Special Education and ELLs: The Referral Process

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When an English language learner (ELL) is struggling and other explanations have been eliminated, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind when preparing for and managing the special education referral process.  These resource sections include topics such as communicating with ELL parents, what an IEP for an ELL looks like, and the importance of collaboration throughout the process.

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

What You'll Find in This Section

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Teachers who work regularly with English language learners (ELLs), particularly those who are certified as ESL specialists, have an important role to play in identifying and addressing students' needs, even if they don't have a special education background. They know students well, understand the process of language acquistion, and can bring valuable insights to a student evaluation.  Learn more about this role and how ELL educators can start the process of joining the special education referral team.

Special Education and ELLs: The Role of ESL Specialists

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