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Transcript of Critical Issues
Each state and school district is different however this is the most widely expressed trend of assessment.
Lack of ELL Students in Gifted Programs
The first form of assessment for the gifted program is a standardized test, which does not accommodate the child's foreign language
Action Plan for ELL's
Aims & Goals
Ensure that equal effort is put into assessing ELL's for Gifted Programs as it is for Special Education Programs.
Increase the number of ELL students in gifted programs and decrease the amount in special education programs.
Ensure that ELL's are not inaccurately placed into special education programs due to lack of understanding.
Make Parent - Teacher Meetings Positive, Practical, and Personal
Positive: Don't only reach out with negative information, parents love hearing whats going well in their child's daily life.
Practical: Parents can't help their children learn if they don't understand themselves. Help teach parents at the very least understand the gist of the information.
Personal: Add personal touches to any parent correspondence. This makes the parent think they're child is special to you.
Bermudez, A.B. (2014). Insights Into Gifted and Talented English Language Learners. Retrieved from http://www.idra.org/IDRA_Newsletter/June_-_July_1998_Gifted_and_Talented_Students_Celebrating_25_Years_1973_-_1998/Insights_into_Gifted_and_Talented_English_Language_Learners/
Colorin Colorado. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.colorincolorado.org/web_resources/by_state/colorado/
Identifying English Language Learners for Gifted and Talented Programs. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/1152658/identifying_english_language_learners_for_gifted_and_talented_programs
Fernandez, N. (2014). Disproportionate Classification of ESL Students in U.S. Special Education. Retrieved from http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume17/ej66/ej66a1/
National Origin-Related Best Practices. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.maec.org/equity/origin-issue4.html
Critical Issues with ELL Students and Special Education
Issue Number One - There is a major line dividing educators:
Most believe that classifying an ELL student into Special Education helps by giving them the one on one attention they need to catch up.
Where as some educators feels this actually sets them back, because they have now been labeled and separated out of the normal classroom.
English Language learners within special and gifted education programs
Issue Number Two:
Every school district has a different policy and procedure on how to handle ELL students
Issue Number Three:
More often then not the person completing the assessment or evaluation of the ELL student is not adequately trained on how to determine what the child's true needs are.
Conduct assessment evaluations in various settings
Determine whether it is a language barrier issue or a cognitive development issue
Evaluate a student in both their native language and in English to determine is it is a comprehension issue or something further
Pay attention to the child's cultural and social aspects of learning as well to fully understand them as a learner
The use of Formal and In-Formal assessments are encouraged
Group conference with all parties involved (teacher, student, parent, principle, and additional members who might have involvement with the child)
Having open communication with parents is key. If they feel threatened or uninvited they will not feel welcomed in the process.
Have more than one point of contact for both parties. If the teacher or parents are unreachable, have an extra party that might be able to assist in any questions or information.
Regular assessments and evaluation that are acknowledge and expected.
Have clear expectations set for all parties involved (teacher, parents and student). This allows for everyone to be held accountable and have an equal say in the child's best interest and blame can not be shifted onto one single party member.
Consistency at home and at school. This allows the best learning environment for the child.
Have multiple open lines of communication
Steps for Assessment:
Assessment must be completed by a highly qualified and trained professional, with the accompany of their own teacher (for student's comfort).
A prior assessment must be given 30 days prior to the official assessment of the student in order to qualify for special education.
The amount of students being recommend consecutively by anyone given teacher will require an investigation of the teachers reasoning for recommending the student. If the teacher is found to wrongly be recommending students, they will be given the proper training in order to assess ELL student's.
Assessment strategy training will be provided as part of all annual professional development training.
Various forms of assessments must be provided. Including a standardized test in both English and the child's native language, informal assessments, and a portfolio of documented work from the child inside and outside of the classroom.
Key Decision Maker Involvement
Daily agendas must be signed by both the teacher and parents/guardians
A weekly progress report must be submitted to and signed off by the Principle monthly
The teacher and a representative for ELL learners must meet monthly to discuss any issues or concerns of the child
The parents, teacher, student and principle must meet once a month until the child has met the appropriate standards level
The teacher must provide a monthly agenda to the parents in order to allow them additional time to work with the child at home
Generally the person providing the assessment is not culturally aware and trained in the child's geographic needs and are unable to see their true potential
Ell students have fewer opportunities compared to native English speakers to be noticed for behaviors traditionally characteristic of gifted or talented students
There is such a rapid growth amongst ELL students teachers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and under trained in how to handle ELL students
March 16, 2015
Dr. Karolina Kopczynski