Language Difference vs Language Disorder: Assessing English Learners
To a large extent, determining whether an English learner has a language/learning disability is a process of elimination. There are no tests that can definitely tell us whether the student has a language/learning disability. Inappropriately identifying an EL student as having a language/learning disability can result in stigmatization or reduced access to academic content, but waiting too long to identify a student who truly has a language/learning disability can be the beginning or the extension of a cycle of communicative, academic, and/or social failure.
Assessment of EL learners requires collaboration between classroom teachers and speech/language pathologists. This session will cover (1) factors that complicate the assessment of English learners; (2) multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and performance-based assessment; (3) process assessments, and (4) dynamic narrative assessment.
Westby, Carol and Murphy, Kimberly (Host), "Language Difference vs Language Disorder: Assessing English Learners" (2020). Communication Disorders & Special Education Faculty Publications. 58.