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Identification and instruction for students with cognitive disabilities who are English learners

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Researchers from Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems (ATLAS) at the University of Kansas examined the challenges of identifying and providing adequate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities for whom English is not their first language (English learners).

In the qualitative study, Meagan Karvonen and colleagues interviewed 10 teachers to learn how they identify and meet the unique needs of this student subpopulation. Teachers reported that instructional needs related to disability and those related to language are often linked. Teachers might not design instruction that addresses English language needs if they view students’ instructional needs only through the disability lens.

The study concluded that research is needed to better understand the academic instruction needs of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are English learners and the classroom practices of their teachers.

Karvonen, M., Clark, A. K., Carlson, C., Wells-Moreaux, S., & Burnes, J.

Approaches to Identification and Instruction for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities Who Are English Learners