What do you do if a student who is still acquiring English is not making progress?

Do you have this question–
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We have a student who is a formerly Limited English Proficient (FLEP) and is now failing. He has already been retained. Looking at his data, we are concerned that there may be issues that are beyond language with which he is struggling. In the mean time, as we transition to the WIDA MODEL and have no assessment program here at the school, what do I use and where do I get it?
I understand the challenge you are having and it seems as though you are going down a checklist of what would be an appropriate referral to special education. I am assuming this student is not a student receiving special education services right now.

Here are a few questions that can help guiden your problem solving process

If you can help me answer a few questions:

What grade is the student?
What is his/her background?
How long has he been in the US?
What is the family composition? Which language is spoken at home?
Has the child received interventions with fidelity (as intended for two cycles of 4-6 weeks?)
Does the student, as a FLEP, have average and age appropriate vocabulary in social situations? In academic situations?
Has there been a traumatic experience recently (i.e. Death in the family, shooting, family violence, divorce, loss of shelter, etc)?
What is the students reading level? Is there a history of DIBELS scores and what are they?
Was the child showing growth academically as he gained English and now he is not or has he/she been brought up for special education evaluation before and been denied?
Are there records of the assessments from previous years?
Is the SEI classroom, if in one, using category strategies consistently?


Dual Language-Two Way MTSS RTI RTI, ELLs, Special Ed

Claudia Rinaldi View All →

Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.

Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.

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