Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Making Hard Decisions: Meeting the Needs of Middle School Bilingual Students with High Incidence Learning Disabilities
by Gonzalez, Gabriela, M.A., Trinity Christian College, 2018, 51; 10817679
Abstract (Summary)

My study asks the questions: What criteria do teachers take into consideration when they determine the placement of bilingual students with learning disabilities and do they feel competent to make that decision. Current research provides information the important need to focus on bilingual students with learning disabilities. It also provides information about teacher readiness to teach this subgroup and what is being done to help meet their needs. The researcher conducted interviews of two middle school boys and their bilingual and learning resource teachers. Participant teachers and students were observed in a three-month window and interviewed. Due to their difference in English proficiency their classroom placement varied through this year and which may affect their classroom placement in the future. My study answers my questions because we hear firsthand from seasoned teachers in the field and share how they feel about teaching bilingual students with learning disabilities. The question concerning their best classroom placement is also answered by examining and analyzing students' collected data of their academic histories. After various classroom observations, teacher and student interviews and collection of data, the study found that the two boys had similar learning disabilities yet their academic achievements were different. Both learning resource teachers explain that there is a language barrier between them and their bilingual students with learning disabilities. Whereas, the bilingual teacher finds it difficult to detect a learning disability in her students because she is unsure if the student's difficulty in reading stems from a lack of English proficiency or a masked learning disability. The most practical way to find the correct placement for a bilingual student with a learning disability is when a team of educational professionals meet and discuss the particular student's strengths and weaknesses using their field of expertise. Final thoughts are shared of what further research needs to be done and why it is important.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Powell, Patti
School: Trinity Christian College
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, English as a Second Language, Special education
Publication Number: 10817679
ISBN: 9780438034594
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