Separating Difference From Disability With ELLs

Separating Difference From Disability With ELLs
28 June – 25 July 2021
TESOL Members US$500
Global Members US$220
Nonmembers US$600
6/28/2021 - 7/25/2021

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A growing number of students from diverse racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds have unique learning needs as they acquire school English and adapt to the culture of the American educational system. Among this diverse population of students are at-risk learners and learners with a variety of disabilities. The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school personnel to establish and document language difference versus language disorder and language learning difference versus learning disability.
This situation presents school districts and even the most experienced education professional with unique challenges and remains a serious test of service proportionality in American schools. The needs of these diverse learners are not being appropriately addressed when “difference” is used to disproportionately place diverse learners in speech pathology services and special education or when students from diverse backgrounds are denied special services when they have limited English proficiency. 
This four-week course addresses specific issues in assessment, intervention, and identification strategies that are most effective in separating difference from disability. Participants will learn what tools and strategies are available and appropriate to use. RtI models for English language learners will also be explored, focusing on the interpretation of data gathered during the general education intervention problem-solving process, prior to conducting an evaluation for special education. 

Prefer different dates? This course is also being offered 11 October to 7 November 2021. Register here.

TESOL is authorized by IACET to offer 4 CEUs for this online course. No partial CEUs will be given to registrants who do not complete the course. For more information about CEUs, please go to

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For more information about TESOL online courses, please contact TESOL Professional Learning.