Special Education Referral, Evaluation, and Placement Practices for Preschool English Language Learners

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Belinda J Hardin, Associate Professor (Creator)
Marisa D. Roach Scott (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The number of English language learners (ELLs) in early childhood regular and special education services has increased dramatically in the past decade. A survey was conducted with 141 early childhood administrators and teachers to examine their beliefs and practices concerning the special education referral, evaluation, and placement process for preschool ELLs and their families. Survey questions were designed to gather information about: 1) how cultural and language differences were addressed, 2) what strategies were used to ensure parent participation of ELL children, and 3) what training was available and being used by early childhood professionals. Data were coded and percentages of similar responses calculated to understand participants’ beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Results indicate that inconsistencies in methods are used to determine home language and English proficiency, a lack of clarity regarding the purpose of instruments used for screening and evaluating ELL children, a need for reliable and valid screening and assessment tools in a variety of languages, a need for interpreters who are trained in early childhood terms and the special education referral, evaluation, and placement process, and a need for more teacher training on meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families.

Additional Information

Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 22, 39-54.
Language: English
Date: 2007
Early childhood special education, English Language Learners, Family participation, Linguistically diverse classrooms

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