« Teaching English Language Learners To Read | Main | Changing the Way We Think about RTI »

March 12, 2009

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jody Slavick

Hi Janette,

How are you framing the discussion with low incidence schools around the issue of 80% of the students in the class meeting benchmarks at the universal level? In classes/schools where there are only a few ELLs, these are the students who often fall within the 20% not meeting benchmark oftentimes because teachers are not implementing ESL strategies in their instruction. While I understand that these strategies must be implemented to ensure access for ELLs to the core curriculum, how does a district ensure low incidence schools don't automatically place these students into interventions because they are not meeting the 80%?

Janette Klingner

This is an excellent question, and I really appreciate that you have brought it up. In the situation you are describing, where there aren’t a lot of ELLs in each classroom but ELLs seem to be the ones who are not reaching benchmarks and being moved to Tier 2 interventions, it is very important for a school leader to look at patterns of placement across classrooms.

In other words, it is important to get the “big picture.” If what you describe is occurring, and most if not all ELLs are being moved to Tier 2, then what I describe in response to this sort of challenge certainly applies. Most ELLs should be succeeding with instruction at the Tier 1 level. If classroom instruction with appropriate support for ELLs is occurring at the Tier 1 level, then most students should be thriving. As Doug and Lynn Fuchs emphasize, we should be looking at students’ rate of progress in comparison with “true peers” in addition to just whether students are reaching benchmarks.

Also very important is that some RTI researchers are suggesting that expected benchmarks and rates of progress might not be the same for English language learners as for English-only students (for example, see Linan-Thompson, Cirino & Vaughn, 2007). English language learners do progress when taught with well-designed and well-implemented interventions, but may need additional time.

-- Janette

Linan-Thompson, S., Cirino, P. T. & Vaughn, S. (2007). Determining English language learners’ response to intervention: Questions and some answers. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30, 185-195.

Jenny

This is an wonderful question, and I really appreciate that you have brought it up. A very important is that some RTI researchers are suggesting that expected benchmarks and rates of progress might not be the same for English language learners as for English-only students.

----------------------------
Jenny
Drug Intervention New Mexico

Kelly Hawn

How do you feel on pulling English Language Learners for interventions on content areas that they are not successful, such as Vowac and math? Is the intervention to isolated and has no meaning for our ELL to learn?
Another question, how can you determine if an ELL has a learning disability or still learning the language?

Nely Navas de Rentas

I see a problem when the student walks in the door. I believe the language screening is not done properly. Only the English language is tested and educational history (past educational programs bilingual/non-bilingual) nor family history (older siblings that may be speaking English already) is not collected to better place the child in an appropriate general ed classroom or bilingual classroom or even identify a dominant language. The child may have a language deficit in both languages the native and English. Then what? Please comment.

The comments to this entry are closed.