A Justice-Based Approach to Determining ELL Language Difference vs. Disability

ELL students in New York State are referred for Special Education Services at much higher rates than they are nationally; this phenomenon has been prevalent for over 25 years. Why are we referring multilingual students so frequently? If we desire to do justice by our ELL students, we need to align our intervention and pre-referral approaches with research-based best practices for multilingual learners. In this session, we will learn what school-based teams should consider when looking at ELL and multilingual learner performance, identify differences between language acquisition and learning disabilities, and examine their own school-based academic intervention processes for elements of marginalization of ELLs and multilingual learners.