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Special Education or Second Language Acquisition: Considerations for Differentiating the Two

How do you decide whether a student should be referred to special education or English learner services? This interactive session will introduce some of the various pitfalls that could lead teachers to incorrectly refer English learners to special education, or not to refer for special education services to those who may need this support. As part of this discussion, participants will share their experiences and why they chose, or chose not to, refer students. Presenters will also highlight the various characteristics of second language acquisition and cultural differences that may be misinterpreted as a special education need. The session will end with a compilation of factors that teachers should consider before shaping the best course for each student.

Related Content: 2016 English Learner (EL) Symposium