Education has long been considered the great equalizer. However, current data indicate that English language learners (ELLs) are achieving far below their English-only counterparts in reading and math. It is obviously in the best interest of our nation to ensure that all students reach proficiency standards.
Beyond the obvious linguistic diversity, ELLs differ in culture, educational backgrounds, immigration status, socio-economic status and life experiences, challenging schools to provide appropriate and effective instruction for them. Recent changes in federal policy, however, outlined a framework of instructional support where struggling learners are identified, and teams (which may include general and special educators) plan instruction matching the level of student need and monitor progress to determine student response (IDEA, 2004). This framework, known as Response to Intervention (RTI), has changed the focus from identifying within-child weaknesses to first ensuring the provision of appropriate evidence-based instruction and intervention. However, appropriate instruction and curriculum cannot be assumed for ELL students because very few curricular programs have included them in their research base (Sanford, Brown & Turner, 2012). To address their specific instructional needs an overview of RTI will be provided here and then four questions posed that can guide the provision of instruction and intervention for ELLs.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/julie_brown/14/