Capstone/Dissertation Title

Response to Intervention to Identify and Support Students who are English Learners and who may Have Learning Disabilities

Term

Fall 9-15-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Pam Telleen

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Ann Mabbott

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Cindy Christian

Abstract

This capstone examines the Response to Intervention (RTI) model and its potential to effectively support English learners who may have learning disabilities. RTI combines screenings, high quality instruction, interventions, and assessments to meet students’ individual needs. The capstone inquires whether English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers are adequately prepared to identify English learners who may have learning disabilities and if they have received training in RTI. Educators find it challenging to evaluate English learners’ specific needs. Second language acquisition issues are hard to distinguish from learning disabilities, and the assessment instruments available are usually in English and may be culturally biased. English learners have been misrepresented in special education and not received the type of instruction that would help them reach their potential. This study asked ESL teachers and other educational professionals about their experience with English learners who may have learning disabilities and with RTI.

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