Special Education and ELLs: Partnering with Parents

three adults and a child sitting at a table. the woman is talking animatedly

Like all parents, the parents of English language learners (ELLs) are a valuable source of information regarding their children's strengths, challenges, educational background, and behavior at home. Learn more about what kinds of information parents can provide and how to communicate effectively with ELL families around questions of special education.

Featured Articles

Related Video

Recommended Resources

From the Field

Center for Parent Information and Resources

The CPIR is the new home to many of the bilingual resources developed by NICHCY, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. These include:

Wisconsin Collaborating Partners

How to Use Interpreters Effectively (Ages Birth - Five, but applicable for all ages)

  • Part I: Clarifies misconceptions about who makes a good interpreter and the difference between an interpreter and a translator
  • Part II: Discusses the importance of meeting with the interpreter before meeting with parents or caregivers and establishing guidelines for the interpretation process

Understood.org: Special Services

For more great bilingual resources, take a look at the Special Services section from Understood.org, a social impact organization dedicated to helping the 1 in 5 Americans who learn and think differently thrive at home, in school, at work, and in life.


This resource section was made possible through our partnership with the National Education Association. Additional support was provided by the American Federation of Teachers.