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English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities

Featuring Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan discussing effective assessment and instruction strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities.

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This webcast was made possible by AFT Teachers, a division of the American Federation of Teachers, as part of a Colorín Colorado partnership between AFT and Reading Rockets.

Click below for the following:

Program description

Featuring bilingual speech-language pathologist Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan. This webcast discusses effective assessment and instruction strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities, as well as ways to help encourage the active involvement of parents of ELLs with LD in their children's schools.


Delia Pompa is the moderator of this webcast. She is the Vice President of the Center for Community Educational Excellence, at the National Council of La Raza.


Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan is a bilingual speech-language pathologist and director of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, TX, and the author of Esperanza Program, a Spanish multi-sensory reading, writing, and spelling program. Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan was co-principal investigator of a longitudinal study funded by NICHD and IES examining the oral skills and literacy development in both English and Spanish of Spanish-speaking children. She is a founding member of Brownsville Reads, a nonprofit organization offering literacy awareness and training to educators, parents, and members of the community.

Dr. Cárdenas-Hagan is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Leadership Texas. She serves on the State Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology and is a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and the International Dyslexia Society.

Recommended resources

Articles and books by our presenter, Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan

Other resources

Related links from Colorín Colorado

Related links from LD OnLine

Related links from Reading Rockets

Related products from LearningStore

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Please visit our English language learners/Bilingual and Learning Disabilities sections of LearningStore to discover the best research-based practices for teaching ELLs with learning disabilities.

Discussion questions

  1. Share something that you learned from the webcast that was new to you. Then, talk about ways you see yourself using that information within your school setting.
  2. How does your school work to identify and teach ELL students with LD? After listening to Dr. Cardenas-Hagan, what changes might you propose?
  3. Describe the challenges your school would face in trying to assess students in both languages.
  4. From what you heard today, how does effective instruction for ELL learners with LD differ from just plain effective instruction for all students?
  5. Besides this webcast, what types of professional development would help you work with the ELL learner with LD population more successfully?

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