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English Language Learners: Conducting Special Education Assessments

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Title: English Language Learners: Conducting Special Education Assessments


1
English Language Learners Conducting Special
Education Assessments
  • Jane E. Minnema, Ph.D.
  • University of Minnesota
  • minne006_at_umn.edu
  • National Center on Educational Outcomes
  • http//education.umn.edu/NCEO

2
Plan for the Workshop
  • Getting Started!
  • Early team work
  • Other language considerations
  • ELL disability confusion
  • Q A
  • Quick Break!
  • Doing the Assessment!
  • 10 Principles for Assessment
  • ELL considerations
  • Disability vs. language delay
  • Q A

3
First steps
  • Work as a team
  • Understand pertinent cultures
  • Put Federal and State law in context
  • Adapt special education process

4
Teamwork!
  • List tasks ? Create a plan
  • Work independently to
  • Create materials and to
  • Share, share, share information!

5
Cultural Understandings
  • Access printed information Internet,
    libraries, community groups
  • Cultural representatives restaurants,
    festivals, presentations
  • Create staff materials

6
Cheng (1991) cautions
  • Not all people from the same culture have the
    same values and beliefs there are tremendous
    individual differences. For this reason, it is
    necessary to be extremely careful when making
    cultural assumptions. Nevertheless, an awareness
    of the general cultural and linguistic values of
    minority populations is an essential tool

7
Laws and Criteria
  • Federal Rule Observation
  • (At least one team member observe the child
    classroom setting.)
  • e.g., by second language expert
  • MN Interpretation of Federal Rule
  • (Assessment data different settings.)
  • e.g., second language classroom

8
Adapt Assessment Process Before testing

9
Adapt Assessment Process During and After
Testing
10
Diversity is
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Culture (religion, family, beliefs, dress, food,
    communication, health care, education)
  • Reasons for moving to U.S. (immigrant or
    refugee)
  • Socioeconomic (before U.S., in U.S.,
    unemployment, underemployment, over employment,
    family stress)

11
Culturally Relevant Terms
  • Acculturation assumes American cultural
    attributes (language, norms, behaviors, and
    values)
  • Assimilation incorporation into social and
    cultural networks of host society by giving up
    native culture

12
Related Issues
  • Generational issues
  • Broad continuum of development
  • Uneven process
  • Constantly changing

13
Terms for Students
  • Limited English Proficient (LEP)
  • English language learner (ELL)
  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • Culturally linguistically diverse (CLD)

14
Issues Raised
  • No common term used
  • Terms lack specificity
  • No person first language in ELL
  • Confuse students and services

15
Terms for Services
  • English as a second language
  • Bilingual education
  • Content-based instruction
  • Common practice in LA?

16
Issues Raised
  • Multiple models across states
  • Service delivery varies within states
  • Practice does not match research
  • - Content-based instruction most effective

17
Language Terms
  • L1 native language
  • L2 can be English
  • Mulitilingual, bilingual, monolingual
  • Pidgins or creoles fusion of two or more
    languages over time
  • Code-switching controlled blending of
    languages that is rule-bound and meaningful

18
Modes of Cross-Communication
  • Interpretation Oral presentation of non-native
    language
  • Translation Written presentation of non-native
    language

19
Language Influence
  • L1 influences L2
  • - Stronger L1 is, the better L2 will be.
  • - Vocabulary, syntax, semantics
  • May formalize into pidgins, creoles, or social
    dialects
  • Code-switching during L2 acquisition

20
Native Language Loss
  • L1 regress or lost
  • L1 speaking regresses more than L1 understanding
  • Stopping L1 has negative cognitive effects on L2
  • Home language models may not be fluent in L1 or
    L2

21
English Language Learning
  • L1 literacy level and education
  • Time in U.S.
  • Time in U.S. schools
  • SES
  • Family situation
  • Language models at home
  • Health factors
  • Student motivation, time, and ability

22
English Language Learning Levels
  • Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)
  • Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)

23
BICS
  • Social, concrete, here and now
  • NOT used for academics
  • Takes 2-4 years (easier for lt 8 yr)
  • Everyday pronunciation proficiency
  • Grammar (simple declarative sentences,
    questions, colloquialisms)
  • Vocabulary about 500 words

24
Examples of BICS
  • Listening Follows general classroom
    directions.
  • Speaking Converses with peers and teachers.
    May speak without accent.
  • Reading Decode easily.
  • Writing Completes school forms. Find and copy
    answers to textbook questions.

25
CALP
  • Proficient in decontextualized language and
    academic settings (inferences, predictions,
    abstractions)
  • Manipulate language outside of immediate
    personal setting
  • Has literacy
  • Vocabulary 5000 words
  • If literate in L1, 5-7 years. If not, 6-9
    years. Some may never acquire.

26
Examples of CALP
  • Listening Follow directions for academic
    tasks. Understands discussion of academic
    material. Knows main idea from supporting.
  • Speaking Expresses reasons for opinions. Asks
    for clarification during academic tasks.
  • Reading Comprehension good.
  • Writing Can write essay supporting a point of
    view.

27
Language vs. Disability ??
  • Teachers expect more when BICS acquired.
  • LD concern when academics not progressing
  • BUT CALP still developing!

28
Caution Teachers!
  • Speaking English conversationally well, but not
    using well academically is NORMAL!
  • NOT a reason to suspect disability.
  • Student at BICS level without CALP should still
    receive ESL services.

29
Shared by Native Speakers with LD and English
Learners
  • Non-speaking
  • Slow to respond
  • Knew something yesterday but not today
  • Low vocabulary
  • Difficulty following directions
  • Retains information poorly
  • Below grade level spelling, math, reading
  • Limited attention span
  • Poor visual memory
  • Low frustration tolerance

30
Shared by Native Speakers with BD and CLD
Students
  • Differences in
  • - personal space
  • - eye gaze
  • - response time
  • - body language
  • - vocal pitch and intensity
  • - conversational rules

31
  • 10 Principles for Assessing ELLs and Determining
    Eligibility for Special Education Services
  • Elizabeth Watkins, MDOE, 2000
  • St. Paul Public Schools LEP Resource Team, 1998
  • Meredith Boo, Bloomington Schools, MN, 2001
  • Berry (1080) Collier Collier (2003, 1985)
    Fradd McGee (1994) Ortiz (2003 1992)
    Wilkinson (2003)

32
1 Examine School Environment
  • C I meeting all students needs?
  • Meeting all ELL needs?
  • ELL disproportionate representation?
  • - Over-representation?
  • - Under-representation?

33
2 Resources for Assessment
  • At district and building level
  • Identify who and what
  • Access training
  • Include INTERPRETERS!

34
3 Involve Cultural Informants
  • Language teachers (ESL or bilingual)
  • Cultural representatives FAMILY!
  • Community outreach workers
  • ALL stages of assessment -
  • Pre-referral through IEP!

35
4 Prereferral Interventions Background
Information
  • First, exclude English learning or instructional
    issue
  • Involve English language teacher
  • Student and environmental factors impacts on
    English learning

36
4a Excluding English Learning
  • L1 and English language data
  • - ESL history
  • - Language development
  • - Home and native language(s)
  • - Language status
  • L1 and L2 use and proficiency
  • ESL records
  • Direct and indirect assessments

37
L1 Language Assessment
  • Do anytime!
  • Direct standardized language testing,
    conversational sample, story retelling task,
    dictation task, story telling task, home visit,
    observations
  • Indirect parent interview, parent report, home
    visit, observation

38
Types of Communicators
  • L1 monolingual
  • Partial bilingual
  • Developing bilingual
  • L1 receptive
  • nonstandard English speaker
  • English monolingual
  • Bilingual with code switching
  • Limited due to disabiity

39
4b Excluding Instructional Issues
  • Best teaching approach thematic
  • One stage above English proficiency level
  • Looking for 2 year gap
  • - Compared to ELL peers
  • - Disability in native language / native
    environment
  • - Physical/health disability

40
Three Ways to Exclude Language and Instruction
  • Know general expectations
  • Know recommended ELL practices
  • Pre-referral Interventions
  • - Adapt mainstream instruction
  • - Academic techniques

41
General Expectations
  • 1st or 2nd grade academically with 2-3 years of
    English instruction
  • Average ELL - 10-12 years to reach 50th ile on
    group achievement test
  • Longer if no academics in L1

42
Research Recommended ELL Practices
  • Learn English through content material
  • Active in concrete activities related to content
    objective
  • Acquire concepts when comprehend English
    (simplify or bilingual support)
  • Retain when use in multiple authentic situations
  • Supportive, stress free environment
  • Link prior knowledge to new content

43
Research on Practice (cont.)
  • Use collaborative meaning making process
  • - Learn faster when interact with peers
  • Comprehension dependent on background knowledge
  • - Read and comprehend with experience
  • Textbooks challenge ELLs
  • - Multimodal support beyond level of language
    comprehension
  • Culture important to affective and cognitive
    development
  • - RESPECT native culture and language

44
Pre-referral Intervention Adapting Mainstream
Instruction
  • Pair oral and written instructions
  • Key points in writing
  • Simplify English, NOT concepts
  • Many visuals
  • Modify teacher expectations
  • - Identify core material
  • - Re-teach many times differently
  • Teach both language and content
  • - Assignments in both
  • - Grade progress in both

45
Pre-referral Interventions (cont.)
  • Talk slower, NOT louder!
  • Use body language
  • Seek bilingual help cheerfully (another student,
    bilingual para, etc.)
  • Use interpreter or translator (tape or video for
    future use)
  • Student kept vocabulary booklet
  • - Writing assignments
  • - For credit/grading

46
Pre-referral Interventions (cont.)
  • Vary complexity of questions
  • Encourage any effort!
  • Extend, elaborate, and paraphrase without
    correcting
  • Allow extra time
  • Talk about what matters to ELL
  • Create literate classroom environment (see and
    hear variety)

47
Pre-referral Interventions Academic Techniques
  • Reduce number of problems
  • Highlight key information
  • Remove pages from text or booklet
  • Outline key ideas at academic level
  • Tape record to read along
  • Read aloud tests/quizzes
  • Tape record tests/quizzes
  • Construction paper reading windows

48
Pre-referral Interventions Academic Techniques
(cont.)
  • Simplify written directions
  • Tape record directions
  • Cooperative learning/peer assistance
  • More time tests/quizzes
  • Use assignment calendar or notebook
  • Use manipulatives
  • Rearrange problems on page
  • Use graph paper (math, handwriting)

49
5 Time to Learn English
  • Typically 1-2 years for BICS and acculturation
  • Only refer within 1st year if
  • - Family very concerned
  • - At-risk due to background
  • - Language teacher reports significant
    difference from other ELLs

50
6 Plan and Complete Multiple Assessment
Procedures
  • Determine assessment domains
  • Plan for language use
  • - Language dominance
  • - L1 and L2 proficiency
  • Arrange for interpreter
  • Use stronger language generally
  • Assess content in language of instruction

51
Assessment Procedures (cont.)
  • Test procedures directions in L1
  • Accept L1 and L2 responses
  • Check test for bias (norms and items)
  • Modify and adapt standardized instruments
  • Supplement with criterion-referenced,
    curriculum-based, or other informal measures

52
Assessment Procedures (cont.)
  • Supplemental assessments
  • Teacher ratings/checklists
  • Student self-ratings
  • Work progress records
  • Portfolio work samples
  • Dialogue journals
  • Naturalistic or planned observations
  • Oral interviews and role plays
  • Story retelling
  • Semantic maps
  • Dictations
  • Writing samples

53
Modifying Norm-Referenced Tests
  • Administer some subtests
  • Eliminate, modify, or mark biased items
  • Allow extra time
  • Give additional demonstrations, attempts for
    ability to master
  • Test/retest for growth
  • Test/retest in L1 and L2

54
Modify Scoring and Interpretation
  • Allow variations in responding
  • - Verbal or nonverbal
  • - Label function rather than object
  • Allow for language, dialect, or experience
    differences
  • Score by the book and again with modifications
  • Report scores as range or estimate
  • Compare to ELL peers instead of norms
  • Analyze data for patterns related to culture or
    background experiences

55
Use DISCLAIMER!
  • This test has not been normed on members of this
    students ethnic group. Therefore, it is
    inappropriate to compute or report derived
    scores. However, the results of this test
    provide information useful for intervention
    planning.
  • Name of Interpreter used _________
  • Date

56
LD Assessment Procedures - IQ
  • Use two IQ instruments
  • UNIT recommended CTONI 2nd choice
  • Can use WISC performance, but not verbal score -
    NOT for discrepancy
  • Woodcock Johnson with adaptations for academic
    assessment - Do NOT use regression chart. Use
    non-verbal IQ for criterion score.

57
LD Assessment Procedures - Processing
  • To document information processing difficulties
  • - Only if occur in home and school environments
  • Not those characteristics shared by ELLs and
    students with LD

58
LD Assessment Procedures Culturally-based
Reading Behaviors
  • Basic reading skills that are difficult
  • Reading out loud
  • Mispronunciations
  • Moving from visual to auditory cues ( vice
    versa)
  • Better in group or with family member
  • Slow reading rate
  • Learning better within game
  • Poor word attack

59
LD Assessment Procedures Culturally-based
Reading Behaviors
  • Comprehension skills that are difficult
  • Interpretive questions
  • Sequencing
  • Facts from inferences
  • If then conclusions
  • Some concepts (time in particular)
  • Written formal language
  • Consequences

60
7 Determine Eligibility
  • Review data beginning with native language,
    family background, school history
  • Describe all adaptations
  • Include cautionary language (norms, test
    validity)
  • Include descriptive data, family data,
    supplemental testing, other sources
  • Professional judgment in reporting scores
  • Rule out English language as PRIMARY cause
  • Rule out instruction as PRIMARY cause

61
8 Due Process
  • Informed consent in parents native language if
    needed
  • Use trained interpreter
  • Research shows parents not understanding due
    process even when presented in native language

62
9 Develop IEP
  • Use direct and indirect assessment data to
    develop goals and objectives
  • Also use all data on language and culture
  • English language teacher as team member

63
10 Review Student Progress
  • Repeat Principles 1 through 9 as needed
  • Need not be formal assessment or annual review
  • Make adjustments as needed

64
Tips for Using Interpreters
  • Meet before assessment
  • Explain assessment process
  • Demonstrate any tasks
  • Make purpose and information needed very clear
  • Obtain exact interpretation
  • Opinions and impressions afterwards
  • Interpreter rapport with student before
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