwise change my instruction in a way that may negatively impact my regular education students? focuses on making instruction accessible to ALL students by... Keeping in mind students of various language and ability levels when designing curriculum and lesson plans.
Presenting information in multiple formats and through multiple forms of media.
Engaging learners' interest and motivation in various ways.
Providing multiple options for students to act on and express what they've learned. UDL UDL looks like this... Creating curriculum, lesson plans, learning goals, and assessments with built-in flexibility in order to accommodate the widest range of learners. ...not this! Scrambling to modify curriculum that is inaccessible to as much as 2/3 of the class after the fact - clumsy and awkward! What you may wonder: There are certain changes I can make to my "best practices" to provide added support for students with disabilities What you may not know: Teacher (or parent) expresses concerns about a student's progress.
Teacher makes a referral to the Prereferral Intervention Team (PIT) and notifies parents.
Smith et. al. p. 77 The PIT gathers information about the student from his/her school history, previous assessments and evaluations, observations, and interviews with the teacher, family, and student.
Smith et. al. p. 77 The PIT will suggest several interventions the teacher might try to address the student's biggest difficulties.
Interventions should be positive and should result in the smallest possible changes to classroom setting and curriculum initially.
Smith et. al. p. 78 The teacher typically implements chosen interventions for a grading period, 6-9 weeks.
The teacher carefully monitors the student's progress and how s/he responds to the interventions.
Smith et. al. p. 78 The teacher and the team communicate about the effectiveness of the interventions and whether they are being implemented properly during the grading period.
The PIT meets at the end of the period to more formally evaluate whether intervention
goals have been accomplished.
Smith et. al. p. 78 If not... 1. Problem Identification The PIT may decide that the student should be more formally evaluated to determine eligibility for special education services.
The teacher fills out a formal, written referral for a special education evaluation.
Smith et. al. p. 80-1 This marks the beginning of the special education process. 2. Problem Analysis An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is created including the child's parents, at least one special education and regular education teacher, and other school personnel.
Based on the IEP team's recommendations, the child is formally evaluated by trained professionals in areas such as: "intellectual ability, health, vision, hearing, academic achievement, social and emotional needs, level of communication or motor skills."
Smith et. al. p. 84 3. Plan Development If a student is determined eligible for special education services, existing data is studied and new data collected to determine the student's strengths, needs, and possible special education interventions.
The student's strengths, needs, measurable annual goals, and the special education services provided to assist the student in meeting these goals are described in writing in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Smith et. al. p. 91-102 5. Plan Evaluation The student will receive ongoing monitoring of his/her progress.
The IEP is evaluated at least once a year to determine whether learning goals are being met.
At least once in three years, the student may be reevaluated to see whether s/he still qualifies for special education services.
Smith et. al. p. 103 4. Plan Implementation The accommodations in the IEP are implemented by the special education provider and (where appropriate) the ESL teacher.
Smith et. al. Which brings us back to the beginning... ACCOMMODATIONS Changes that do NOT significantly alter lesson content, level of instruction, or evaluation criteria are called... Changes to lesson content, supplemental materials, level of difficulty in assignments, and assessments are called... MODIFICATIONS Examples of Accommodations in the Inclusive ESL classroom may include: Reading aloud written instructions on a homework assignment to students who are not literate in the L2 or have a reading disability.
Giving students extra time to complete a test or assignment.
Changes in seating to accommodate students with visual or hearing impairments.
Students learning to read and write for the first time or those who have disabilities affecting their fine motor skills are given thicker pencils or markers to write with first.
Offering texts with larger print and fewer items per page (more "white space") for students with visual impairments and those who have limited background experience with text. Examples of Modifications in the Inclusive ESL classroom may include: Reducing the number of items a student is required to complete on a test or homework assignment.
Giving students with reading disabilities or limited L2 literacy skills a modified version of the text that uses simpler, easier-to-read language.
Creating differentiated worksheets, tests, and quizzes appropriate to students at different levels of English language ability (whether due to a disability or not).
Accepting key word responses instead of complete sentences and approximations in place of "correct" grammar or pronunciation from students with speech/language impairment or limited oral L2 language skills.
Reducing the amount of content taught, slowing down, and using more repetition for students with learning disabilities. The goal of PBIS is to create a behavior management system that is preventative, appropriate, and effective Behavior Management Tip #1 Be proactive,
not reactive. Set very clear behavioral expectations (along with positive and negative consequences) at the beginning of the school year and review them at key intervals.
Reinforce classroom rules with pictures or gestures to increase comprehension for ELLS.
Create an atmosphere of learning from
the moment students enter your classroom by having a task
prepared for them to start
Churchward, B. (2009) Behavior Management Tip #2 Practice "Surface Management Strategies" The following are examples of strategies can be used to stop smaller, off-task behaviors before they have the chance to escalate.
Standing or walking closer to the student.
Pausing mid-sentence and making eye contact with the student.
Refocusing the student's attention by asking him/her to do a task such as reading or answering a question.
Using special signals you have agreed on with the student to signify s/he should discontinue the behavior.
Helping the student begin to complete the task. Most of these techniques do not require the teacher to stop or interrupt her instruction The Iris Center p. 3 Behavior
Tip #3 Establish (and Enforce) Natural and Appropriate Consequences The Iris Center pp. 9-11. Positive consequences should reinforce positive behaviors while negative consequences decrease the likelihood of student participation in negative behaviors.
Negative consequences should be appropriate to the severity of the infraction; less severe consequences should be attempted before more severe ones.
Whenever possible, consequences should be directly related to the infraction (natural and logical) An ESL Instructor can use MODIFICATIONS and ACCOMMODATIONS to individualize instruction for students of various ability levels Curriculum should be adjusted to the language proficiency level of 80% of the ELL sub-group.
Instruction should include:
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
Development of sophisticated Vocabulary
Comprehension strategies for narrative
and expository texts
Oral Academic Language use
Connections should be made
to students' first language
and culture. 15% of ELL students will need these supplemental interventions. For ELLs this should include 10 minutes of additional oral language development in the same language as core instruction. 5% of ELL students will need these intensive interventions. For ELLs, this should include an additional 10 minutes of oral language development in the same language as core instruction. Brown, p. 34-5, 38-55 What you may wonder about RtI: Will ALL of my beginner level ESL students fall into Tiers 2 or 3 because they are not performing at grade level compared to their native English speaking peers? An ESL Instructor is responsible for providing interventions for ELL students who struggle in the general education classroom. What you may think about RtI: What you may not know about RtI: ESL is considered core instruction, not an intervention
ELLs should be compared to peers with similar language level and educational background, rather than all of their grade level peers to determine what tier of instruction they fit into. Brown, p. 34-5, What you should now know: 1. Effective practices for planning and designing co-teaching
and collaboration within your school.
2. Categories of disAbilities your students may experience.
3. How students with disAbilities are identified and their
4. The special education process, laws, and regulations.
5. Specific strategies and ideas for individualizing instruction
for students with disAbilities and unique learning needs.
6. How to apply positive behavioral supports and interventions
to address student and classroom management needs.