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Differentiating between Learning Disabilities and Typical Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study
Insights on Learning Disabilities
  • Audrey Cohan, Ed.D, Molloy College
  • Andrea Honigsfeld, Ed.D., Molloy College
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Article: On-Campus Access Only
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Users not affliated with Molloy College may view the article in Academic OneFile from Gale.

There is an increasing interest in how to differentiate between English language learners who experience language learning difficulties due to socio-cultural, academic, or affective factors and those who demonstrate true learning disabilities. This case study is representative of the difficulty many teachers and administrators face as they try to determine whether or not a child who is an English language learner--and in the United States for a relatively short period of time--requires a referral for special education services. Utilizing the "Pre-Referral Data Collection Tool to Identify English Language Learners Who May Require Special Education Evaluations", the authors recount the story of a 4th grade Haitian Creole speaking newly arrived child and his academic and language difficulties. The in-depth profile created by a team of concerned and committed educators informed their instructional decisions and impacted the pre-referral process.

Citation Information
Audrey Cohan and Andrea Honigsfeld. "Differentiating between Learning Disabilities and Typical Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study" Insights on Learning Disabilities Vol. 9 Iss. 2 (2012)
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